Fran Lessans

Founder & CEO | Passport Health


Fran Lessans

As founder, president, and CEO of Passport Health, Fran brings over 30 years of medical and management experience to Passport Health. Before founding Passport Health, Fran worked in a variety of clinical settings as a registered nurse, educator and health care administrator. Fran’s business acumen is known in the community, as she has successfully turned multiple troubled organizations into profitable ventures.

In 2005, she was awarded the Innovator of the Year award by the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, and, in 2006, she won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Maryland region.

It was during her tenure as director of a university based health service where Fran first came up with the idea for a comprehensive, client focused, full-service medical travel service. Fran often referred students to large area hospitals for immunizations prior to an international trip. Students returned from their hospital visits complaining about the cost and knowing little about the immunizations they had received or steps necessary to stay healthy. It was not easy finding the answers to their questions, as the CDC offered only prerecorded messages via long distance phone service, and few physicians know much about travel medicine. Local health departments offered limited, misleading and often wrong information. Seeing this gap in the healthcare market, Fran began developing educational materials to help students understand how diseases were transmitted and discussed problems that students might encounter while traveling. Fran’s reputation quickly grew, as students and faculty referred family and friends for travel counseling and immunizations.

In 1994, Fran took her service to a hospital affiliated ambulatory care practice in Baltimore. Satellite locations were added to circle the Baltimore beltway. In order to rapidly grow the business, Fran turned to a franchise model, and over 60 franchise territories have been added with multiple clinics in each territory. Presently, there are 270+ Passport Health clinic locations in North America.

Passport Health has continued to flourish with new affiliates, added capabilities and expanded services. Passport Health now provides immunizations for travel, school, wellness, immigration and naturalization, bio-defense, disaster response, military readiness and clinical trials. Fran’s reputation as an expert in immunizations has grown to the point where both U.S. and foreign governments have called on her to develop vaccine administration training programs. She has even set up a call center for to provide 24/7 immunization advice to the US military.

Fran has published and lectured extensively to health departments, foreign governments, and public and private organizations about immunizations for travel and bio-terrorism response. She is a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and she has completed postgraduate course work in adventure and tropical travel medicine. Fran is GCP (Good Clinical Practice) certified and is currently conducting travel related research. She also is working with the Department of Defense and has done clinical research on behalf of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She has served on pharmaceutical Advisory Boards including Merck’s Vaccine Division, Sanofi Pasteur, Glaxo SmithKline and iJET.

Fran holds a B.S.N. degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and a master’s degree from the same institution where she studied public health and administration. She lives in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, with her husband who is the senior partner in a county law firm. They have two grown children; their son is a urologist practicing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and their daughter is an architect in New Orleans, Louisiana.