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  • Writer's pictureBrown Horse Projects

A Tribute to Dr V.

Updated: May 4

by Steve Swain

Yesterday we lost a good one. One of the best that I have had the honor and privilege to ever know. A loving, adoring husband. A very proud father and grandfather. A brilliant, compassionate, caring pediatric infectious disease physician. I called him my mentor for the last 25 years, but he was way more than that to me. He was a friend, one that I could call at any time with anything. A father-figure, always encouraging me and cheering me on. Most importantly, a brother in Christ. We have walked through good and bad times together. We’ve been colleagues in medicine since I was a 3rd year medical student in 1999. We’ve discussed countless medical cases over time. Most recently, we were working together to rejuvenate the Family Medicine Residency Program at East Liverpool.


It was a comfort to me knowing that my friend and mentor was there to help encourage and offer me advice. He always had a way about him of brightening up the room when he entered. Whether it was one of his corny shirts, his countless words of wisdom or his “Rut Ro,” he brought smiles to countless people’s faces.


I’ve been on the mission field with Dr. V in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I’ve seen the joy and compassion that oozes from his heart. To see him light up to be able to share the gift that God had given him. I’ve seen his bravery, taking chances, allowing himself to be vulnerable and working to overcome challenges, so that he could grow as a person. He was on our Brown Horse Projects’ board, an active member that was fully invested in spreading the love of God. He was a cherished member of “the herd.” The herd will never be same without him. We’ve learned many lessons from Dr. V, but one that always resonates to me is “just do the next right thing.”


Thank you Dr. V for everything that you have done for me. I will miss you tremendously my dear friend. I promise to continue growing the residency program and will use your endless compassion, energy, and encouragement as an example for how to be a successful leader. I will continue to encourage the Brown Horse board to think big but remember to just do the next right thing. You leave unfillable shoes as a mentor but an example that I strive to be like for my young residents, colleagues, and my children. This world lost an amazing, brilliant, kind, compassionate, loving man but heaven gained an all-star.  I know I will see you again.


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