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'The Best Job You Will Ever Have': Methodist Looking for Next Mobile 3D Mammography Coach DriverPublished: Nov. 4, 2020
Methodist Health System is looking for a new driver for its Mobile 3D Mammography coach. But applicants should know they’d have some pretty big shoes to fill.
After two years and thousands of miles behind the wheel, retiree Bob Karr isn’t stepping away completely. But he’s ready to share the job with someone new and do some traveling of his own.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to make a difference in the community,” he said.
Bringing Screenings to More People
Methodist’s Mobile 3D Mammography coach hit the streets in September 2018 with the goal of making screenings more accessible to the community. It was made possible thanks to donations from the Harper Family Foundation, community partners and Methodist employees.
Bob became its first paid driver almost by chance.
After closing his own engineering firm and retiring, he wanted something to keep him busy. One day he logged into LinkedIn – something he rarely does – and saw the job posting to drive the coach.
“And I thought, let’s give that a shot,” said Bob, who has his own RV. “I guess it was just meant to be.”
He dived headfirst into the job, which turned out to be more in-depth than simply driving. He helped determine storage options for the coach and developed a checklist for each day. He oversees the maintenance schedule and has a parking diagram for each location the coach serves.
“I do have a sense of ownership,” Bob said. “It kind of goes hand in hand. The reliability of the coach and all of its systems is essential. As a machine design engineer, the position was a perfect fit. But the thing that really strikes me is: We’re doing such a great thing in the communities that we serve.”
In just over two years of operation, the coach has gone from traveling two or three days a week to sometimes five. It has accompanied hundreds of screening events in Nebraska and Iowa, with stops including OneWorld Community Health Center in South Omaha, Charles Drew Health Center at Grant Street, the Methodist Community Health Clinic and dozens of area employers.
The little things Bob does make a big difference for the two mammography staff members on board – and, in turn, the patients they serve. Ashlee Murphy, RT(R)(M), coordinator for the coach, called Bob an invaluable team player.
“Honestly, without Bob, we wouldn’t be able to serve our community. And that’s a huge role,” she said. “We do find cancer. And if we weren’t at those locations, these patients might find out too late or in not enough time for their treatment. Their outcome could be a lot different.”
“Everyone Here Provides a Vital Role”
“I love problem-solving and continuous improvement,” Bob said. “I always have as an engineer.”
But there’s another reason driving the coach is such a good fit for him.
Bob, a prostate cancer survivor, had treatment and surgery at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center.
“In a way, driving is kind of payback to Methodist for the excellent care I received when I had my surgery,” he said. “Plus, I’m glad that I can help members of our community stay on top of their health care needs in this way.”
He added: “The sense of fulfillment is different from what I experienced in engineering. I wish I would have started in the health care industry many, many years ago. There are some really special people at Methodist. They are very dedicated and very willing to go beyond what’s expected of them. Everyone here provides a vital role.”
A Role That Changes Lives
While Bob is dialing back his schedule, he’ll still be around to drive the coach here and there and help his successor learn the ropes.
Murphy is currently booking dates for the coach in 2022, so the next driver can plan on staying busy. They can also expect to be a part of something that’s changing and saving lives.
“I would tell them that it’s the best job you will ever have,” Bob said.