Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Interesting Spring

Hello to our friends and family and welcome to the first entry on our new "blog". Yes, we are new at this, but it seems like a logical way to communicate with folks.

We have had an interesting Spring this year. Ryan abruptly lost his job a couple of months ago (late Feb. '07) after he volunteered that he had been participating in an unknown wrongful billing practice. It ends up that signing off on a "nurse's visit" is illegal because his "nurses" are actually "medical assistants" and do not qualify for this standard practice. Despite being trained this way 2 years prior, and being the top provider for UNHS's five clinics in the area, Ryan was asked to leave 5 minutes after volunteering this information. Obviously, this was devastating to him, especially after investing his blood, sweat, and tears to the betterment of the clinic. There was no reasoning with his superiors, and after some hurtful banter between attorneys, Ryan took a "resignation" and has moved on.

After starting his job at UNHS, Ryan became involved in a government loan repayment program which requires him to work at a designated underserved site for 2 years. He was 6 months shy of completing his commitment when his job ended. Unfortunately, there are no other available sites in the Nashville area (the closest one is 80+ miles away).

Not knowing what to do next, we considered several options. These included Ryan commuting 150 miles daily, him living away from the family during the week and home on the weekends, or just paying the money back (plus interest which would require taking out a home equity loan). Ryan being away from the family was not a good option, which led to the final option of the whole family going away.

When looking at the available sites around the country (and a few off the mainland), we decided to be adventurous. We are now planning to move to Saipan, a US Commonwealth island in the South Pacific (near Guam, between Japan and Australia) for a year. We plan to leave in late June. Vanderbilt has graciously given me a "leave of absence" for a year and I can come back to my same position when I return (my research grant will also be put on hold). I will work one day per week as a general neurologist on the island and spend the rest of the time with the kids at the beach!

Well, that is a lot of information but it is difficult to shorten the story. I have added some links about Saipan. We will plan to rent our house furnished for the year and rent a house or condo on Saipan.

Love to all!