As the facilitator of this course I will take a moment and highlight my education first . I will work backwards and highlight the latest education. I admit I have been a man who just loves learning!
Professionally, I am a Physician Assistant, with special certification in Surgery, and with a Masters Degree from the University of Utah (2003).......GO UTES!
I had been working on my PhD in Human Services with Capella University (I have completed all coursework, and am entering research phase (was studying pandemic influenza plans and rural health clinics), but took a hiatus in '09 due to a severe illness and plan to continue in the near future when finances allow (I will not borrow any more money to complete it so I am working and saving to get back at it). I also have a Post-Graduate Certificate in Health Care Administration from Capella University.
I have a Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Management, an Associates Degree from Tulsa Community College; a Certificate in Paramedic from Mount San Antonio College (Walnut, Los Angeles County, Ca), and for my own professional interest (I coach and took care of high school and junior high sports teams) a Certificate in Sports Psychology.
I should also add that I studied for a BA in Psychology at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, but I was one class short the Summer I had to leave OK to begin my physician assistant program and the last 12 credit hours had to be done only at NSU. So I was so close, just one course away from a BA, but never made it back to Oklahoma to finish as life came-a-calling. I am still very proud to say I carried a pure 4.0 GPA at NSU in my Psychology studies.
As if all this education is not crazy enough, one of the benefits of teaching for 3 years now where I am currently was that I received the blessing of being able to pursue a free degree with the college group I now teach with and so I am now pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Health at Independence University in Salt Lake City, Utah. I greatly enjoy studying diseases and disease patterns so this MPH will only enhance my professional interests
Career-wise, I can say that my entire adult life since high school has been in the fast paced side of medicine. While still a teenager I was racing through the streets of Los Angeles as a Paramedic (trained at, what was at the time the only college-based paramedic program in Los Angeles County, Mount San Antonio College).
But after our marriage and our first child was born - many moons ago - we decided to leave both our homelands of Long Beach, California and Stanton, California and put the rat race behind us and so we moved to Oklahoma and spent 10 years working as a paramedic in the Midwest for the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The last decade I have worked primarily as a Master's trained Emergency Room Physician Assistant and as a PA-C in rural medicine in Western Oklahoma, Texas, and in Arizona. I graduated over a decade ago from the University of Utah's excellent program, which was at the time ranked in the top 5 of all physician assistant programs in the United States (out of over a hundred and twenty schools).
I have also spent 5 years as a state employee, teaching full time in Health Sciences and Paramedicine at Rogers State University in the Oklahoma State College System and I currently serve as an Associate Professor for the Stevens-Henager College System teaching in Health Care Administration and Medical Sciences for College America in Flagstaff, Arizona.
If one were to truly ask me my area of "expertise" I would have to say it is in understanding people and the delivery of patient centered care. I love and enjoy learning, but for me, and I preface this humbly, by saying I did not get into medicine at such a young age because I "liked helping people" - I did like helping people, but I could have helped people in many capacities. For those in medicine this seems to be such a stock answer as if we in medicine are better than someone else because we are here in medicine. But, we're not better, we just have very prominent and important roes to play, that does sometimes put us on a pedestal and up on a stage, yet I believe with all my heart that nearly all of us "like helping people".
I do not see myself better than the young lady who's courtesy and kindness and attention to detail while taking my hot chocolate order made MY day, and without a doubt, she likes "helping people" as much as I do.
No, I actually wanted a career in film and radio production (to be the next Hitchcock, albeit back then at 5'11" and 140 lbs, a slightly skinnier one.) But at the urging and strong suggestion of a great father I took a free EMT course when I was 18 and fell in love with the career that way.
Along the journey I learned that I am there to serve the people - not the other way around - and likewise with my beautiful marriage of 25 years wherein I can say with honesty that I really do love my wife deeper more now than ever before, so it is with serving others, I also love serving others more than ever before.
In many ways, I have always been called a "lifesaver" due to the nature of my work, but in truth, it's others that have saved mine, and made it fulfilling.
Now, it's a bio, and I understand the need for one, but I always feel a bit of a bragard when discussing my background, because I really do just love learning, so it's not hard for me to want to do. But where the bragging really comes in is when I say I am MOST proud of being, along with my wife of 25 years as I said above, the father of 7 wonderful children and as of 2 weeks ago now, a new grandfather to a beautiful new grandson!