Author Bios

Courtney Allen

Courtney Allen

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Courtney had bariatric surgery in Dec 2012.

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Gerald Brown

Gerald Brown

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My name is Rev. Dr. Gerald Brown and I am the Chaplain Supervisor for NKCH. I grew up in Liberty, MO and graduated from what is now Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. I did my doctoral work at the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. I have been a church pastor, not-for-profit organization executive, and a hospital chaplain. I have been on the staff at NKCH since 2004. I have been married to my wife Susan for 43 years. We have three adult children -- all of them graduates of NKC High School -- and five grandchildren. When I have free time, I enjoy reading, writing, cross stitch or needlepoint (very relaxing!) and playing the trumpet. I like the Northland because it is "home" and it has just about everything close that I might need.

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Jesse Pena

Jesse Pena

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Jesse Pena, Live Blue* Wellness Specialist, received his bachelors of science in Corporate Recreation and Wellness from Northwest Missouri State University. After years of trying the newest fitness craze and seeing no real results he decided to make it his passion. Jesse became a certified personal trainer through two organizations, N.A.S.M. and I.S.S.A. He ensures everyone he trains recognizes that fitness is just one component in achieving a healthy lifestyle. He cuts through all of the fitness confusion/deceptions and trains his clients explicitly on scientific principle. * Live Blue is a community partner of the Hospital.

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Joy Freeman

Joy Freeman

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I am an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches, USA and am also Board Certified through the Association of Professional Chaplains. You will find me most often in the course of the day in the Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, or on the Maternity Units. When life is falling apart, often what is needed is someone who can be there to listen or just sit a person with no time constraints. It is this being there, a quiet, calming presence in the storms of life that draws me to chaplaincy and keeps me coming back each day. When not at work you will find me at home with my family or participating in one of my many church activities. My greatest joy in life is being a mother and wife. I enjoy a good mystery or fantasy novel. You might find me baking bread, working on a scrapbook, or practicing Tai Chi or Tae Kwon Do. If I were to give one piece of advice, it would be to work to maintain a balance in life of work, family, and activities that will sustain you personally.

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Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips

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I grew up in the Detroit area in Michigan and attended college in Springfield, MO. There I began to date Linda, to whom I’ve now been married for 36 years. We have two kids and 6 grandkids, whom I am told are the rewards parents get for not killing their kids. I have always been an athlete. If it has a ball, I have probably played it. Tennis and basketball are my main games, but I enjoy many others. Because I have always been active in sports, I never really went through that period where most people get where they allow themselves to get out of shape. It was a decision I made early on that I did not want to get old as I aged. So far that has worked out well. I compete with men half my age and can more than hold my own. It seemed a natural career move when I became a personal trainer 6 years ago. I had been working in a golf and fitness center as the Membership Director. It was my personal mission in that role to make all our members feel like they were part of a community, at least they would know one person when they walked in our doors. Customer service is still a high priority with me. The client and his or her needs is my highest priority. I was certified through NETA and have trained nearly 100 clients in 4 different gyms over the last 6 years.

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Kristin Rezen

Kristin Rezen

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Kristin had gastric bypass surgery in Oct 2014.

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Lisa Thorson

Lisa Thorson

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I have been a recruiter for North Kansas City Hospital since 2007. I love my job. When I am driving here, I cannot wait to get here – even on Monday mornings! I have the opportunity to meet new people every day and connect people with a great career here at the hospital. It is very rewarding to hear the excitement of a new found job and the appreciation of the new hire to receive much needed benefits. Prior to North Kansas City Hospital, I recruited in the financial industry at Citibank for 8 years in a customer service / collections environment. There I discovered my passion interacting with others and building relationships with hiring managers. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Park University. I chose Human Resources because there are many areas to specialize and you can easily transition into other roles within Human Resources. My recruiting responsibilities offer a great deal of variety to include many of the Allied Health areas (Rehab Services, Laboratory Services, Pharmacy, and Respiratory), Case Management, Food and Nutrition Services, Guest Services, Home Health, Information Technology and Plant Services. I enjoy participating in career events and coaching job seekers. My advice is to be clear and concise when you complete job applications and information on your resume. These documents tell your story of how your job history and skills fit our open position. My favorite thing about the Northland is one minute you are seeing shopping areas and 5 minutes later you come across cows in a pasture. I have encountered loose cows running down the road or stopped in the middle of the road several times!

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Registered Dietitians

Registered Dietitians

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Compassionate, eager, enthusiastic, and diverse might be some of the words used to describe this talented group of women. This healthcare team has worked with a gamut of patients including those diagnosed with diabetes, taught classes for patients who have undergone open heart surgery, educated patients who are faced with the difficult decision to have life changing bariatric surgery, or have prescribed medical nutrition therapy for the critically ill. This group of dietitians are friends, mothers, wives, athletes, volunteers, and devoted professionals to the ever changing world of healthcare. Most of the dietitians went to colleges in the Midwest (MU, K State, Iowa State, and Ohio State) and have made their homes in Kansas City, both Missouri and Kansas. Our team mottos are, “Everything In Moderation” and “All foods fit.”

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Julie

Julie

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Julie had bariatric surgery in Nov. 2012. Her blog post are from her journal and are not in real-time. Continue to follow her progress and she shares her journey.

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