Who's Who 2012 - Robert Grayhek

Monday, March 19, 2012
LAURA SIMON ~ lsimon@semissourian.com

In his role as director of trauma and disaster services at Saint Francis Medical Center, Robert Grayhek participates in emergency operations planning and testing to make sure Southeast Missouri is prepared when disasters occur. He also works with local schools, police and the Missouri Department of Transportation to teach kids about preventing head and spinal injuries through the ThinkFirst Foundation. Grayhek, a native of Lienz, Austria, lives in Oak Ridge with his wife Sheila and two children, 8-year-old Erin and 5-year-old Ian. He's been a T-ball coach for three years and is active in his church as an adult Sunday school teacher and vacation Bible school teacher.

What do you love about your work?

There are so many things to love about Saint Francis Medical Center: The family atmosphere, programs like the Caring Fund that make sure employees have someone to reach out to in difficult situations, celebrations when goals and milestones are met. ... Most of all, I love knowing that the things we do every day make a difference in people's lives.

How is your career field growing or changing?

Nursing practice continues to evolve. It has become highly specialized, with certifications available in many different nursing fields.

What's the secret to your success?

There really is no secret. Great mentorship, talented co-workers, teamwork and a belief in what you are doing.

Tell us some more about your work with ThinkFirst. Why is this issue so important to you?

ThinkFirst is an injury prevention program that allows us to go into schools and educate young people about their personal vulnerability and the importance of making safe choices. The ThinkFirst message is: You can have a fun-filled, exciting life, without hurting yourself if you "ThinkFirst." Buckle up. Drive safe and sober. Avoid violent situations. Lower your risk to fall. Wear a helmet. Check the water before you dive. Use your mind to protect your body! Trauma is the No. 1 killer of people age 1 to 44, with ages age 15 to 24 the highest risk group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these injuries are preventable. By providing education to school-age children, we hope to create awareness of the consequences of poor decisions. One child listening is worth the effort because these types of injuries never affect an individual alone -- they affect families, groups and often communities.

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