Eric Daniel Zimmerman, A+ FACHT
Essential Support Staff Leader Healthcare Leader of the Year
My schooling. I went to Frederick County Career and Technology Center, Frederick High School and some college education at Hood College in Frederick, MD.
HISTORY IN HEALTHCARE
I have been working in Healthcare since 2011, The Buddy Project since 2007.
I have worked at St. Agnes Healthcare in Baltimore, Maryland in the Emergency Department and in the Sterile Processing/ Perioperative Services. I have over 500 Volunteer hours at St. Agnes, not including the time that I worked as a patient escort. I was paid for that job, but the commute between Frederick and Baltimore ate that up quickly. It was more for fun and to help out. At first, patient escort was not fun because I had to learn some things about maneuvering stretchers and beds in an old building but I quickly mastered the task. I was also put into some awkward positions. I stayed there from 2011 to 2016.
The Operating Room is where I really wanted to be at. I finally got there not long before I left St. Agnes. Why I left is an interesting story I would love to tell sometime. I worked briefly as an Operating Room Assistant at GBMC for a while. I ended up at Meritus in 2018 working in Biomed/ Clinical engineering, as I am a Computer Technician. From there I went to work as an Operating Room Assistant Volunteer. It was through the help of the American College of Healthcare Trustees and the chief nursing officer that I was able to land this role. They want me as a paid staff member, but I cannot take calls due to my other commitments.
I enjoy working in healthcare for a few reasons. I am fascinated with the Art and Science of Surgery and there have been many times where I was told that I should consider Medical School. I guess because of my organization, The Buddy Project, and my disability, I am afraid of venturing into a place where I would not have money to support myself and have to put in a lot of hours just to understand college level coursework. I have autism and I am a little slower, but when I grasp something I take off.
I enjoyed working with patients in the emergency department as, they are oftentimes going through tough and uncertain circumstances. I was able to be a companion to some and make them feel like they matter. Surgery is a passion of mine, but I worked in the Emergency Department as they needed help, and I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the happenings there. I have made a difference several times with people who where in bad spots and needed some company and or advice. I would also advocate for patients when needed.
I really look up to Dr. David Levien. He really cares about the patient and will do anything he can to help the patient. With ACHT, he has really made an organization that involves everyone to help make patient outcomes better. Where can a hospital or healthcare institution do better? Where can mistakes be caught? How can healthcare be more affordable through the elimination of waste? I met Dr. Levien when I was a patient of his and a volunteer at St. Agnes. He was chairman of surgery and he retired in 2012.
I also look up to Dr. Adam Mecinski. He runs a great Surgical practice in Frederick.
COVID 19? I have a lot to say about it. I am not for vaccine mandates as it does not take into account natural immunity. It is also not a "one size fits all" approach. It has caused a lot of division in our country. Also, misinformation needs to be handled better. I feel that a lot of patients who had lingering issues and comorbidities are the ones, especially recently that are being hospitalized and dying. That being said, the healthcare system was already understaffed before COVID. You add that surge of patients and it was a disaster.