Jack Priest is the laboratory director at Osceola Regional Medical Center and Hunter’s Creek ER, as well as a father of four. He is also a Nonahood resident. Read our conversation with him below!
Nonahood News: What does your day-to-day schedule look like?
Jack Priest: I come in in the morning, and I round with the employees. Then, there’s a morning huddle that we attend for the safety of the hospital. There are meetings scheduled throughout the day and just putting out little fires here and there.
NHN: What would you say are the most challenging aspects of your job?
JP: Trying to manage the day-to-day schedule. I mean schedule as in meetings. Sometimes, you’re double-booked or triple-booked. Also, trying to interview and hire enough people so that we keep staffing up.
NHN: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
JP: The most rewarding aspect is when your techs in the laboratory find a new diagnosis of, say, cancer, and it’s something that they catch early enough that it helps the patient recover.
NHN: What got you interested in being a lab director?
JP: I started my career in the military, so I went through the military and got my degree. I kind of fell into the lab. I didn’t know what a laboratory med tech was at the time. After that, I started working in the civilian world as a lab tech. While I was working, I went back to school for my bachelor’s. And at that point, I decided that I wanted to be a lab director. It’s been about 15 years. So, for about 10 years, I went and did everything I could do to get there.
NHN: Do you have any interesting hobbies, collections or interests?
JP: I was collecting LEGOs before and I assembled with my daughter; she’s 10 now. And, I collect weird socks because I figure if I’m going to be wearing dress clothes every day, I can wear a cool sock to go underneath it. Today’s are mustache socks. Other than that, I like bike riding and lifting weights.
NHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
JP: Professionally, regional lab director. Either Orlando market or division. Currently, I am one of the North Florida division hospital directors, so I’d like to be a North Florida division regional director.
NHN: What brought you to Lake Nona and when did you move here?
JP: I moved here in February 2018. I came down here because my daughter has a sensitivity to clothing. We lived in Wyoming at the time. Eight months of winter wasn’t good for her because she couldn’t wear long sleeves or pants, so we were looking for somewhere warm. My son decided that he was going to go to Full Sail University, and when we started looking, we knew where my job was and where his school was. Living in the Lake Nona area is right between Osceola and Winter Park.
NHN: Where are you from originally?
JP: I’m from Houston, Texas. The move up the ladder to be a lab director got me to Wyoming. I’ve been a lab manager in Wyoming. I went back to Texas, opened up a hospital lab from the concrete slab up, kind of like what they’re doing in Lake Nona with the new hospital coming up there, and then went to Wyoming again for a bigger hospital. Then I figured out my daughter had issues with the cold and came to Florida.
NHN: What would you say is your favorite part about Lake Nona?
JP: I like the different restaurants they have to offer there. I also like the fact that they have bike trails. Just the atmosphere.
NHN: What would you say to anyone who is considering a move to Lake Nona?
JP: Pick where you want to live, make sure it’s close to places, and know you’re going to hit traffic. There’s lots of traffic now, and as it grows, I think there’s more coming.