Friday, January 31 2014, 04:16 PM EST
Well-known Erlanger Physician Dies
Officials with Erlanger Medical Center announced Friday of the unexpected death of Dr. Francis Fesmire, a longtime member of Erlanger’s medical staff and physician leader in their Emergency Medicine Department and throughout the nation.
“Dr. Fesmire’s accomplishments in emergency medicine and cardiac care were far-reaching,” said Erlanger President and CEO, Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE. “In addition to his many significant contributions to the world of research, emergency medicine, and mentoring of our residents, he was also highly respected in the local community,” Mr. Spiegel said. “His important work has touched the lives of thousands of people, locally and nationwide.”
A nationally recognized expert in myocardial infarction, Dr. Fesmire authored numerous academic articles over the years and developed clinical guidelines on the standard of care in treating patients with suspected heart attacks. “His strategies to rule out myocardial infarction, often referred to as the ‘Erlanger Chest Pain Protocol’ are nationally known and have been adapted by many leading medical institutions, like Duke, Harvard, and Stanford,” noted Dr. James Creel, Erlanger’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Creel added, “Dr. Francis Fesmire had an enormous impact mentoring medical students, residents and faculty; most importantly, he created a major spark of research energy in many of our residents.”
Among his many key roles at Erlanger during his 23 years with our organization, Dr. Fesmire served as Medical Director of the Chest Pain Center, was a Core Faculty Member of Erlanger’s Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Professor with the UT College of Medicine, Director of Research with the Emergency Medicine Residency at Erlanger and member of Erlanger’s Cardiac Council.
On a national level, Dr. Fesmire served as Chairman of the Clinical Policy Committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) from 2010 to the present. In 2009 he was awarded the “Hero of Emergency Medicine” award by the American College of Emergency Physicians. He was also awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2006.
Dr. Fesmire was also highly accomplished academically. He was high school Valedictorian at Baylor School in 1978. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1981 and received the “Outstanding Resident Award” after completing his residency in Emergency Medicine at University Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. In 1996, he was honored with the Young Investigator Award by the Emergency Medicine Foundation.
He has authored hundreds of articles in national journals and lectured throughout the world on emergency cardiac care and the Erlanger Chest Pain Protocol, including conferences in Stockholm, Sweden; Amsterdam, Holland and British Columbia, Canada.
“Over the last few years, Dr. Fesmire focused his tremendous skills and energies on improving the evaluation and treatment of stroke patients in the emergency department,” noted Dr. Carol Gruver. “He was a central figure within the Erlanger Stroke Program and was developing one of the largest databases in the world specifically to determine how to provide the best care to patients suffering from a stroke,” she said, on behalf of the Departments of Cardiology and Neurology. “His enthusiasm for helping others was unmatched, and his energy for moving the field of medicine forward through research will serve as a great model for us.”