Printer Friendly

Program director profiles.

Ronald P. Hudak, JD, MHA, PhD, FACHE

My knowledge of Baylor grads includes a number of colleagues who were senior, contemporaries, and junior officers. Consistently, they performed well and were clearly committed to improving our health care system. Notable graduates included COL Lanier whose subsequent assignments included high level policy positions and COL Paul Brooke who became the Dean of the School of Allied Health at Texas Tech.

I decided to attend Baylor because it was, and still is, the premier education for an MSC and for any administrator who wishes to be as competent as possible in the management of health care organizations.

What I remember most is not one particular classmate, but the extraordinary range of experiences that they brought to the classroom. We had aviators, nurses, logisticians, sister services--all brought a fascinating and impressive professional history with them.

My residency site was Moncrief Army Hospital, Fort Jackson. It was an outstanding experience because of its size and support of a training installation. I entered Baylor as a captain and left as a major.

My proudest accomplishments as the Director of the program were to double the class size without increasing staffing, expand the residency sites to include OSD(HA) as well as civilian agencies, select more sister service students and GS students, implement a PT program to maintain the physical fitness and esprit of the students (one of the most amusing aspects of implementing this policy was explaining/outfitting the students from the sister services and GS students who did not have a PT program like the Army students did and, therefore, did not know what to wear or what was an appropriate exercise regimen at "oh dark thirty"), create a Center for Healthcare Education and Studies, and conduct research on executive competencies with Dr Finstuen and COL Brooke.

My recommendation for the future is to ensure that we maintain the health care orientation of our program while increasing the amount of business courses. Health care today is clearly a business, but with a very human orientation and an obligation to community service.

Clarence E. (CEM) Maxwell, Jr, MHA, PhD, RA

CEM Maxwell was born in Port Sulphur, LA. He grew up in northeast Texas (Kilgore) and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1970 with a Bachelor's degree in architecture. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Army and was commissioned into the Medical Service Corps. He retired from active duty in 1997.

Upon retirement, he was awarded the designation of a Distinguished Member of the AMEDD Regiment and, in 2002, was recognized as a "Hero" for volunteer work at Fort Sam Houston. He is a licensed architect in the state of Texas and a member of the Fort Sam Houston ISD School Board. During his Army career, he earned four Legions of Merit.

His most significant contributions during his military career were in the area of health facilities planning. He was personally involved and responsible for the programming, design, and/or construction management of more Army health facilities than any officer since the Korean War era--over 30 replacement facility projects. From being involved in the design of Building 2 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (AMC) in 1970, to being on the shovel line for the ground breaking of the new Womack AMC in 1994, CEM Maxwell worked to provide the Army with the best of health facilities. Major projects included the new Womach, Madigan, and Brooke AMC, the new Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the NCO Academy at Fort Sam Houston, as well as numerous health and dental clinics.

As the Director of the U.S. Army-Baylor Program, he enhanced the program by providing an additional course classroom, dividing the class into two sections, renovating the classrooms, and providing improved technology to include network drops to each student seat. He designed and oversaw the construction of the AMEDD Classroom of the Future, dedicated by The Surgeon General in 1995. He expanded the Baylor teaching staff and obtained Baylor University teaching position recognition for each faculty member.

Jody R. Rogers, MSBA, MHA, PhD, FACHE

My involvement with Baylor University occurred in two significant ways. The first involved the privilege I had to serve as the Program Director of the U.S. Army-Baylor Graduate Program in Health Care Administration from 1997 until 1999. I followed COL Lee Briggs and preceded LTC Charles Wainright. The Program enjoyed considerable stability during this time. The most significant event impacting the Program was the selection of Dr Larry Lyon as the Dean of Graduate Studies, Baylor University. Doctor Lyon was, and continues to be, a staunch supporter of the Program. His support has clearly increased the name recognition of our Program on the Baylor campus and within the Army Medical Department.

Class size continued to fluctuate between 35 and 50 students. The Program experienced difficulty recruiting Medical Service Corps (MSC) officers and subtle changes to the selection process were instituted to increase MSC involvement. In the past, MSCs attending Baylor were required to change their AOC to 70A (Healthcare Administrator). The slow promotion rates of health care administrators to Colonel appeared to be scaring qualified officers from attending Baylor because they did not want to be forced to become 70As. With the support of the 70A Consultant, COL George Masi, MSCs attending Baylor were given the option of keeping their old AOC. In other words, the focus of recruitment was to encourage the best and brightest MSCs to attend Baylor, regardless of their AOC. These officers may have served at least one utilization tour in a 70A position, but they did not have to change their AOC. As a result of this subtle change to the recruitment process, many more officers from other AOCs began attending Baylor. This increase in diversification was intended to enhance the quality of MSC officers by allowing non-70As the opportunity to obtain a graduate education from a nationally recognized institution and thus, better prepare them for jobs in TOE and TDA organizations.

The pressure to add more courses and material in a given course continued unabated during this time. The demand for officers with strong quantitative skills continued to increase. Course content in terms of teaching new and more complex quantitative skills continued to grow. As a result, the stress level of students also continued to grow. The Program continued to be an integral part of the Center for Healthcare Education and Studies. Colonel Stuart Baker was the Chief, CHES, until 1999 when COL Harrison Hassell replaced him.

While serving as the Director, I was also the Regent for the Army Western Region, ACHE, and the President of the Baylor Alumni Association. Having all three jobs at the same time gave me an interesting perspective of military and civilian health care administration and also of the tremendous pride that Baylor Alumni have for our Program.

The Deputy Program Director during my tenure was CDR Elaine Ehresmann, USN, and then LTC Charles Wainright. Lieutenant Colonel Wainright became the Deputy in 1998. Both officers were extremely confident and capable of providing the support necessary to lead this Program.

The second significant involvement I had with Baylor was as a student and graduate from 1983-1985. I was the second Laboratory Officer to attend Baylor. My experience as a student was outstanding because of the outstanding officers who were my students and because of the excellent education I received. We had 35 officers in class with two Navy and two Air Force officers in attendance. Our co-class leaders were a Veterinarian, MAJ Tom Catanzaro, and a Psychologist, MAJ Larry Reed. The class of 1985 was the first 4-semester class. Prior to this time, Baylor classes were 9 months in length and only 3 semesters long. Although it was designed for 12 months of study, our class time was only 10 months in order to get on the schedule that the program currently has. We started in late September and finished in early August. Today, class begins 1 July and ends 1 year later. Needless to say, putting 4 semesters of study into 10 months was extremely taxing for the students and the faculty. In fact, for most of our 4th semester, two classes were going at the same time as the class of 1986 started in late June and we didn't finish out studies until late August. This affected our classes' morale in a significant way. By the time of orals, we were burned out from not having a regular classroom, not having a dedicated faculty, and the whole orals process. The stress level was so great that our class leader and one faculty member almost came to blows during a class.

One of my classmates, LTC Eric Rubel, became a physician in subsequent years. Doctor Tom Catanzaro, VC, became the only Veterinarian in the ACHE to become a Fellow in the College. Several classmates became Colonels and at least two of us earned our Doctorates. One died tragically while on active duty. I am currently a Visiting Professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.

Charles F. Wainright, MHA, PhD, FACHE

Early in my career as a Medical Service Corps (MSC) officer, I was mentored by several senior officers that I was capable of pursuing a higher degree beyond the Undergraduate level and that it would be necessary in order to progress in rank in the military. Many of the senior MSC officers were graduates of the Army-Baylor Program and strongly suggested this career track as a hospital administrator. I was not as familiar with the Army-Baylor Program in the early 1980s, but I knew that I must continue my education in order to ensure a successful career either in the military or in the civilian sector. After examining several programs around the country, I decided to apply for the Army-Baylor Program in 1984.

I was elated to discover I was selected for the Program to attend in 1985. This was a great honor and I give credit for my selection to several individuals including BG Leffler, COL Gerry Allgood, COL Paul Krier, and the Officer Advanced Course (OAC) faculty at the Academy of Health Sciences. I was attending the 6-month OAC when I received my acceptance letter. However, I really never completely understood the significance of this event until much later in my military career.

As with so many other Army-Baylor graduates, I had a great class and have remained very close to my classmates over the years. These individuals also significantly contributed to my career development and health care experiences throughout my military career. They all have provided not only professional and collegial discussions, but have been close advisors throughout the years. I am extremely indebted to all my fellow classmates as well as other Baylor graduates who were excellent role models for many AMEDD officers. The experiences I gained working with and for these officers were invaluable.

Throughout my Army career, my Army-Baylor Degree afforded me tremendous opportunities for increasing levels of responsibility as well as notoriety. The degree opened doors that presented unique opportunities to succeed and the information and knowledge gained from my work on the master's of health care administration certainly contributed to that success. My accomplishments in Europe as the health care administration consultant for Ambulatory Care and Emergency Medicine at MEDCOM Headquarters are a direct result of my Baylor degree. Both the knowledge and experience from the didactic and residency phases of Baylor gave me the necessary tools to contribute to health care delivery in Europe.

As a senior Captain, I was afforded the rare opportunity to be the administrator and operations officer for the Army-Baylor Program. I gained skills in not only how the program operated, but obtained a solid perspective of the core values and skills that it took to keep the Program flourishing for so many years. I also must take credit for one of the crowning jewels for Baylor--I hired Ms Rene Pryor, who is endearingly known as the "Baylor Mom." She was, and still is, truly grand and the Program would not succeed without her. During this time, I gained valuable allies that helped me to realize another dream--to complete my doctoral degree. For this special opportunity, I must sincerely thank COL Paul Brooke, COL Ron Hudak, and LTC George Gisin for their mentorship and support for my long-term training selection to obtain my PhD. This had always been a lifelong dream and goal of mine even before I entered the military, and I will always be appreciative to everyone who had a hand in affording me this educational experience.

As fate would have it, I completed my doctorate at the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 3 years and was assigned back at Fort Sam. However, I was not directly assigned as a professor for the Army-Baylor Program at first. I was assigned as the MSC Education and Training Officer at the Department of Healthcare Education and Training (DHET), where I spent about 2 years before finally getting assigned to the Program as a full time faculty member. During that 2-year period at DHET, I continued to volunteer to teach one course a semester in the Program.

While it took a tremendous amount of effort from key individuals, I was finally assigned to the Program in 1997. I have to give many thanks to COL Maxwell, who had been the previous Director of the Program and was the current Dean of the School. Colonel Maxwell and LTC Jody Rogers greatly facilitated my assignment to the Program. Because of my previous background with the Program as an alumnus and as the former administrator, I was able to contribute to both the teaching requirements as well as the operational requirements. Colonel Maxwell and LTC Rogers were also instrumental in my being selected as the Deputy Director of the Program.

As Deputy Director, I was able to hone my skills, both as a teacher and as a administrator to prepare me for an even greater opportunity. As Deputy Director, it positioned me to achieve another once in a lifetime dream, to become the Director of the Program. When I was selected to succeed LTC Jody Rogers as the Program Director, I was completely overwhelmed with joy. While I had dreamed of this opportunity, I never expected it to become a reality. I have many individuals to thank, but specifically, COL Harrison Hassell and COL George Masi were two individuals that were instrumental in this process. Being Director was a humbling and wonderful experience and the epitome of my military career. The Baylor faculty and staff during my tenure were absolutely incredible in every detail and the student classes were equally superior. Even if you tried your best, you couldn't invent or imagine a better situation and group of great individuals to work with as a last assignment in the military. On 30 Sep 01, I said my goodbyes and retired with nearly 23 years of military service.

However, my story does not end with my retirement from active duty. Because of my Army-Baylor experiences, I was selected to be the Director of the Graduate and Undergraduate Healthcare Administration Programs at Western Kentucky University. As my current position, this has been a great career move and allowed me to test my skills in the civilian academic world. As before, I firmly believe that the Baylor experiences have been a major contribution to my new position and professional career.

Lastly, I must thank my family--my wife, Daphine, and my daughters, Laura, Jennifer, and Katherine for their unwavering support and dedication to ensure that I succeed in my professional career. They are a wonderful and cherished part of my life and I am truly blessed. Finally, I must thank the Lord, who most of all has continued to guide my life and allow me these opportunities throughout my career.

I sincerely believe that the Army-Baylor Program has touched so many lives and so many careers that it is really hard to imagine. I think it has strengthened the military presence in professional societies such as ACHE, MGMA, HFMA, AAMA, and AUPHA. It has also set the military and government health care administrators in a special class of MHA graduates that has served the United States with distinction. I am extremely proud of the men and women graduates of the Program and I wish them well in all their future endeavors. Go Army-Baylor!

Daniel G. Dominguez, MHA, PhD

My involvement in the U.S. Army-Baylor University Graduate Program in Health Care Administration program has had a profound impact on me personally and professionally. I joined the Navy directly out of high school and spent the majority of my first 6 years sailing the oceans of the world as an Electrician's Mate, first in the Pacific on an oiler homeported out of Pearl Harbor HI, then in the Atlantic on a Destroyer Tender berthed in Norfolk, VA. After two Western Pacific cruises and a 6-month Mediterranean deployment, I was assigned to shore duty at the Naval Hospital, Corpus Christi, TX, in 1979. It was here that I completed an undergraduate degree in management and came to appreciate and admire those involved in the provision of health care.

Prior to leaving Corpus Christi, I applied for a commission in the Medical Service Corps and was selected while in route to my next assignment at sea. My first position as a Navy Ensign was at the Naval Hospital, Long Beach, where I served first in the Materials Management Division and then the Information Management Department. My next assignment was at the Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, where I became the Head of the Management Information Department. It was near the end of that tour that I reached what would be a critical juncture in my professional career.

I had been offered a seat in the Information Systems Management Masters Program at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterrey, CA, and was excited to begin my studies there. However, my supervisor and mentor, CPT John Gallis, the Director for Administration at the hospital, argued compellingly that I should pursue the Director for Administration, Executive Officer, Commanding Officer career track versus a computer systems management track. As such, I would require a MHA degree versus a specialty Masters. I was convinced, and submitted my application for full-time education to attend graduate school at Temple University in Philadelphia, having not heard of the Army-Baylor MHA program at that time.

To make a long story short, I was selected to attend graduate education, however, I was given only one option-attend Army-Baylor or move on to a recruiting assignment in Atlanta. I quickly did my homework on the Baylor program and found that it did not require extended trips to the woods or desert as I had feared, nor did it require the pitching of a single tent! In fact, I found that it was a rigorous academic program, highly regarded by the Navy, and that I should consider myself fortunate to have been selected to attend. While not completely convinced of its value to a Naval health care administrator, and with some trepidation due to reports of the grueling pace of study, I accepted the nomination and matriculated in 1988.

Our year at Baylor--it is at this point that I specifically and most intentionally include my family in this narration (which by now had increased to include three children)--was one of the most challenging of our lives. Neither before, nor since, have I allowed my days to be so consumed by an endeavor. So demanding was the program and so poor my time management skills, that when selected for Doctoral training in 1995 my oldest son Dan, who was then 12, asked with some apprehension if this was going to be "another Baylor?" He had been age five during the didactic phase of the program and sadly, I had often neglected spending time with him during that year. This significant disappointment aside, I must say that attending Baylor changed the course of my professional life.

It was at Baylor that I came to know some of the finest military officers I have met in my career. Officers like LTCs Darrell Hanf, and Brian Anselman who sat on my left and right respectively throughout the didactic year. Not only were we row-mates, but we also worked on numerous papers and projects together--I learned much from both of them and consider them good friends to this day. Officers like COL Tim Williamson and MAJ Roger Miller, both of whom were articulate and passionate debaters whose arguments never ceased to stimulate and expand my own thinking and that of our professors! I have many fond memories of the class of 1990: the dry wit of LTC Tom Clines; the quiet shepherding of the class by our Executive Officer, MAJ Archie Summerlin, USAF; the firm direction of our class leader, COL Bea Coquilla, MC; and the selfless service of LTC Howard May, MSC, our Boone Powell award recipient and a graduate of the Army-Baylor Physical Therapy Program. I could go on to name virtually the entire class, noting the positive effect each has had upon me both as a person and as an officer, however, space will not allow it.

After completing the didactic phase of the program, we moved from Fort Sam Houston to our residency site. I was truly blessed to have RADM Charles R. Loar, MSC, USN, then Chief of the Navy's Medical Service Corps, as my preceptor. A health care statesman and the consummate professional, Admiral Loar ensured that my residency at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, VA, was comprehensive and meaningful. RADM Loar opened doors for me to spend time not only with the Air Force at Langley AFB and the Army at Fort Eustis, but also the Veteran's Administration in Hampton, as well as the Tidewater Health and Sentara Health systems. His good name and the reputation of Baylor residents who had preceded me ensured that my residency experience was of the highest caliber.

Working with RADM Loar, who had previously precepted Baylor residents, also allowed me to begin work on what has become a lifelong topic of interest, the study of leadership and leadership development. It was at the Admiral's insistence that I pursued the study of the "Identification and Development of Leaders Within the Navy Medical Department" as my Graduate Management Project (GMP) topic. I will be forever indebted to him for starting me on this quest and also to CDR Bill Lambert, Army-Baylor's first Navy Professor and my academic advisor, for expertly guiding me in my early reading within the field of leadership and for encouraging me throughout the GMP process. The GMP was very well received by RADM Loar, who incorporated the findings and recommendations, especially with regard to mentorship, into the Medical Service Corps strategic plan.

After successfully completing all requirements for graduation, I was assigned to the Naval Medical Clinic, New Orleans, as the Director for Administration in 1990. I must note that my studies at Baylor prepared me well for that position and further, that I required every skill and competency learned to carry out the responsibilities of that demanding position.

In 1993, I was assigned to the Branch Medical Clinic, Bermuda, as the Officer in Charge and was clearly on the development track for command positions within the Navy Medical Department. It was at this point that my career took another significant shift, and again the shift would ultimately involve the Army-Baylor MHA program.

When considering career options in 1995, it was my wife Sam who suggested I apply for doctoral education. Earning a PhD had never been a serious consideration prior to this point, however, the notion of obtaining a doctorate and serving as a senior policy analyst within in the federal health system or possibly teaching at Baylor, held great appeal. Through a series of minor miracles, which I am truly convinced are the result of divine intervention, I was once again selected for Navy sponsored graduate education and began graduate studies at the University of Iowa in pursuit of a PhD in the summer of 1995. It is interesting to note that I selected Iowa on the recommendation of LTC George Gisin, a graduate of both the Army-Baylor program and University of Iowa. Doctor Gisin, a past Army-Baylor Program Professor and Director, was a wonderful mentor through this process and remains a trusted advisor to this day.

While at Iowa, it was my pleasure to work with Professor Samuel Levy whose interest in leadership informed and fueled my own. Also, I was truly blessed to work with Professor James Price, whose work in organizational commitment and turnover served as the basis for my doctoral dissertation. It is significant to report that I was one in a series of military PhD's who worked with both of these wonderful men while at Iowa. Colonel Joe Constable, COL Wayne Sorenson, and COL Paul Brooke also completed their doctoral dissertations under their guidance.

Toward the end of my dissertation year, I was called to discuss my post-PhD job assignment. I was fearful that I would be asked to fill a PhD billet in Washington DC, but was hoping that instead I would be assigned to the Army-Baylor program as a Professor. The conversation began in typical fashion with the "detailer" indicating that he had "such a deal for me!" To my surprise it was the Baylor program position that he was offering. I did my best to contain my excitement and "graciously" accepted the assignment.

I arrived at Baylor in August of 1998 as a freshly hooded PhD with a Doctorate in Health Management and Policy. I began co-teaching Strategic Management with Dr Chuck Wainright in January of the following year to the class of 2000. It is not an overstatement to say that the first year was very challenging and I often wondered whether I would survive the teaching experience. However, I had wonderful mentors, to include Dr Jody Rogers who provided great insight and advice throughout my time at Baylor, especially during that critical first year. There are three other individuals who not only assisted me personally, but have had crucial, and significant roles in, and influence upon the Baylor program--COL Dick Harder, LTC Brett Walker, and Dr Dave Mangelsdorff. All three personify commitment and loyalty and have done much, over many years, to strengthen our program. We who are graduates of this program owe them much.

In June of 1999, I became the Deputy Director of the Program and in Jun 01, I became the first non-Army Director in the program's 50-year history. It is now Sep 03; I have completed my 5th year with the program, have turned over the reins to my friend and colleague LTC Shonna Mulkey, and will retire from the military by the year's end. I believe in this program, and more importantly, in the health care professionals it produces. The Army-Baylor program has a legacy of preparing exceptionally committed and competent leaders for service within the federal health care system. It has been my privilege to contribute to this legacy by being part of an exceptionally gifted and committed faculty for the past 5 years. Without question, my time at Baylor has been the most rewarding and significant of my 30-year military career and I am most thankful for having been given the opportunity to serve my country by educating the next generation of federal health care leaders.

Shonna L. Mulkey, JD, MHA, PhD

I had the good fortune to be born at Wilford Hall Medical Center, the child of Mary Jane and Ty Mulkey. There, I spent my first 24 hours in intensive care doing my best to hold on to life in spite of failing lungs while my mother said the rosary nonstop and my dad slept in the car in a happy state of unknowing bliss. To this day, my mother credits my survival to the fact that it was a great hospital with wonderful providers and the latest medical equipment. That, and all those Hail Mary's she said. Fast forward 28 years and I have graduated from college with a dual major in Psychology and Theology, have a law degree, and am pursuing a PhD in Political Science from a good Jesuit institution, Fordham University, in New York City, NY. How in the world did I end up in the Army and in the Baylor Program?

My decision to do both was fostered in large part by Baylor Graduate, LTC Bob Galloway. I had the good fortune to work for LTC Galloway as a reservist on a short tour and later as my first boss on active duty. When I began the short tour at the Academy of Health Sciences, I intended to stay on active duty for only 179 days, a good way for a poor graduate student to make a few extra bucks. But in that tour, I was so impressed with the work that we were doing, and particularly with LTC Galloway as a boss, that when he encouraged me to apply for active duty, I thought it was a great idea. The reserves had been a way to supplement my income and no more, but LTC Galloway demonstrated to me that it was possible to pursue scholarly interests while serving in the Army, and, more than that, the AMEDD mission was an honorable one. Until then, my image of the Soldier was not very positive. After meeting LTC Galloway, I gained another perspective about Soldiers and about Viet Nam. In addition to being a Soldier and a scholar, LTC Galloway was also a leader who never failed to support his people. He took great pride in furthering the interests of his subordinates. He had just completed an assignment as a professor in the Baylor Program and so he talked about it often and still had a steady stream of visiting students in his office. I had no idea until I met him that it was possible to become a professor while serving in the Army. While many 70As aspire to become Deputy Commander for Administrations (DCAs), I never did. The example of a scholar who was also a real leader, and the possibility of contributing in a way that I felt suited to contribute, is what brought me in. I am very grateful for the diversity of the 70A field.

Shortly after coming on active duty, I was reassigned as a Company Commander in the 187th Medical Battalion. In the many assignments since, I have never achieved a greater level of responsibility. Having a company of 550 AIT students and a cadre of seven senior NCOs was an awesome experience. Due to the size of the company and the age of the Soldiers, I had ample opportunity to guide and counsel many individuals who were embarking on a new life endeavor, one that could serve them well throughout their lives, or one that could end in disaster. Because it was an academic environment, I could relate to the students difficulties and frustrations, and to their academic failures as well. I count those as the most productive years of my career. I have never had another position that challenged me as much or gave me the opportunity to influence so many individuals during a critical point in their lives.

Near the end of my company command, I had to decide whether or not to take a subsequent assignment as a 70A. Lieutenant Brian Foley, at PERSCOM, offered me a 70A position at the MEDCOM but he also presented the Baylor course as an option. Since I hoped to someday teach there, I chose to attend the Baylor Program and I have never regretted that decision. As a new captain, I was among the most junior members of my class. Having never been assigned to an MTF, I felt a bit intimidated by it all. However, one of my fellow company commanders, Tim Rhodes, pulled me aside in the first week of Baylor and asked me to join a study group with himself, Pat Riley, Dave Kelty, and our class leader, Mary Savitsky. That study group was my saving grace and I will always appreciate Tim for asking me to join it. Mostly, we helped each other keep our sanity and we did a good job with that. I absolutely loved the subject matter taught in the Baylor Program. Compared to law school, it was like being in heaven. My fellow classmates were a big part of that--you form a bond during such an intense year and the solidarity I felt with my classmates is still a very important part of my life. I am proud to be an MSC, but there can be little sense of community with some 3,500 people, most of whom I have never met. There is a shared experience that we Baylor grads all have, regardless of corps and age. Whether it is with Dick Harder, class of 67, whom I see often, or the students I teach today, class of 2004, there is a sense of belonging that goes beyond any other type of community I've experienced in my professional life.

During my Baylor year, one of my professors, LTC Bill Brown, encouraged me to resume my doctoral work in Political Science, but with a new focus in Health Policy. That seemed to be a much more efficient option than starting over in a Health Care Administration doctoral program. So, while in Baylor, I wrote my doctoral proposal. I have to credit being back in an academic environment with giving me the impetus to finish it while so many miles from New York City--that, and Commander Bill Lambert, my Health Policy professor, who clearly loved the subject and inspired in me a love of it as well. Memorable people and events during Baylor include Mary Savitsky for her always kind and steady leadership throughout the year, Gary Crystal for his very strange but lovable sense of humor, and the skit that my OB/OT group taped and showed as our presentation to the class. In that tape, one of my classmates, I think it was Jerry Penner, got to say to Jane Allgood, "Jane, you ignorant slut" and have it considered part of a successful class assignment. It got a lot of laughs, especially from Jane.

After finishing the didactic year at Baylor, I went to Frankfurt as a resident. My preceptor was COL Bob Hawkins. He was a wonderful preceptor, a kind and soft-spoken gentleman, and a true partner with COL Kirchdoerffer, the Commander, in running the hospital. Watching the two of them provided me with an excellent example of a great working relationship between a Commander and a DCA in a very well run hospital. At the end of my residency year, I took a position in Wurzburg as Chief, Clinical Support Division. I cannot say that my didactic year prepared me for the difficult personal dynamics that I had to deal with in my first year there while working for the DCCS. The tension between the DCA and the DCCS was a constant source of stress for me. My primary learning experience in that assignment came from being the JCAHO Project Officer. The excellent lectures in our Baylor QA course, provided by LTC Ann Brazil, certainly helped greatly in that position. Ann saved many a JCAHO project officer with her sound advice and quick wit. I know she saved me. Although I now teach Quality in the Baylor course, I am still in awe of her tremendous knowledge about quality in military medicine. Other fellow Baylor comrades in Europe included Scott Hendrickson, Randy Howard, Joel Bales, and Pete Shaul who were JCAHO Project Officers at their facilities and so we had an opportunity to experience the Baylor network at its best. The next year, the death of Pete Shaul was a tremendous blow to all who knew him. He was admired by so many for his compassion, intelligence, and willingness to share what he knew with others. For the past 3 years, I have attended the Baylor Closing Ceremony and am always gratified to hear the "Pete Shaul Peer Award" being given to the class mate who is most honored by his peers. The award was initiated and funded by Pete's classmates, Class of 1989-1991.

After my tour in Europe, I proceeded to a policy analyst position in what was then a new creation, a Lead Agency. At Region 10 in Northern California, I learned a great deal about TRICARE. My boss, COL Ken Ansell, USAF, called us "pioneers" and we experienced all the excitement and frustration involved in being pioneers. It was a great assignment and I believe my Managed Care course taught by COL Ron Hudak served me very well, particularly the emphasis on military health care, the Catchment Area Management Program, and CHAMPUS Reform Initiative. While he worked us to death in that course, he ensured that we learned a great deal. While at Region 10, I completed my dissertation and defended it in New York City. Much more importantly, I adopted my first child, Amy, from China, and as all parents know, my life was forever changed!

After completing my assignment with the Lead Agency and obtaining my PhD, I went after that job I had always wanted, teaching in the Baylor Program. I didn't succeed, but did manage to get close to the Academy of Health Sciences. Hoping I could get my foot in the door by volunteering to teach a course, I took a position against the advice of my assignment officer, LTC Bob Foster, as Chief, Provider Actions Branch, Quality and Accountability Division, MEDCOM. It was a position that entailed oversight of adverse actions against physicians and initiation of reports to the National Practitioner Data Bank. I now refer to it as "the most hated MSC position in the AMEDD." Bob, you were right! After surviving that job by the skin of my teeth, and thanks to the sage advice of a very dear friend and long time colleague, LTC Karen Wagner, I interviewed for and was accepted in a new position as Policy Analyst, TRICARE Division, MEDCOM. I enjoyed that position immensely and worked for two terrific people, COL Karen Ferguson, and LTC Tim Rhodes, a Baylor classmate. In addition to Tim, I worked alongside LTC John Felicio and later for LTC Joel Bales and COL Tom Broyles. Colonel Martha Lupo followed COL Broyles and both were excellent mentors. So many talented Baylor grads in one small office--it was a wonderful 18 months. Then, just as I had almost given up on ever getting to teach in Baylor, a position came open. Thanks largely to the help of my good friend and Baylor colleague, LTC Mary Garr, and the understanding of a great boss, COL Harrison Hassell, I was accepted for a position on the Baylor faculty.

During my first year on the faculty, I adopted my second daughter, Cady, also from China. My dream family and dream job had both come true--I feel sure it was all those Hail Marys! As I reflect on it, the friends, bosses, and colleagues I've known due to the Baylor connection, have influenced my entire career. Every quarter I'm asked to speak with potential 70A students attending the Advanced Course. The question they never fail to ask is: If I can become a DCA from any 70 AOC, why should I become a 70A? I tell them this: The 70A field is more than a DCA producing field. It offers diversity and so many possibilities such as policy analyst positions at RMCs, MEDCOM, OTSG, and HA/TMA. These positions require you to look at the big picture and in them you can have far reaching influence. If you decide to be a DCA, you will be prepared. If you choose another path, you might obtain a doctorate, and, finally, the opportunity to be a professor in this great Baylor Program. I can honestly look them in the eye and say it has been the greatest career I could imagine.
COPYRIGHT 2005 U.S. Army Medical Department Center & School
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:U.S. Army Medical Department Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:6691
Previous Article:Defining the future of army dentistry.
Next Article:The evolution of the United States Army ambulance.


Related Articles
KC TECHNOLOGY: BLUETOOTH QUALIFICATION FOR MICROSTACK PROFILES.
City Club of Eugene to launch study program on racism.
Your source for sourcing.
Political graduate schools.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters