After taking two years of pre-med courses, Rick Schooler received some advice from a family member: consider a career in “data processing.” That was 1978. Thirty years later, he is in the midst of a successful career that involves his initial love of healthcare and his bachelor’s degree in computer technology.
His College of Technology professors prepared him with leadership skills and realistic expectations about the industry, he says.
As vice president and chief information officer for Orlando Regional Healthcare, Schooler is responsible for information technology, telecommunications, clinical informatics, biomedical engineering , and purchasing and materials management. Prior to 2001, Schooler held a similar position for the Central Georgia Health System. In 1998, he was named one of three CIOs of the Year in the state of Georgia.
Active in several organizations affiliated with his career, Schooler also is a board member with the Healthcare Center for the Homeless. He wants to make a difference in the lives of the homeless, he says.
Schooler credits his success to his faith and the support of family members.
When he isn’t working or volunteering, Schooler spends time at the beach, fishing, golfing, and enjoying the thrill of the real estate market and investing.
Schooler and his wife, Cindy, reside in Orlando, Florida. They have three grown sons.
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2003.