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Take Five with Dr. Frendo

Posted Apr 17th, 2024

Take Five is a series of stories celebrating our team of more than 600 talented and caring physicians and the journey that brought them to Niagara Health. 

Family Medicine Physician Dr. Jennifer Frendo makes a conscious effort to have downtime, sleep and eat well and partake in hobbies outside of work, including beekeeping.

Dr. Jennifer Frendo always knew her love for science class would somehow lead to her life-long career.

However, she did not expect that career to be in the medical field.

From an early age, Dr. Frendo had a passion for nature. Her love of all things outdoors led her to consider a degree in environmental sciences from Brock University and even an early career as a park naturalist with the Niagara Parks Commission.

“I was always a bit of a science nerd and fully expected my career path would lead to something in science,” she says. “I had always been encouraged to consider a career in medicine throughout my school years but was always reluctant.”

While she initially hesitated to embark on this path, the stars aligned, and she received her life’s true calling. Choosing her specialty, however, was a no-brainer, says the family medicine physician.

“I was drawn to family medicine from the beginning,” says Dr. Frendo. “It allows for continuity with patients from cradle to golden years.”

Born and raised in the Niagara region, Dr. Frendo’s journey led her back to her roots in medicine. After completing her education and training in other communities, the people of Niagara beckoned her return.

The deep connection she feels with the Niagara community solidified her decision to practise at Niagara Health.

“When I applied to medical school, people I know in Niagara were already asking me to come back here to practice. I suppose my heart belongs to Niagara.”

As a physician at Niagara Health, Dr. Frendo’s day-to-day is a whirlwind of activity. Whether she is assisting in the operating room, tending to her patients, fulfilling her role as the vice-president of the Medical Staff Association, or engaging in various volunteer work with non-governmental organizations, her plate is always full.

Balancing the demanding nature of her career with her personal life is a delicate tightrope walk; however, she considers herself fortunate to have an incredible support system both at home and inside the hospital.

“In addition to my husband and family, my biggest supports are my colleagues – and not just the doctors, but the allied health team and environmental services team too. I am privileged to work with them regularly.”

When she’s not buzzing the hospital halls, Dr. Frendo finds support outside of work from much smaller, black- and yellow-striped colleagues.

Beekeeping, one of Dr. Frendo’s side ventures, holds a special place in her heart. Her background in environmental science and upbringing on a farm instilled in her a resounding appreciation for the role bees play in our ecosystem.

“Outside of work, I have a small farm in Niagara. I have always been passionate about the outdoors and the critical role that bees play in the health of our environment,” she says.

Beyond the science and ecological impact, beekeeping is a rewarding endeavour that yields honey – a bonus for her efforts.

While sometimes it may be difficult to unplug from a day’s work, Dr. Frendo makes a conscious effort to have downtime, sleep and eat well and partake in hobbies and interests that bring her joy outside of her job.

“Work-life balance can be tricky to navigate,” she says. “As doctors, we really need to take care of each other, so we can take care of everyone else.”

Being part of Niagara Health, a system that values and celebrates its physicians and the importance of work-life balance, holds profound meaning for Dr. Frendo.

“I can honestly say that celebrating and taking care of my fellow physicians is one of my biggest missions, not just at Niagara Health, but globally,” she says. “Our role is exponential and I try my best to frame my mission in positivity whenever I can.”

To learn more about current physician opportunities at Niagara Health, visit or contact

Niagara Health System