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Ask Dr. Phil: Chief medical officer to answer community questions

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Dr. Philip Fracica, Bothwell Regional Health Center’s chief medical officer (CMO), is ready to answer the community’s medical questions. “Dr. Phil” started what is planned to be a regular segment on KDRO 1490 AM and 101.3 FM on Monday, Nov. 8 with host Charlie Thomas.

Fracica has been on Thomas’s morning show several times in the last few months talking about the COVID-19 virus and answering questions about available vaccines.

“The last time I chatted with Charlie, he mentioned there tended to be a lot of callers when he interviewed me,” Fracica said. “He asked whether I would be willing to participate on a regular basis.” 

The show is at 7:30 a.m. each Monday. Listeners call the station at 660-827-6200 or 800-440-1490 and ask questions, and Fracica will also have relevant medical topics to fill the time. As Bothwell’s CMO he is regularly called on to research the latest health care issues to share with leadership and the medical staff.

Fracica joined Bothwell in 2015 as CMO and manages Bothwell’s physicians in providing safe and effective medical services. In addition to his role on the health center’s Senior Leadership Team, he chairs the Bothwell Infection Prevention and Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and has executive responsibility for clinical operations for pharmacy, respiratory, diagnostic imaging, hospitalist and anesthesia services as well as medical education activities, including medical students and the new family medicine residency program that will start in the spring.

Prior to joining Bothwell, Fracica was an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, for 13 years. While at Duke, he practiced critical care and pulmonary medicine, conducted acute lung injury research and taught pulmonary critical care. He then spent 14 years as Critical Care Director at a large Phoenix, Arizona, teaching hospital.

It is precisely his experience in lung diseases at Duke University that makes him a valuable asset at Bothwell helping lead the health center’s COVID-19 response with CEO Lori Wightman, who is a former infection control nurse.

“I have often said how fortunate we all have been both in the hospital and in the community to have not one but two infectious disease experts at the helm during the coronavirus pandemic,” Wightman said. “Dr. Phil is scary smart, brilliant really, yet he knows how to break down even the most complicated topics into ways everyone can understand.” 

Fracica earned his medical degree at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn, New York. After 25 years of active medical practice and teaching, he returned to the role of a student when he earned a Master of Business Administration from Grand Canyon University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest society of internists in the world. 

“Medicine is my life’s work and I enjoy sharing what I know about the field with students, physicians and patients,” Fracica said. “I have always greatly enjoyed the challenge of taking complex medical topics and communicating in a manner that is easy to understand. I’m looking forward to hearing the community’s questions and continuing to raise awareness about health and wellness topics.” 

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