City of Stephenville to Honor Dr. O.H. Frazier


STEPHENVILLE — Stephenville native and former Tarleton State University student Dr. O.H. “Bud” Frazier will return to his hometown to be honored with a proclamation and a key to the city at tonight’s 5 p.m. City Council meeting.

frazier in or 5x7 1
Photo courtesy of The Texas Heart Institute

One of the world’s top transplant and mechanical circulatory support surgeons, Dr. Frazier has performed over 1,200 heart transplants. During the 1970s and 80s, he conducted experimental work toward developing an implantable left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Since then, he has implanted more than 900 LVADs, the most of any surgeon in the world.

He also chaired the committee that initiated the first federal allocation system to distribute hearts for transplantation.

In 2011, Dr. Frazier implanted the first successful continuous-flow total artificial heart using two second generation HeartMate II LVADs to replace a patient’s failing heart.

He was recently named recipient of the prestigious Pushpa and Kewal Krishan Gupta Lifetime Achievement Award in Development of Therapies for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) Board of Trustees.

In addition to the recognition from the ASAIO, he has received Lifetime Achievement awards from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

From the city proclamation: “Dr. Frazier is a true living legend and is celebrated for his contributions to the field of mechanical circulatory support and pioneering treatments for patients suffering from heart failure.”

He credits his upbringing in Erath County as a key catalyst for his storied career.

“Growing up in Stephenville offered me and my contemporaries a great advantage that we probably didn’t appreciate until later,” said Dr. Frazier. “Importantly, we went to school together with the same students every day. We knew everyone from every strata of Stephenville society; a lawyer’s son, farmer’s son, carpenter’s daughter, etc.

“This I think gave you a great advantage in life and I think remains an important advantage of growing up in a community like Stephenville. This is a particular benefit to anyone in professional life — particularly a doctor — that requires an understanding and empathy for all walks of life.”

From 1968 to 1970, Dr. Frazier served his country as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Army. As a result of his bravery and exceptional service, he received the Combat Flight Medal, the Vietnamese Navy Medal and the Vietnamese Distinguished Service Medal.

His father, Oscar H. Frazier Sr., was a math teacher and track coach at Tarleton State — named John Tarleton Agricultural College and then Tarleton State College at the time — for 40 years. The Oscar H. Frazier Memorial Track on campus is named in his honor.

Dr. Frazier’s collegiate journey started at Tarleton State before going on to earn his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas. At Texas, he was a kicker and punter on the football team while also participating in track. He earned his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine.

1 Comment

  1. I’m lucky to have had the privilege of working with Dr. Frazier’s team at Texas Heart Institute for 35 years. After my dad, I consider him my greatest mentor. He is a living legend and I thank my lucky stars for the honor and privilege of knowing him and watching him build the world’s biggest and best heart transplant center while I tagged along. He is a gentleman and a scholar and the best story teller and humorist in the world as well. Anyone who knew him, knew his heart is always centered on his family and his Texas roots growing up in Stephenville. I know this honor means the world to him and it is richly deserved.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.