The recent passing of Nan Frymoyer has left a hole in so many parts of our community. If you asked ten different people to describe Nan you would might hear ten different descriptions; friend, nurse, mother, wife, daughter, educator, patient, patient advocate, community organizer, and sailor. And these are just a few of her accomplishments.
Nan started working for Community Health Improvement at Fletcher Allen as a “Ladies First” educator. From that role she expressed an interest in developing a better way to educate consumers about health care. Her vision led to a very small Resource Center in the McClure Lobby. When the hospital was planning for the Ambulatory Care Center Nan advocated vigorously for a larger patient information center right near the main entrance. She worked with the hospital administration to advocate for the new center and she and her husband John made a generous donation to the project.
Those of us who knew her here at Fletcher Allen will always remember her as a tireless advocate for patient education. Nan came to this avocation the hard way, through her own health experiences. Her single minded determination and vision are responsible for the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center. She felt uncomfortable taking all the credit; she always wanted to share the laurels of achievement.
When we would meet she was keenly interested in how we were progressing at the Center. Was there anything we needed? Was some gentle coercion needed somewhere? And she always asked how we as people were doing. What was going on in our lives? She loved sharing the joys of her family and hearing the stories of others. Because her light burned so brightly right till the end it was all the more devastating when it went out. She can’t be replaced but we can carry on her passion for the principles of educating our patients and treating them as equals.
To learn more about the Frymoyer Center, which Nan was instrumental in establishing, please visit our site here.
Alan P. Lampson, M.L.S., is the Coordinator of the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at Fletcher Allen.