A dedicated physician, Dr. Peter Frommer began a distinguished career in Medical Science and Medical Science Administration in 1959 with the Public Health Service National Institutes of Health. He served that Institution in a series of appointments that progressed in responsibility and importance to the Institutes and to the science of cardiology.
Dr. Frommer graduated from the University of Cincinnati earning a degree in electrical engineering in 1954 and, 4 years later, a Medical Degree from Harvard University Medical School. In 1959 he moved to the Washington, D.C. area and joined the National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI). One of the first topics he worked on at NHLBI was cardiac catheterization techniques. Dr. Frommer returned to the University of Cincinnati in 1961 where he completed his residency in internal medicine at the university’s medical center. A few years later, Dr. Frommer returned to the Institute as senior investigator and attending physician in the cardiology branch. A leader in biomedical engineering, he was one of the first scientists to work in the field that led to the modern pacemaker.
He was selected as Assistant Chief of Myocardial Infarction Research Branch in 1966. This was followed in 1969 by his appointment as Chief of the Myocardial Infarction Research Branch of the NHLBI. In 1967, Dr. Frommer had designed, initiated and managed the Myocardial Infarction Research Unit Program for the diagnosis and management of patients with acute myocardial infarction.
He was named associate director for cardiology in the new Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases, and in 1978 he became NHLBI deputy director – a position he served in for nearly 20 years.
He was an assistant surgeon general and rear admiral in the Public Health Services and served as acting chief of staff for the Office of the Surgeon General shortly before his retirement in 1997.
Dr. Frommer participated in a great many other major programs on the NHLBI. He was a long-standing Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Through his dedication to his fellow man, Dr. Frommer has made distinguished contributions that have helped shape the study and treatment of heart disease over the past 40 years.
In memory of Dr. Peter Frommer, in September 2004, Orange Regional Medical Center dedicated its Cardiology Center of Excellence, as the Peter Frommer, M.D. Heart Center.