By K. Richard Douglas
Medford, Oregon is a medical hub in the Rogue Valley. The city is the fourth largest metro area in Oregon and is in an area that offers some of the best recreation in Southern Oregon.
One reason the city is the medical hub of the area is because it is home to the Providence Medford Medical Center. One member of the medical center’s imaging service team is Matthew Frank, CBET, clinical imaging engineer. Frank had his sights set on a career as a clinician until he discovered the work done by those who maintain medical equipment.
“In high school, I had the opportunity to participate in a health occupation internship at a local hospital in Medford, Oregon. For a short time, I thought a career on the clinical side of health care was the direction I wanted my life to follow. Life, however, does not follow a straight line and during my internship, while rounding in the operating room, I met a member of the biomedical team,” Franks says.
“At that time, my thoughts about health care were singular, either you were in technology or health care but not both. After meeting the biomedical team, I realized there was a career path that included both clinical and technology. Over the next few months of the program, I found myself rounding more with the clinical engineers instead of the OR and ER staff where I was scheduled. This did put me in a fair amount of trouble with the instructor of the program, but I did not care as I had found a career that I truly enjoyed and that my talents applied specifically,” he says.
He enrolled at a technical college in Phoenix, Arizona and received a degree in computer electronics. After graduation, he applied and was hired by a third-party service company in Gilbert, Arizona.
“This was in the late ’90s and formal biomedical training was in its infancy. Like most at that time, my formal training consisted of a six-month training period with a senior technician, on-the-job training (OJT), and manufacturer training schools,” Frank says.
“Once I entered into the imaging world, I was able to plan a more formalized approach. When we started our imaging service department, we partnered with RSTI for their phased training. This served two functions; to provide the basic knowledge needed to understand the fundamentals of medical imaging, and met the perquisite requirements that most manufacturers have before attending modality specific training. After attending RSTI, I scheduled vendor-specific modality training over the next five years for X-ray, cath lab, fluoro, CT and O-arm,” Frank says.
After working for a third-party service provider for several years, he was promoted to a service manager position. He managed 10 service technicians and support staff. He was in this position for five years until he and his family decided to move back home to the Medford area.
“I accepted a position at Providence Medford Medical Center as a BMET II in 2008. After a short time, I was asked to join the imaging team as a clinical imaging engineer. I am still serving in this role today, along with a project management emphasis,” Frank says.
“During this time, our organization was realizing the cost of service and contract responsibility. To help combat these costs, myself and a co-worker were asked to start the imaging program for the Southern Oregon region. We were tasked with implementing this program over a five-year period which must include radiation oncology, CT, cath lab, X-ray/fluoro and ultrasound. This was no small task. This involved contract negotiation with our vendors, cooperation and trust from every imaging department and a financial commitment from administration,” Frank adds.
Family and Team Work
Frank enjoys playing a blues or getting out on two wheels when not on the job.
“I am a guitar guy and love the blues. When I have the opportunity, you can find me in my music room working on songs. I am also a motorcycle enthusiast. Street bikes or dirt bikes; I do not have a preference. Although I will drop most things, if I have an opportunity to get down to the sand dunes in Glamis, California,” Frank says.
He says that his greatest accomplishment is his family.
“My wife, Marisa, is an amazing person; I am the best version of myself when I am with her. We were married in October 2001 and, since then, have had four children; three boys and a girl. My oldest, Ethan, is a sophomore in high school and is on the Rogue Rowing team. Hudson is 12 years old, a seventh grader, and is playing on the Southern Oregon Timbers premier soccer team. Owen is 10 and is going into the fifth grade. He is on the Superior swim team. Megan is the youngest, and is going into the third-grade, and loves to play soccer with the Timbers recreational team. Needless to say, we are very busy with sports. I am very proud of all four of them,” Frank says.
He says that he has learned that personal accomplishment is never 100 percent the work of the individual.
“Being successful is as much the sum of the relationships a person makes as it is personal growth. I have many accomplishments in my career and have worked extremely hard for those achievements, however, I never did it alone or without council. It is true, and I would like to share an old saying many may already know; ‘If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.’ I have had a core of people around me that create success no matter what the challenge may be,“ Frank says.
We’re sure that his team feels the same way.