MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon and Knox County community was saddened upon the news of the death of Dr. Joseph Nussbaum, 70, who died Tuesday after a battle with cancer.
He was diagnosed with cancer in February and retired on March 19, according to office manager Jan Lybarger.
In July 1973, Nussbaum began his Knox County career as an OB/GYN.
“I’ve worked with him for 37 years; watching our kids grow up together,” said Lybarger. “He was a wonderful father, friend and boss. We will really miss him.”
Fellow OB/GYN staff doctor Alan Fairchild started a practice in Mount Vernon in 1970 and had already been best friends with Nussbaum while in residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus.
“He was a great partner; we were the first OB/GYN’s in Knox County,” said Fairchild. “We came here as best friends and have been like brothers ever since. He was a great doctor, and people loved him,” adding how patients always referred to him as “Joe,” not Dr. Nussbaum.
Susan Hale, director of the Birthing Center at KCH, said “I have worked with Dr. Nussbaum for 12 years. He has not only been a wonderful physician to work with but a true friend. I’m not sure he ever realized how much he touched my life. He was there for me to deliver my third child — who was quite the surprise. He took great care of me during that emotional time and was more of a support system than he knew. I will forever be grateful to him for being there for me during difficult and trying times in my life. He will be forever remembered and greatly missed.”
Kim Rose, president of the board of trustees at KCH, released a statement upon Nussbaum’s death, stating “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Joseph Nussbaum. Knox Community Hospital has lost a dedicated physician who devoted his life to providing compassionate care to our community. We will miss him not only at the hospital, but he will also be sorely missed in the stands at our schools as he cheered on members of his family and those of his friends.”
Bruce White, CEO of KCH, also said in a released statement, “It is almost impossible to comprehend the impact that Dr. Nussbaum has had on the lives of so many in our community. When my wife, Kathy, and I moved here 23 years ago, it was Joe Nussbaum who delivered our second child. As I attend any event in the area and look around at the people gathered there, be it the kids out on the playing field, on the court, in the band, or even the proud parents watching in the stands or audience, I cannot help but realize that for many of them it was Dr. Nussbaum who was there to direct, guide, assist, and welcome them in their very first moments in this world. The outpouring of fond sentiments and well wishes that I have had the privilege to hear from those who have worked side by side with him over the years has been amazing. On behalf of Knox Community Hospital, I would like to express our deepest sympathy and great respect to the family of Joe Nussbaum; a truly fine gentleman and dedicated physician.”