In the Beginning
Before founding Passport Health, Fran Lessans worked in a variety of clinical settings as a registered nurse, educator and health care administrator. In the early 1990′s Fran Lessans saw travel to underdeveloped countries increasing among her students. She also noticed that travel medical services were not readily available and immunization services were fragmented and incomplete. As she developed materials to educate her traveling students her reputation in the community grew. It did not take long for her to realize that a more comprehensive approach was needed to keep travelers happy and healthy.
Fran Lessans developed a comprehensive, client focused one-stop travel medicine program during her tenure as director of a university based health center. Fran listened to what travelers wanted and needed and developed a program that included counseling, immunizations, specialty travel accessories, supplies, medications, evacuation insurance and follow-up service for boosters.
Before Passport Health, travelers had no convenient way to receive quality timely travel medical advice or immunizations for their international travel. Some hospitals offered limited services on a very part-time basis as an accommodation.
Since physicians typically do not specialize in travel medicine, the need for a comprehensive international travel medicine with national scope was evident.
…the first network of travel medicine clinics is born…
Passport Health opened its first office in Baltimore in 1994. The business model was simple and immediately successful:
- Team of medical professionals who are Travel Medicine Specialists
- Quick and convenient access to our locations
- Easy parking
- Well care environment
- Access to all International Travel Vaccines
Passport Health was hence designed to be a one-stop destination for the international traveler. The Travel Medicine Specialist administers and recommends vaccines and medications, specialty travel health products, safety tips & security information, and medical evacuation insurance. Each traveler receives a comprehensive destination-specific consultation that covers everything from food & water precautions to how to properly guard against mosquitoes that carry deadly diseases like malaria and dengue fever.
Fran Lessans realized that her program needed to be replicated across the country.Passport Health continued to flourish and expand as leisure and business travel continued to grow whilst new and improved vaccines and medications were licensed. By 2000 Passport Health had opened 34 locations in 15 states and there were no signs of slowing down.
…new business opportunities…
A new area of business emerged after the Anthrax attack shortly after September 11, 2001. Passport Health, under contract to the CDC, administered antibiotics and Anthrax vaccine to postal and tabloid workers from New Jersey to Florida. We trained the Department of Defense (DoD), the White House and the Health Ministry of Singapore on Smallpox administration. We have been called upon to develop comprehensive outreach programs to deal with bioterrorism response and military readiness and have the distinction of being the only private healthcare company in the U.S. to respond to a bioterrorism event.
Passport Health has continued to flourish with new affiliates, added capabilities and expanded services. From Boston to San Francisco, Seattle to Miami, and everywhere in between, we have grown to become the only nationwide network of vaccine clinics in the U.S, and the largest doctor-recommended provider of vaccines in the nation.
Passport Health now provides immunizations for travel, school, wellness, immigration and naturalization, bio-defense, disaster response, and military readiness at more than 160 locations nationwide. In addition to conducting clinical trials for new vaccines we operate a 24/7 response line for the DoD –a call center for expert advice on all aspects of immunizations–and have been awarded multiple state and federal contracts including the GSA schedule.
The continued expansion of our locations in new and existing U.S. cities and abroad herald the unveiling of a franchise growth strategy that will ensure Passport Health remains the leader in the Travel Medicine business.
You can also learn more about diseases and vaccines that may impact your trip