As a physician*, for over 30 years I have worked extensively in the field of public health and preventive medicine with a focus on designing public health service systems for children and youth with disabilities at the state and national levels. For 24+ years I was the Medical Director of the Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Services Program and served as the Title V CSHCN Director at the Texas Department of State Health Services. Currently, I continue working part-time as a medical consultant, however my energy has shifted to a direct focus on compassion. I serve as an Education Program Associate of the Charter for Compassion International, as a member of the Leadership Team of the Compassion Games International, and as Founder of Compassionate Austin. I made a shift in my work life to allow me to devote more creative energy to engaging people in the practice "3D" Compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth).
My commitment to compassion came from a personal desire to address the world issues of peace, health, and the environment. When I think about trying to make global change, I realize that the actions and policies of nations, states, and cities are important, as are the multitude of organizations and services projects that generate powerful impact. All of these levels of effort (global, national, regional, community) are critical and needed to support positive change. However, after all is said and done, what happens when people go home to their own life's reality? How do they live their lives? Global change ultimately depends on each of us and a critical mass of individuals choosing to make changes in the way we live day-to-day. I am convinced that world transformation depends on personal transformation in everyday life. I believe that positive change occurs when we each take steps in our own lives, and the more we practice, the stronger we become.
Based on these concepts, I have developed the Compassion Relays (a program of the Compassion Games) and work with the Charter for Compassion and CGI to engage people globally. The Relays motivate people to discover and do "3D" Compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth) in their daily lives. They help us see our world through the lens of compassion. The hope is that the Relays will provide a spark, an impetus, for people to adopt a lifelong habit of practicing daily compassion, ultimately leading to personal transformation and global transformation.
As part of my efforts to engage people in daily 3D compassion, I have created a mobile app, “Compassion Today!”. The native app (full function) is available at http://compassiontoday.mobapp.at/ for free download via the Apple and Google Play app stores. The app is a handy, one-stop portal to 3D compassion, providing access to a world of compassion resources with a few simple clicks.
My work with the Charter for Compassion International and the Compassionate Cities campaign inspired me to focus attention at the local level. I started "Compassionate Austin" in August, 2014. Compassionate Austin is a movement to strengthen the intention, practice, and impact of compassion in the Greater Austin community. Compassion as the essential power source for Austin's success and progress as a community of social innovation where ALL may thrive.
My current dedication to engaging people in compassionate action has evolved from my earlier work in which I created a simple practice called the "Olymp-i-a Challenge" to help people increase awareness and empathy and strengthen habits of peace, green-living, and health in their daily lives. The practice has a strong foundation in the research of positive psychology, empathy, happiness, and brain development and in the power of practice to generate positive change. I am author/administrator of the "Idea4Idea" website which provides details about the Olymp-i-a Challenge and has links to the Olymp-i-a Challenge publications (including the Olymp-i-a Challenge e-books) and the “Olymp-i-a Challenge: 3D Compassion” video.
Overall, my interests are many. I have done volunteer community service in Kenya and Ghana. I am an artist, poet, martial artist (4th degree black belt), marathon finisher (5) and I have directed/produced “The Gift,” a short-film with a story-line of compassion.
*My professional education and training: MD, Baylor College of Medicine; MPH, University of Texas School of Public Health; Preventive Medicine/Public Health residency, University of Michigan; board-certification, General Preventive Medicine and Public Health; & clinical work, Pediatrics.