(Posted May 19, 2014)
On May 14, Dr. John “Jack” Starr was inducted as Madison County’s honoree into the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging’s Senior Citizens Hall of Fame at the Martin Janis Center in Columbus.
Starr has led a life of service to others. He possesses many skills and talents which he freely shares, especially with those who have not had it easy in life. His strong faith and belief that all people deserve the opportunity to live a full life motivate him to do all he can to use the gifts he has been given to benefit others.
Starr received his medical degree from The Ohio State School of Medicine in 1960 and was in general practice from 1961 to 1997. In addition to his practice, he served the community in many ways over the years, among these as deputy coroner, jail physician and director of the health department. He provided services and hours far beyond the compensation.
Since turning 60, Jack has dedicated himself to volunteering with two non-profits, Madison County Health Partners Free Clinic and Loving Care Hospice.
Totally dependent on physician volunteers, the free clinic would not be thriving today without Starr. He has served as the primary volunteer physician for the past nine years and has accumulated over 325 hours of service seeing uninsured, low-income patients with chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma and depression. Starr works a regular volunteer schedule and is always accessible to the staff to respond to patient needs. With great empathy for the hardships the patients are experiencing, he believes all people have the right to health care.
Probably his greatest contribution to the community was establishing Loving Care Hospice. In 1991, Starr had a dream to form a second hospice organization in Madison County. Years earlier with the Madison County Hospice, he helped to raise funds to construct the first freestanding rural hospice house in the United States. He was concerned because hospice patients were turned away for lack of insurance coverage.
In 1993, his dream became a reality with the formation of Loving Care Hospice, a Christian-based organization where no patient is turned away. For 21 years, Starr has been instrumental in developing fundraising events that make it possible to cover thousands of dollars of non-reimbursed care.
From one paid employee in 1993, the hospice has grown to 70 paid employees and 40 volunteers. It is now not only a hospice but also a home health and palliative care agency with speech and physical therapy, available to patients in their home surroundings. In 2000, Loving Care expanded to Union County, opening the second office in Marysville.
Starr has served as the volunteer medical director since 1993, providing hospice and palliative care to patients. Because of his efforts, hundreds of patients and their families have received compassionate care, treatment and critical support when they needed it most.
Starr is a member of Maranatha Community Fellowship and London Rotary Club, and he loves to cook, garden, do magic shows, travel, paint and research genealogy. His retirement “hobby” is operating a small business, Starr Trophy & Awards, which has been thriving since 1987. A loving father to 12 children and many grandchildren, Starr takes the whole family on three 80-foot long houseboats, every three years at Lake Dale Hollow in Tennessee.