Faculty Focus: Jerry Perkins
College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
Years at GCU: 2 years, 7 months
- Bachelor of Science in Biology (Microbiology capstone) with minors in Chemistry and Physics
- Master’s in Business (Health Care Administration)
- Doctoral Candidate, Ph.D. of Public Health, Epidemiology (estimated 2020 completion)
Notable research in your field:
Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors: Associate
- Chairperson SSR Part AA (May 2013 to Sept. 2016) — Registration and Radiation Safety Requirements for Lasers
- Chairperson SSR Part BB (July 2014 to Sept. 2016) — Tanning Facilities
The suggested state regulations written and published by these working groups include team members from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), various state compliance officials (volunteers), and medical associations that use or include a scope of practice that facilitates radiation exposure by nuclear medicine, X-ray, medical laser or medical RF devices. State Suggested Regulations (SSRs) are generic minimum guidelines for codification by individual states written to reference state specific legislative statutes and authorities using best practices and published white papers to consolidate minimum safety protocols, educational and continuing educational minimums, credential or licensing minimums, and other regulatory standards.
Notable employment in your field:
- State of Arizona Compliance Program Manager
- Radiation Regulatory Agency
- Supervised up to eight health physicists (medical) who perform duties related to regulating two radiation protection programs in X-ray and non-ionizing radiation.
- Supervisor for Arizona of compliance inspections under contract with the FDA for the Mammography Quality Standards Act (1994) (MQSA) annual audits, certification of medical physicists and review of continuing education requirements for radiologists and mammography technicians.
- Reduced compliance deficiencies for all state-registered facilities from 62% in X-ray to 41% and from 96% behind in laser to 47%.
- Drafted regulations to match or reflect federal and state statutes and present new regulations, with legal counsel, to the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council for final approval.
- Experienced in specialized public health programs in radiation protection and developed public health strategies related to safety programs in mammography, medical and industrial X-ray use, nuclear medicine, medical and industrial lasers, oncology health physics and other radiation programs.
What are you most passionate about in your field?
I have had the opportunity to participate in health care for decades in clinical positions, managerial positions, policy (governmental) positions and now in instruction for the next group of health care professionals. I am most passionate about ensuring the flexibility of learners to adjust to the ever advancing field of health care so that the “next big thing” in the health care industry can occur for the benefit of all.
Additionally, I have been able to participate with a wonderful local charity since its inception in Goodyear. Homeless Youth Connection (HYC) works with educators, government agencies, faith-based organizations and compassionate community members and donors to assist homeless teens in the greater Phoenix area with basic needs and support to complete a high school education. In 2009, the founder of the organization asked my wife and I to participate with his Rotary Club and church in order to help service the needs of the growing homeless population in the West Valley. From helping just one teen graduate that first year, HYC now averages support for more than 700 students each year. Although this is progress, the Department of Education reported more that 30,000 homeless teens in Arizona in 2014 (and I am sure the number has increased the last five years). There is more to do!
What aspect of your teaching style is the most distinctive and/or memorable?
I enjoy tying real life examples to topical course objectives to truly excite students about the possibilities of a health care career after graduation. Many of the students I have had the privilege to work with start the program not sure where their health care interest lies. I have been fortunate to share a significant number of areas in health care each term while also ensuring that they go to job fairs, shadow a job or go on an internship to prepare for future uses of their earned degree.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I learned to swim as an adult (I am a lifelong learner) in Arizona by my 39th birthday solely to complete my first triathlon before turning 40. Since then I have finished dozens of sprint, Olympic, half and full Ironman races. I love the atmosphere of group competitions that embrace all ages regardless of skill if a participant has the endurance to finish inside the time limits. This also has been used to plan family vacations to scenic destinations that we enjoy after the triathlon is over.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
As a child, I was homeless and in foster care. I was lucky that my grandparents qualified as foster parents, so that I had some connection to biological family until I was adopted.