That stands for 4,625 children currently enrolled in the Boone County School system, to just one board certified pediatrician in the entire county.
His name is Dr. Jason Frazer, and he knew coming here that he would be providing quality healthcare to an underserved population.
Each day that FamilyCare HealthCenter is open, he shows up with a warm smile for both patients and staff.
With great humility and a contagious sense of service to others above self, Dr. Frazer is increasingly becoming a favorite with area children who are quickly learning that going to the doctor for a shot has an upside.
In this case, each child who gets a shot also receives a brand new toy from the staff at FamilyCare.
“I find that a lot of people don’t get their immunizations on time,” Dr. Frazer shared with the Coal Valley News, and where there’s a need, there are people like Dr. Frazer, who are willing to help.
“The best part of the job is seeing their smiling faces,” staff member Tammy May, whose own smiling face will be the first you see as you are greeted in the pediatrician’s office, shared.
“Dr. Frazer is very easy and cooperative with the patients and he spends time with them to understand them and to make sure their needs are met,” May shared.
Board certified in both pediatrics and internal medicine, and a 2004 graduate of West Virginia University’s Medical School, Frazer completed his residency at Charleston Area Medical Center in 2008, where he still remains on staff as a professional courtesy.
Frazer joined the staff at FamilyCare in July 2008. With a monthly average of 300 patients, FamilyCare HealthCenter is still accepting new patients and actively working to make residents aware of their specialized healthcare services.
“I like helping people and always enjoyed the science part of education. I knew in school that I didn’t want to be stuck behind a test tube and really use my interpersonal skills.
A lot of people will tell you that they are given little sign posts along the way that lead them to their occupation, and I contribute [my practicing in Boone County] to Godly intervention.”
Dr. Frazer is a West Virginia native, raised in a rural part of the state not dissimilar from Boone County. “I’m from Nicholas County; Craigsville,” he shares.
“I had several friends from this area,” Dr. Frazer shares, though admits that he had little knowledge of the Boone County area prior to beginning work at the FamilyCare HeathCenter.
He says that from his vantage point, it would seem that one area challenging the overall
healthcare of area residents would be in the
difficulty of access to resources, noting specialized fields such as psychiatric care and treatment for autism is scarce to find in Boone County.
“I also find that asthma control is not emphasized enough. There is a high percentage of smokers in this county and the number one thing that makes asthma worse is smoking,” he shared, when asked what proactive advice he would give to area parents.
“Also, supplementing with fluoride for people who have well water,” he said. Dr. Frazer advised that parents approach health as a family unit, suggesting practical ideas such as taking time to sit down to eat meals together.
“We do a lot of preventative-type medicine, such as from injuries that happen during fourwheeler
accidents. By wearing helmets with fourwheelers and bicycles can
really help prevent these injuries. Know the poison control center’s number. There are a number of things that parents can do to be proactive in their child’s health,” he said.
“Also, don’t be afraid to research things online and ask questions of your doctors,” he said.
According to Dr. Frazer, meningitis shots at schools, from a public health care point of view, is a way to make health care more affordable.
“I think our vaccines are very safe,” he said.
“I know there are moms who have autistic kids and blame the shots for the autism even though no correlation has been found between the immunization shots and autism. I believe them to be safe, but I also remain open to working with parents,” he said.
When asked if he thought Boone County needed more pediatricians, Frazer responded, “I would say I am more and more busy, so if there were a few more [pediatricians] in our community, that would be a good thing.”
Dr. Frazer commented that West Virginia has some great resources, including an osteopathic school that is leading education in rural health. “The problem is retaining people,” he said.
According to Dr. Frazer, there is no shortage to the talented and brilliant minds studying healthcare in West Virginia’s schools, but keeping that talent in the state is a challenge.
“I thoroughly enjoyed medical school. I was amazed at the way our bodies function and are built. I think the more you study the human body, and for me, the genome project, and how the brain works, you realize that the research aspect of medicine is something you can devote your life to and never be bored with at all,” he shared.
According to Dr. Frazer, the community’s response to his presence in the area has been
primarily positive. “It can be hard the first year out, as everyone wants to see what kind of doctor you’re going to be,” he shared.
“Well, he’s not going to prescribe you medicine that you don’t need just because you ask for it,” shared one of his patients, who asked to remain unnamed. “He’s very respectful and just an all-around decent guy.”
In an effort to accommodate their patients, FamilyCare will begin in May to offer same day appointments for Dr. Frazer.
“This should cut down on the number of people who reserve appointments and don’t show up for those appointments, thus making more availability for those patients who need to see the doctor,” the clinic stated in a letter to its patients.
Although Dr. Frazer’s specialty is working in pediatrics, he and his staff are quick to share that they FamilyCare HealthCenter offers obstetric care.
“A lot of the family doctors have really gotten away from ObGyn for liability issues. I don’t believe there are any obstetrics here in Boone County or a delivery unit at the local hospital. Our Teays Valley office even educates and prepares women who choose natural birthing,” he said.
Dr. Frazer is happily married to Sarah Frazer, and the couple has a 9-month old son named Jack.
He and his family are active members of the Spring Hill Baptist Church at South Charleston. For entertainment, Dr. Frazer enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and fly fishing.
So, if that weren’t enough to start a conversation with Boone County’s only pediatrician, then you might want to try talking about the stars and galaxies, as astronomy is Dr. Frazer’s favorite hobby.
According to the FamilyCare HealthCenter’s Web site, the clinic accepts most insurance plans, and most of their services are available on a sliding fee scale based on income and are provided at no charge or reduced charge.