Home: Southern California. Age: 53. Birthplace: Birmingham, AL. Profession: Orthopedic surgeon, Chief of Staff. Organization: The Veterans Health Administration. Title: Chief of Staff, VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. Pronouns: He/Him/His. Significant other: My wife, Nicole. Alma mater: Johns Hopkins University (B.A.); University of Alabama (M.D.); University of Minnesota (Orthopedic Residency); Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (Orthopedic Fellowship).
Current project: “Investigation of Postoperative Delirium in the Setting of Ambulatory Orthopedic Surgery in a US Veteran Population”; High Satisfaction with Telehealth for Arthroplasty Post-operative Care at the Minneapolis VAMC. Recent recognition: Promoted to Adjunct Professor for the University of Minnesota Department of Orthopedic Surgery; recognized as the University of Minnesota Department of Orthopedic Surgery Resident Educator of the Year; inducted as a member of the American Orthopedic Association; appointed as Chief of Staff for the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. Recent professional development: Recertified by the state of California as a licensed Radiography and Fluoroscopy X-ray Supervisor and Operator. Latest accomplishment: Received the Veterans Health Administration “Network Star Award” for Veteran Integrated Service Network 23 in recognition of contributions to decreasing surgical site infections. Hobbies: Guitar, physical fitness, mentoring medical students and residents. Last book read: Sailing True North, by Admiral James Stavridis.
Personality profile: Mission-driven, disciplined, dedicated, determined; honest, earnest, patient-centered; progressive, servant, leader. What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Integrity. Moral compass: Derived from the core values instilled throughout my medical training and military service. How do you define an ideal business relationship? Always adding value by doing routine things in an extraordinary manner. What is your greatest joy? Supporting my family. What word or phrase do you use far too often? Mission critical. What natural talent have you neglected? Singing. What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Active-duty military; social workers, law enforcement, fire fighters. What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? The Guitar Center, Barnes & Noble, Disneyland. How do you relieve stress? Playing electric guitar loudly. What is your go-to workout? Planks, push-ups and sit-ups.
What was your first paying job? Plumber’s assistant. What was your favorite college course? Ethical Issues in Healthcare Delivery. What book have you repeatedly read? The Medical Staff Leader’s Practical Guide, by William K. Cors, MD, MMM, FAAPL. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Diplomas, medical licensures, military awards and family photos. Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? Martin Luther King, Jr. What’s the best advice you received growing up? Forget failure and study the wisdom gained. What’s the best advice you received in your career? Be humble. What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Living with and supporting family members with mental health conditions and special needs.
A simple but deep belief in service to humanity.
What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Working every day with my team to improve quality of care, promote patient safety, expand access to care and eliminate disparities in care. What change would you like to see in the world? Making human rights a reality for everyone, everywhere.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? A Surgeon, A Sailor, and A Servant. What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Harrison Ford. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A doctor. After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? Photo albums with twenty years of family memories.
Personal mission: As healthcare leader, I strive to bring the greatest good to the greatest number with the greatest need. Personal motto: Discipline yourself and others will not have to. Favorite quote: “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love” (Martin Luther King, Jr.).