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Robert Frascino

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Robert Frascino Obituary
Robert J. Frascino, MD Who fought HIV professionally for 30 years and personally for 20 years, died suddenly on September 17 in Mtn View, CA. He was 59. The cause of death was bacterial sepsis. His husband, Steven Natterstad, MD, and his sister, Linda Godfrey, were with Bob when he died. His dog, Presto, was also close by. Bob was a physician, an educator, a tireless advocate for the HIV/AIDS community, a trustee of Oberlin College and a concert pianist. His love of life, keen intellect, sense of humor and ever-present smile will be missed by all who knew him. His boundless generosity with his time, his energy and his advocacy encompassed his family, his friends and his community alike. Dr. Frascino was one of the first physicians to treat HIV-infected patients in the early 80s. He subsequently founded two medical clinics devoted to the comprehensive and compassionate care of HIV-positive people. A Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Frascino also served as Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Immunology, Rheumatology, and Allergy, at Stanford University Medical Center for 18 years. Dr. Frascino crossed the line from physician to patient when an occupational exposure resulted in his testing HIV positive. In 1996, when his health began to fail, he gave up his HIV/AIDS medical practice and turned his efforts to HIV education and fundraising. In his words, "I could now speak with the knowledge and authority of a physician, but with the eyes and heart and soul of a patient." He and Steve, both concert pianists, founded the Concerted Effort benefit concert series, raising funds for crucial HIV/AIDS services worldwide. Concerted Effort 2011, the 17th in the series, was to take place on September 18, the day following Bob's death. Dr. Frascino was the recipient of the National Society of Fundraising Executives' Distinguished Honoree/Silicon Valley Philanthropy Award and the Santa Clara County Medical Association's Award for "Outstanding Contribution in Medical Education." In May 2002, as part of the International AIDS Candlelight Vigil in San Francisco, Dr. Frascino accepted the Bobbi Campbell AIDS Hero Award for which he received personal letters of acknowledgement and congratulations from both Governor Gray Davis and Mayor Willie Brown. Dr. Frascino served as an expert in two Internet-based HIV educational forums - Fatigue/Anemia and Safe Sex/HIV Prevention - at The Body, an HIV/AIDS website (www.thebody.com). He posted answers to nearly 30,000 questions over the past 11 years. In December 2010 he started a blog titled "Life, Love, Sex, HIV and Other Unscheduled Events." Known as "Dr. Bob" to his global online community, he touched the lives of millions of people through his forums and blog. In 2005 Dr. Frascino joined the Oberlin College Board of Trustees. He served as vice chair of the board for two years beginning in 2009. In the words of fellow trustee Stewart Kohl, " . . . he was the shining light of our board who on every issue - big and small - brought his keen mind, great sense of humor, appreciation for the human side of issues and an especially well developed sense of fashion relative to the rest of us schleps from Oberlin." "Bob was a wonderful trustee and friend to Oberlin," says President Marvin Krislov. "His leadership, dedication, and unfailingly positive spirit brightened our community. We mourn his loss. He leaves a legacy at Oberlin that we will cherish." In addition to his husband and sister, Bob is survived by his parents, Jennie and Angelo Frascino of Saratoga, CA, and by many friends, colleagues and "eyeballs" around the world. A private ceremony will be held Friday, November 11 at 1 p.m. at Villa Montalvo, 15400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga, CA. To follow at 2:00 p.m. will be a public reception where all who knew Dr. Frascino are invited to join in the celebration of his life and his legacy. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, 1000 Fremont Avenue, Suite 145, Los Altos, CA 94024. www.concertedeffort.org
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 30, 2011
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