Creating a LegacyOct 01, 2017 ● By Dawn Bluemel Oldfield
Mr. Barr, the lead radiology technologist at Baylor Scott & White – Centennial, shares, “I was born in Shreveport, La. My mother gave birth to me when she was 16 years old. Both of her parents were deceased when I was born, but she had four older siblings. They made sure we were taken care of. We lived in several low-income neighborhoods as we rotated between family members’ homes. I thank God they were focused on education and they knew how to survive. None of them really had a lot of money, but their love and determination went a long way.”
Despite the fact that their parents were deceased, all six children attended college and have degrees. “By seeing that, I was motivated to go to college myself. I attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe and have a bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology.”
Mr. Barr and his wife, Miranda, relocated from Shreveport, where she was also born and raised, and they have lived in Plano for 15 years. They have two children — a 7-year-old son and a 23-year-old daughter. Mrs. Barr is also a radiologic technologist and she performs CT scans and MRI exams.
While Plano is home, Frisco is near and dear to the Barr family’s heart. Mr. Barr says, “I love Frisco because the city is a great place and there has been tremendous growth in the 15 years that we have lived in Collin County. Everything we need and enjoy is within 30 miles of our home. I like the outdoors, especially fishing, and when I get a little tired of the city life, I can go to some of the surrounding rural cities to enjoy nature.”
Growth and need is what brought Baylor Scott & White - Centennial to Frisco. Mr. Barr has been with the hospital for 13 years, before they officially opened their doors in 2004, and he says his position as lead radiology tech is demanding, but rewarding. “I am always busy. I have other duties besides X-raying patients. I complete several audits monthly, in addition to performing quality control testing on equipment. I am the staff educator. Therefore, I educate and train new hires. I am a member of the radiation safety/MRI safety committee at the hospital and I also assist with keeping the imaging services department inspection-ready. Healthcare is heavily-regulated and new rules roll out every year.”
Mr. Barr says one of the things he loves best about his job is creating process improvements and educating staff. “When we receive new hires from other facilities, I like to hear about the processes from their last job. ‘Work smarter, not harder’ is my motto. Streamlining processes can lead to happier employees and fewer mistakes.”
Mr. Barr humbly glosses over the numerous awards and recognitions he has received, including several Heart awards from his facility, and a Tenet Hero nomination that allowed him to be recognized by the Dallas/Fort Worth hospital council this year. Additionally, he was voted 2017 Employee of the Year. Mr. Barr smiles, and shares, “I consider my family’s ongoing community service an accomplishment — my personal family and my work family. It is great to do things for others and not just for ourselves. We take care of others and God takes care of us. I think the reason I was voted 2017 Employee of the Year was because of my compassion and empathy. My facility found out about some of the things I did from a Facebook post written by a patient’s mother.”
It turns out, a young boy needed an X-ray and was not happy about it. After the exam was performed, Mr. Barr offered him some of the stickers they have for kids. He looked at the stickers and appeared disappointed. “I asked a couple of my co-workers to help me find some up-to-date stickers. We ordered the stickers and mailed them to his home. Our human resources director read the post at a bed huddle meeting we attend each morning,” Mr. Barr shares.
On another occasion, the team had a paraplegic patient who needed new gait belts. He had become paralyzed within the last year and finances were an issue for him. Mr. Barr told his director about the patient and informed her that he was going to purchase and send him a few new gait belts. “She wanted to contribute and we mailed him a couple of belts,” he shares.
While appreciative of the professional accolades, Mr. Barr says, “I often hear about people’s accomplishments and when I do, I often wonder if they are doing anything to better the lives of others. That is what my family views as an accomplishment. My purpose is to lead by example. Money is not the only way we can help each other. I am always looking for ways to help people. I routinely educate men and boys by showing them how to perform automotive and home repairs. This seems to be a lost art these days. My step-father made sure I knew how to fix things because it kept us from spending money unnecessarily.”
Mr. Barr concludes, “My wife and I are passionate about giving because of our humble beginnings. I just try to bring a little joy to people whenever possible. My dream would be that people would help each other without being cynical, driven by hidden agendas and money. I believe in having love and compassion for your fellow man. It feels great to help others!”
One of the great influences in the Barrs’ lives is ONE Community Church. “They talk about real issues and nothing is sugar-coated. This is what keeps us really grounded and thriving to do more and be our best selves. One day, when this life is over, we would like to hear God say ‘well done.’”
Our community is continuously blessed by individuals in the healthcare industry. Like Mr. Barr, their selflessness helps others in times of stress or great need. Is there someone you know you should thank for their service to the community?