Seeing the big picture
My belief of what health “is” and what health could be has driven me to ask more of myself and the systems we live in. Health, in my mind is solely the ability to do… and our heart’s desires, aspirations and abilities should fill in the blank. My health is the vehicle I use to accomplish all that my life has been designed to achieve. I firmly believe that at the core of all of us lies our life and the health that moves us through our existence. The greater the vehicle the more exciting, comfortable, and enjoyable the ride through life is.
My story begins as a young boy subjected to homelessness with my mom and older brother. I was exposed to rampant substance misuse, addiction, extreme poverty, inadequate housing, food insecurity, violence, and communities’ misunderstanding of health, all before I reached middle school. These experiences challenged me to believe that there was more to life than this. I then used my passion for learning to overcome the statistically improbable to become an example and leader to others like me and my son Jaiden.
One byproduct of loving health, in all of its forms, ushers in the concept that we deliver to ourselves, our families, friends and commitments, a better more engaged us. This is where I live. This is where my conviction of health and awareness push me to engage myself and all those like me to be mindful and purposeful about defining health in a way that’s inclusive, inviting and most importantly sustainable.
My journey has taken me all over the world, and put me in some important roles in several industries along the way. I’ve met numerous people, with vast and varying ideas of health, healthcare and communities. I’ve also failed, looked ridiculous and had to push myself further than where I felt comfortable going, all to understand how health works and where I belong in the conversation of communities and the social determinants of health.
I am a visionary, who sees the big picture and an optimist most of the time. My degree in Global Health has molded my thinking and shaped my view of how things at the macro level work and where the opportunities to make improvements exist.
I’ve served in the Marines for four years, am a personal trainer, directed state government offices, and worked in communities throughout Arizona addressing health disparities. I’ve also worked for three fortune 500 companies in sales and have consulted for years on the why and how of health delivery.
I encourage you to join me in thinking differently about what health could be for yourself and your community. I also urge you to be more curious, ask questions with persistence, and live with purpose. Our journey starts the moment we decide we’re ready.