State officials honor Frazier for Ukraine work

Hardin Valley’s Dr. Russ Frazier — who spent two weeks in war-torn Ukraine with Global Surgical and Medical Support Group in March helping teach combat casualty care — has been honored with a joint resolution from Tennessee General Assembly House and Senate lauding his volunteerism.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 1498 (House Joint Resolution 1044) “to honor and commend Dr. Russ Frazier of Knox County” details the Farragut High School graduate’s many volunteer efforts, including 20 years as a SWAT tactical physician, 38 years of service with Knox County Rescue (of which he also serves as chief), several years with the GSMSG, which has taken him around the world to help in a variety of crisis situations and culminating in his most recent trip in Ukraine.

“Though the task at hand is harrowing and perilous, Dr. Frazier feels duty bound as a global citizen to use his training and skill set to provide help for those who so desperately need it,” noted the document, which went on to describe him as “a hero and an inspiration to all who are privileged to know him and all of those whom he has so selflessly served ... the embodiment of the volunteer spirit for which Tennessee is known, and one of this State’s finest sons and ambassadors; and ...

“Whereas the members of the General Assembly wish to extend our gratitude and appropriation for his important work at home and abroad, now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate of the 112th General Assembly of the state of Tennessee, the House of Representatives concurring, that we honor and commend Dr. Russ Frazier for his heroism in coming to the aid of those living in war-torn Ukraine, extending our deepest gratitude for his work in East Tennessee and around the globe, and our best wishes for every future happiness.”

Frazier, an anesthesiologist and president of Methodist Medical Center’s Anesthesia Group, was caught by surprise when the two-page document arrived in his family’s mailbox Tuesday, April 26.

“I had no idea — I was absolutely shocked,” he said. “But I am truly touched, and it is wonderful for them to take the time to not only recognize me, but what the GSMSG did and is doing in Ukraine.”

The idea to honor Frazier came at the suggestion of a West Knox Count state legislator who didn’t personally know him, but had read about his Ukraine mission.

State Rep. Eddie Mannis (R-District 18), which includes portions of Cedar Bluff and Bearden, was notified of a local article about Frazier’s work in Ukraine “and thought it might be a nice ‘thank you’ for him,” said Joey Barnett, Mannis’ legislative assistant.

Another local state representative agreed, and is listed as co-prime sponsor with Mannis on House Joint Resolution 1044. “Dr. Frazier is a shining example of the wonderful people that make up our community,” the co-prime sponsor said. “The fact that he was willing to rush toward a war zone, in an effort to help save lives, says it all.  His Volunteer spirit should make all Tennesseans proud.”

“I have never in any way sought out recognition for what I feel called to do, and the ways I do what I can to help,” said Frazier, who has lived in Hardin Valley for 25 years with his wife, Kim, and their sons, Jackson and Maddox. “I was very surprised by the interest from social media and media outlets when I came home, but I was glad to share about what we are doing there.

“The amount of people who lined up for the training — even during times we had to evacuate because of bombing and air strikes — was very inspiring,” he added. “They came from all over and wouldn’t let anything stop them from learning all they could.

“It was an honor to do it, and knowing we are helping those people makes it all worth it.”