Brevard Health Alliances Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ted Schuck Featured In National Publication, ‘The DO’
By Space Coast Daily // May 2, 2022
BREVARD COUNTY• MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Seven years ago, Alex Sher was an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with Brevard Health Alliance, Brevard County’s only Federally Qualified Health Center. During that time, Sher shadowed a rising star among BHA’s medical service providers, Dr. Ted Schuck.
Fast forward to Spring 2022, Sher is now in the process of advancing his own medical career as a second-year medical student at LMU-DCOM in Harrogate, Tenn. Schuck is now Chief Medical Officer at BHA.
Along with a stethoscope, Sher also brandishes a reporter’s notebook. And when offered the opportunity to pen one of 20 recurring columns for “The DO,” one of the first topics that came to mind for the doctor-in-the-making was the period he shared with Schuck as a mentee and mentor at BHA.
Since 1960 “The DO” has been the official publication of The American Osteopathic Association. Written by osteopathic physicians, by osteopathic physicians, the magazine went fully digital in 2010 and can be accessed at thedo.osteopathic.org.
Sher’s article, “From Philly to Florida: How this DO’s path led him to serve underserved patients,” is featured in the recent April 2022 publication. It focuses on community health centers like BHA and the contributions to communities made by medical service providers like Schuck, who works primarily with underserved patients.
When given the opportunity to contribute editorially to the “The DO,” Sher said his first thoughts were to devote some ink to medical professionals who might not necessarily capture the glitz and glamour of the profession, but who laser focus on patient care.
“I was selected to the Editorial Advisory Board at “The DO” magazine and also applied to be a writer of the column, DO to Know,” said Sher.
“When the board started brainstorming on potential DO’s to be featured in the column, I told them I wanted my column to be one that showcases a lot of the “silent heroes” of medicine. I wanted to feature the doctors that do not tend to make the loudest “noise in the news, but rather are more focused spending their time working with patients, students and the community.”
Sher said Dr. Schuck quickly came to mind from Schuck’s previous service with the National Health Service Corp and his leadership tenure at BHA which eventually led to Schuck’s appointment as BHA’s Chief Medical Officer.
“I told my editors about Dr. Schuck and BHA and they threw their support behind the idea. We got a beautiful article out of a long-distance interview and a community hero got a little recognition along the way. It was a win-win.”
Sher also drew upon his own first-hand experience as a backstory to the story he wrote.
“Brevard Health Alliance played a huge role in my development from a South Florida registered nurse to a nurse practitioner in Brevard County,” he explained.
“When I was at the University of Central Florida completing my Nurse Practitioner degree, I was placed with a BHA mentor. After graduating, I took my first job with BHA.”
Sher recalls that on his first day with BHA, he was told, “Welcome to the BHA family.”
Naturally nervous about combining a new job, new city and new profession, Sher said from the moment he walked into BHA, Schuck made him feel instantly welcomed and comfortable.
“Dr. Schuck showed me around the clinic and spent the day making me familiar and confident in my new role. It takes a special provider to do what we do at BHA. You cannot fake compassion and care for a community.”
Sher would depart BHA for a four-year stint working in urgent care, before he got his own urge to advance his career by beginning medical school in 2020.
He said on a whim he applied for a National Health Service Core Scholarship, a program mentioned to him by Schuck five years prior. He was awarded a very competitive scholarship and is now on a glide path that may well return him to working at a Federally Qualified Health Center, such as BHA.
Could the completion of Medical School bring this soon-to-be doctor full circle back to Brevard County?
“When I accepted this very competitive scholarship, it sets up a likely return to a Federally Qualified Health Center. I’m now starting my third year of medical school and will be completing my clinicals with Advent Ocala. When I graduate and complete residency, I hopefully can make my way back to Brevard County,” said Sher.
“I would love to continue my work at BHA. It would be quite the full circle adventure—my first day there as a NP, and a first day there as a doctor, too. Who better to welcome me back to the BHA family then Dr. Schuck, now the Medical Director?”
Those sentiments are shared by his mentor Schuck, who would one day like to see the medical relationship transform to the level of DO colleague.
“Alex’s pursuit of an osteopathic degree is a prime example of what Federally Qualified Health Centers want to see in their employees; ongoing education in order to serve the community on a larger scale,” said Schuck.
“The door is always open to welcome back Dr. Sher to his BHA family.”