Dr. Thomas Freytag has spent his entire professional career working with the families and community institutions in and around Wapakoneta, Ohio. And last year, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians recognized his years of dedication and named the 1973 graduate the 2007 Ohio Family Physician of the Year.
Freytag arrived in Wapakoneta in 1981 fresh from his residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, joined a practice and settled in to become part of the community. From the outset, he served as the physician for the Auglaize County Jail, a position he still holds. He has worked extensively with the county schools and the county mental retardation and developmental disabilities program to transition children with handicaps into the public schools, served on a governor’s task force to help design laws to help protect and obtain justice for multi-handicapped individuals who are victims of abuse or neglect, and is currently running for a sixth term as county coroner.
He has also been known to pick up a trowel and lay brick for various civic projects. He’s also a member of the Optimist Club. Freytag was nominated for the physician of the year award several times previously, so he says winning the award came as a surprise. And though he says the recognition of his peers is important, it’s the letters of support he received from the community that touched his heart most.
“The real reward was reading all these letters,” he says. “You want to go through life doing some good, and its nice to know you did. But sometimes you don’t realize how much you impact people’s lives. Some of those letters are very heartwarming and very gratifying.”