BALTIMORE, April 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fran Lessans, CEO and Founder of Passport Health, is being honored today as one of the top Influential Marylanders of 2011. The Daily Record, a leading business & law statewide newspaper, recognizes those influential leaders who have made an impact in their field and continue to be prominent in the areas of Civic Leadership, Communications, Education, Finance, Healthcare, Law, Philanthropy, Real Estate and Technology. Influential Marylanders was created in 2006 and selects 50 honorees.
Lessans founded Passport Health in 1994 and has successfully expanded the company to become the leading provider of travel medical services and immunizations in the United States. Passport Health recently opened its 180th office and now operates in 36 states. The company provides a comprehensive suite of services with a focus on immunizations for international travelers and wellness programs for corporations, including on-site flu clinics.
Lessans first came up with the idea for a comprehensive, client focused, full-service travel medical service during her tenure as director of a university-based health program. "I often referred students to large area hospitals for immunizations prior to their international trip," recalled Lessans. "But the students would return from their hospital visit complaining about the cost and knowing little about the immunizations they had received or the necessary steps to stay healthy during their trip."
"The health information they were getting was poor at best," she continued. "Students would return from their trips complaining that they became sick abroad. This was a problem, so I started developing educational materials and the word spread." Passport Health became the "One Stop Destination" for business, leisure, student and mission travelers. Passport Health has grown to become the leading provider of travel medicine in the United States. The company counsels over 20,000 travelers per month and offers corporate wellness programs such as on-site immunization clinics, drug screenings and physicals to corporate travelers.
Lessans currently serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland School of Nursing and has served on several Vaccine Advisory Boards for leading pharmaceutical companies like Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur and Merck. She is an active member of the Women's Business Council and The International Society of Travel Medicine. Lessans has also worked closely with the CDC and has participated in the National Influenza Vaccine Summit. In 2005 she was awarded the Innovator of the Year award by the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development and in 2006 won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Maryland region. Lessans will be profiled in the Influential Marylanders magazine as well as the April 29 edition of The Daily Record. She will be recognized during the 2011 Top Influential Marylander awards ceremony on April 27.
Jorge Eduardo Castillo
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