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Giving back brings true joy for Dr. Jeffrey Marchessault

Amy Millhorn Leonard • Jan 15, 2018 at 4:30 PM


After caring for military service personnel during a distinguished 28-year military career including tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr. Jeffrey Marchessault joined Associated Orthopaedics of Kingsport in 2012. He specializes in the surgery and treatment of hands. When asked why he chose the Kingsport practice, he says, “I love the practice and the people associated with it. I enjoy what I am doing and my one-on-one time with patients, educating them on their condition and arriving at the best treatment option decision with them.”

Dr. Marchessault feels he is now at the point of his career to be focused on “Giving Back.” He has embraced teaching resident doctors at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center. Voted as “Educator of the Year” by residents in 2016, Dr. Marchessault says, “I enjoy teaching residents about hand surgery, seeing their progression of skills and mastery of hand surgery and treatment. I love my role as a mentor helping the next generation of caregivers.”

Dr. Marchessault is also active in clinical research to “Give Back” to the profession he loves so much. He was recently published in the journal, “Hand,” for a specialized x-ray view to evaluate those with thumb osteoarthritis called Diamond Stress View Radiograph. One of his residents was awarded second place from the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopaedics for the research. At the American Society for Surgery of the Hand conference in Hawaii last year, Dr. Marchessault presented a new treatment for finger arthritis using a patient’s own tissue instead of silicone or plastic implants. He is presently writing a chapter on the treatment of mangled hands and amputations for a medical textbook: “Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery.”

One of the most rewarding ways Dr. Marchessault “Gives Back” is through his participation in an annual week-long humanitarian medical mission to Haiti through the Centers for Rural Development of Milot (CRUDEM). Sponsored by Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey, the program has been providing the town of 10,000 residents, as well as the northern province of Haiti, with needed surgeries and treatment since the 1950s. The central hospital, Sacre Coeur, has grown since Dr. Marchessault began volunteering there in 2011 with new operating rooms opened last year.

Multiple patients have touched Dr. Marchessault’s heart in Haiti. One of his most memorable is Ashley, a girl with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. He met her several years ago when her symptoms were severe and the disease was not well controlled. He visits her every year to check on her hands which are deformed from the arthritis. She continues in school and aspires to go to a nearby university.

Dr. Marchessault attributes his truest connection to Milot to Sister Ann, a Catholic nun who has been there since 2011. She initially brought him and his team members through the village to visit and meet the local people outside the hospital. There Dr. Marchessault learned the Haitian people smile despite some of the poorest conditions known. When he returns home from Haiti, he often shakes his head when he sees the many blessings in his city and country. The doctor plans to join the Touching Hands Project (THP), headed by world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Scott H. Kozin. THP provides free orthopaedic hand treatment and surgery in communities worldwide. He feels, “Volunteering should start in your own back yard.”

The doctor, along with his wife Michelle and two daughters, enjoys the awesome beauty of the area including wildlife like the eagle nesting near their home and magnificent scenery while driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. “Giving Back” is a Marchessault family affair. They are very active at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church in Johnson City. Michelle loves sharing her vast knowledge of the Bible with others, and their oldest daughter, Anna, serves with an annual mission to rural West Virginia in communities still recovering from the devastating 2016 floods.

Visit Associated Orthopaedics of Kingsport, PC, at 430 W. Ravine Road in Kingsport, online at associated-orthopaedics.com or call (423) 245-3161.

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