A Healthy Partnership
Robert and Karen Fletcher are pleased with their decision to fund a charitable gift annuity that supports Ohio State’s College of Public Health.
“We support the College of Public Health because preventative medicine and wellness training will have a critical effect on the future.”
—Dr. Robert Fletcher
Scarlet and gray colors the Fletcher family tree. Robert Fletcher, now of Raleigh, North Carolina, proudly talks about the branches that form his respected educational lineage.
His father, Robert Leslie Fletcher, earned a master’s degree in entomology from Ohio State; his uncle, Charles Fletcher, studied chemical engineering. Likewise, his brother, Jon, and Jon’s daughter, Lisa, followed suit with degrees in chemical engineering from Ohio State.
“One of my high school teachers wisely encouraged me to follow my uncle and study at Ohio State,” said Dr. Fletcher, who began his educational journey in 1953. He continued as a Buckeye, pursuing a master’s degree in chemistry and then onto medical school, from which he graduated in 1963.
Dr. Fletcher began his career in Columbus in general practice, though he was soon drawn back to Ohio State to pursue training in aerospace and occupational medicine. He remained in general practice—in Columbus and in San Diego, California—until 1976, when he joined Firestone Tire and Rubber Company as a staff physician. Two years later, he became area medical director for Republic Steel Corporation in Canton, Ohio.
In 1982, Dr. Fletcher assumed the position of medical director at RJR Industries in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He became board certified in occupational medicine and received a fellowship from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. In 1993, he joined a private occupational medicine practice in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Dr. Fletcher launched Wendell Occupational Health in 2000, then retired after nine years to embark on a new adventure—marriage to Karen Kauffman, a graduate of the University of Illinois and North Carolina State University, and a retired fifth grade teacher. They chose to fund a charitable gift annuity to benefit the College of Public Health at Ohio State.
Over the years, Dr. Fletcher has maintained ties to his alma mater through the President’s Club and various medical school activities. “We chose to support the College of Public Health because we have a strong belief that preventive medicine and wellness training will have a critical effect on the future,” he said. “We hope that many students will go into fields that benefit these areas. And with our annuity, we want to help make this happen.”