Did you ever attempt to write a blog introducing yourself? It is not as easy as it sounds. In thinking about an introduction, one must think about his own identity in order to explain that to others. That can be a revealing process with both good and bad connotations. For example, when I think of completing the sentence, “Todd Dixon is a ____” various words come to mind, and some better than others. I am certain that there are some that would place choice words in the space, but let’s avoid that shall we? I will attempt to fill in that blank in a way that paints the most honest picture I have of myself, without all of the rainbows and unicorns that one might find on a Facebook page (not mine, of course).
I am a nurse. Everyone would like to say that he or she is separate from his or her occupation. Unfortunately, that is not usually true, and, in my case I can say that my identity has been very much entwined with my chosen occupation. Unlike a lot of you altruistic people out there, I did not become a nurse to “help people.” Hey, just being honest. I went to nursing school so that I could have a “recession proof” income. Know what I learned? That nursing is so much more and so much better than that. I learned that I do enjoy helping people. I learned that I had empathy. I learned that there is so much more to life than a recession proof income. I ended up being pretty good at nursing and was so blessed to work with some really great nurses and doctors. I was honored to have taken care of so many people (I estimate about 10,000 during my time at the bedside). Like most nurses, I worked multiple jobs in order to support my family. At the time it seemed like such a drag, but I was so fortunate to have gained experience in so many different areas. I worked in every type of ICU, but my favorite was CVICU. I loved the controlled environment (no, I am not an ER nurse). I worked for years on a 40 bed Med/Surg unit (as my second job) and I worked in PACU (as my third job). My favorite nursing job of all was in the cath lab at the South Carolina Heart Center in Columbia. We did cath after cath and we were good at it. I think my favorite part of that was the teamwork. Nursing is so much more fun when the group operates as a team with the patient at the center of care, and that particular job was the essence of that.
I am a leader. I remember working nights at a hospital and wondering: “Why do we do things like we do them? This doesn’t make sense.” I decided that I wanted to do something to affect the way work was being done in nursing. To that end, I moved into management, which, as a committed clinician, I thought I would never do! I was fortunate to have made a difference as a Director of Critical Care and was able to move up through the ranks as a CNO, then a COO, and, eventually, a CEO. I can say that I have learned so much with each opportunity. I have been blessed to have worked with some of the greatest clinicians and leaders in our industry. I hope that I have been able to make an impact at each organization, by placing the patient at the center of care, and by improving processes to make work easier for clinicians. Through all of these experiences, I have realized that I love operations more than any of the other positions. Through operations I am able to touch so many areas of the hospital, and can impact the patients’ experience like no other position. I can have a conversation with Michael Robertson about the cooling tower one minute, and have a conversation with Carlos McCormack about the rapid infusers (his favorite subject) the next. There is such a wide range of possible things to consider, and it really appeals to my wide range of interests. I consider myself very blessed to have been able to come to Coliseum as COO. There are lots of processes to improve, but the people here are so genuine and kind, and that is the key ingredient.
I am a husband and father. In my opinion, there is no role more important than husband and father. I know it is a bold statement, but I really do have the best wife ever. My wife, Jennifer, is the smartest and most empathetic and loving person I have met. She is a former ER nurse, ICU nurse, and hospice nurse (imagine the person that can excel at that combination!). She is not currently practicing due to Psoriatic Arthritis (yes, like that golfer), which we hope will go into remission soon. We are so thankful for our four children, ages 18, 13, 8, and 3 (he will tell you “three and a half!”). As much as I enjoy being a nurse and a leader, this is my favorite job, and I am looking forward to winning the lottery so I can be a stay at home dad, which is my true aspiration in life.
I am a Christian. I have been blessed and forgiven and live in and through His grace. Always remember that there is no condemnation in Christ. If you want to know more about this, just ask me or check out Romans 8!
I like to have fun! I have a lot of interests, but no real hobbies. Hey, I have four kids, there is no time. I love cars of all descriptions as long as they are fast or classic or both. I love boats of all descriptions and look forward to owning another one soon (I sold my last one a couple of years ago-a terrible mistake!). I grew up with airplanes and love them as well, but can’t afford it, so I will just have to admire from afar. I love history, and actually have a degree in the subject, which has done me absolutely no good. It is fairly obvious by looking at me that I love food. My favorite restaurants are 5 & 10 in Athens and 82 Queen in Charleston (Yes, I have been to Natalia’s). I love to travel. My favorite destinations are the Lowcountry of South Carolina and anywhere in the Caribbean. Finally, I love University of Georgia football and am, once again, looking forward to the season.
So, that is a snapshot of who I think I am. If I haven’t met you, I hope to soon. Remember, my door is always open and you can also feel free to call me, text me, or email me with any ideas you have or any concerns you have. I also welcome good jokes. I will leave you with one of my favorite lines. I borrowed this from Gordon Liddy (a great American of Watergate fame): “What you think about is what you do and what you do is what you become”.