Springfield, MO

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2011 Health Care Champion Honoree: David Hoover

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It would be hard to work in the health care industry for 36 years without learning a thing or two along the way, and David Hoover has racked up an extensive education in the field through training and on-the-job experience.

Hoover is a field paramedic with CoxHealth Emergency Medical Services in Christian County. Hoover earned his emergency medical technician’s license in 1975 from the EMS Bureau of the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services.

He’s also licensed as an EMT-paramedic and a mobile EMT paramedic, and he holds numerous certifications, including advanced life support and hazardous materials operations.

Hoover has worked with Cox since 1987 and in his current position since 2009.

He provides basic care in transit – such as CPR and oxygen and blood control – and teaches stress management for new employees in his service area, which comprises nearly all of Christian County.

“We have to figure out how to help each other so that we continue to survive and work,” Hoover says, pointing to a number of factors that can affect health care professionals, such as post-traumatic and acute-stress syndromes and dealing with injuries and deaths.

“I’m a person who personally has learned to deal with the stress of other peoples’ emergencies and not make it my own, most of the time.”

Hoover nurtured his love of teaching 2005–09 through Ozark Health Ventures, a joint CoxHealth and St. John’s initiative. Hoover worked as a consultant to help prepare 21 hospitals in 18 southwest Missouri counties, including the five-county Springfield metropolitan statistical area and Jasper County.

As a planner and coordinator for the initiative, Hoover was involved in preparing hospitals for evacuation should the need arise.

That preparedness likely helped St. John’s in Joplin deal with the May 22 tornado, which hit the hospital and left five patients and one visitor dead.

While the pressures of the job could make it easy to get burned out after nearly four decades, Hoover is motivated by doing a job he enjoys.

“I really like helping people, making people less afraid, making them feel like they’re getting help, making them comfortable ... and safe,” he says. “It’s a rewarding job whether they know you helped them or not. You have to have some self-satisfaction out of it, or you won’t be very happy at it. It’s just kind of a lifestyle almost.”

Click here for full coverage of the 2011 Salute to Health Care.
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