Family & Friends Say Goodbye To Dr. John Strosnider

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Friends and relatives paid tribute to the founder of an Eastern Kentucky medical school Saturday who passed away after a struggle with cancer.

Dr. John Strosnider was a man of patience. Just ask his friend and colleague Dr. Bill Betz, who first visited the area from Kansas City.

"I would honk my horn and John would say son you're in Eastern Kentucky. That horn doesn't exist around here. You might as well leave it alone because it's rude and they're not gonna pay any attention to you," Betz said.

Dr. Strosnider was patient enough to make his dream a reality, founding Pikeville College's School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1996.

"When students were accepted to Pikeville College, he would call them personally and welcome them to the school and congratulate them on their acceptance," said friend and colleague Peter Ajluni.

Christopher Bailey was one of them, a member of the school's first incoming class. He remembers a day when Strosnider visited his lab study group outside of class.

"It was on a Saturday morning. He came by and asked us if we needed anything. We said no. He gave us fifty dollars and said, 'Here go get yourself some lunch'," Bailey said.

Strosnider did more than give wise advice and lunch money. He's remembered as an activist for access to medical care in Eastern Kentucky.

"The design of the College of Osteopathic Medicine was so important to take people from the hills of Eastern Kentucky, train them in the hills of Eastern Kentucky so they were more likely to stay here to practice medicine," Betz said.

"The area was underserved to begin with and second they've been a boom to the economy," Ajluni said.

Christopher Bailey opened his practice 2 years ago in his home town of Prestonsburg.

"We have a lot of patients, especially from being here in the area, everyone can relate to us and stuff and it's good to come back and treat friends and family," Bailey said.

"This will blossom and continue to blossom and medical care in the area will really be because of John Strosnider," Betz said.

That, Betz says, will be Dr. Strosnider's legacy.

The Strosnider family says in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Dr. Strosnider's memory. Those can be sent to the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine.

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