Google Groups
Join To Get Blog Update Notices
Visit the Hickory Hound Group

Friday, October 26, 2012

10 questions with Dr. Joseph Inglefield - Candidate NC 42nd District Senate Seat 2012 - Candidate for Hickory Mayor 2013

Dr. Joseph (Jody) Inglefield is a candidate for the North Carolina 42nd District Senate Seat. He has become a friend over the last 4 years and is one of the original mailing list members of the Hickory Hound. He sent me letters of support and encouragement from the beginning. Dr. Inglefield took a leading role in bringing attention to the loss of the Public Swimming Pools here in Hickory that we believe are important parts of the fabric of the lower socio-economic communities. He and his wife Rebecca are fellow participants in the Citizens for Equity in Government. In the beginning of the Hickory Hound I attempted to get local leaders to participate in this 10 Questions series so that we could get to know them better, but I met resistance, because most people are reticent to go on the record about issues in a constructive and thorough manner. I believe that they deem it risky. These questions are the same for everyone who participates in this series and there is no critique of the answers. I am very grateful to Dr. Inglefield for participating in this series. Anyone who wants to participate is free to do so. Please feel free to contact me at
1) Can you give us some background and a history of yourself? (Where were you born? What is your educational background? Why did you come to or stay in Hickory? Tell us about your professional accomplishments?  My family came from England, Germany, and Wales to Pittsburg, Pa. where both my parents were born in Duquesne, Pa. My paternal grandfather was a bricklayer and maternal grandfather a machinist. My paternal grandmother was a pianist, organist and kindergarten teacher. My parents were high school sweethearts, married before my father went to medical school, the first male college graduate in our family.

I was born in Rochester, NY. where my father was in school, and subsequently he served in the US Army, taking us all over the country: Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico. We ended up in Danville, Pa., where my father was a pediatrician at Geisinger Medical Center, for most of my elementary and junior high school years. As the oldest brother of six, we moved to Arlington, Va. where I began high school. I was a competitive swimmer from age eight onward, state champion in several events in Pennsylvania YMCA swimming. Swimming and then water polo were big parts of my life and still are important to me. 

I attended Washington-Lee high school in Arlington, then Langley High School (yes, right next to the CIA) in McLean, finishing my high school years at St. Albans School on the National Cathedral grounds in Washington, DC. St. Albans was an incredible experience for me, changing my life and leading me in directions I would only later realize were so important. I was surrounded by politics, watching the Watergate hearings, having classes with sons and daughters of Congress members. Chapel every morning, football and swim practices in the afternoon all shaped my discipline and work ethic. The academic challenges and competition prepared me for the future. I thrived in that place, was elected Senior class president, despite starting as a junior, leading to a nomination for the Morehead-Cain scholarship to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Before classes started freshman year I met my future wife Rebecca thanks to a water polo friend who had met her roommate. I fell in love with her and North Carolina. 

At UNC, I swam for the varsity team and was an NCAA championship qualifier. I started the UNC water polo club, which is still active. Now my son Thacher plays as a junior. As a Morehead-Cain Scholar I spent a summer with the police department in Charlotte, getting an inside look at the criminal justice system. I was a history major with a special interest in European and American history. My pre-medical studies helped me receive early admission to Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, part of Virginia Commonwealth University. It was a great place to be a medical student and I decided to head to San Antonio Texas for my Pediatric and Allergy training. 

In Texas, I felt at home with the Arneson family; Rebecca's mother had grown up in San Antonio, with relatives at hand, the hard work whisked by for 5 years. The Riverwalk was a reminder of the Works Projects Administration, and its importance to our nation with projects like this and the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC. The Arneson River Theatre is named for Rebecca's grandfather. Rebecca switched from writing code for computers to law school where she excelled at St. Mary's University, making law review, and being offered a clerkship with a federal judge in Norfolk, Va. I was then able to pass the tests and verbal exam to be double boarded in Pediatrics and Allergy and Immunology. 

Soon after we moved to Virginia, Dr. Millie Hancock called with an offer to take over her practice. Shortly after my visit with her in Hickory, Dr. Hancock called to see if I could work the next day for her because her husband had suffered a heart attack. I drove through the night to arrive and see patients the next morning. It is rare to get to "test drive" a medical practice, which is what happened, and I was convinced this was the right place to move. Rebecca was offered a position in Statesville so we moved to her home town to begin our work. After ten years commuting to Hickory, we decided to move and built our home in Hickory. Son Thacher started first grade at Viewmont elementary; daughter Park preschool at the new YMCA child care center. 

My practice has grown from three employees to twenty which has allowed the Hickory Allergy Asthma Sinus Clinic and Cough Center to be one of the best known practices in the area. We do our best to offer the personalized care our patients and their families deserve. 

2) Tell us about the accomplishments you are proudest of achieving in your life? The development of my practice into one that is respected and one of the most influential in the Southeast USA. The use and development of "Rush Immunotherapy" in our practice makes us unique and far ahead in terms of patient satisfaction. "Rush" allows a patient to reach a safe and effective level of treatment for their allergies faster than traditional methods. We are able to innovate and be quick to change our approaches as newer medications and technology become available. We have an in-office CT scanner for sinuses that is fully credentialed, and I believe we are the only allergy practice in NC that has this to offer. 

What’s the most exciting thing you saw/did/experienced/were a part of in your personal life?
Playing water polo in the FINA World Championships in 2004, 2006, 2010(Silver medal) and 2012. Beating the UNC club team at their own tournament in 2011. Winning Master's national championship in our age-group in 2011 and 2008, with KAOS our club team made up of players from all over the country and world. Getting to swim at Greensboro's Master's swimming national championship this year with friends and a teammate from college on two relays that placed 6th in the country. Learning to ski two years ago, great challenge and exercise.

In your professional life?
Presenting papers on the use of "Rush Immunotherapy" at national meetings and being elected as governor of the South East region, for the state and local allergy societies(RSLs). Serving as President of the NC Allergy society for many years. 

Being called and elected to Session at my church, Northminster Presbyterian Church, and as the Clerk of Session. It was a very important opportunity that I will value in many ways both spiritually and in all the decisions I make as time moves forward. Attending bible study weekly, worshipping at church and Sunday school have helped me strengthen my beliefs and direction in life.

3) If I were to ask people that know you to describe you what would they say?
"He's a fun guy"

4) How much bearing do the opinions of the people around you have on your decisions?
I am a listener, so what other people say and think are very important to me and are part of my decision making process. I value opinions and look for guidance from others. I like to think carefully throughout the process of making a decision, by gathering data, brainstorming with others , and then I try to make the best decision with the information that is available.

5) Can you tell us of a professional mistake that you have made that may have had an impact on who you are today?  I have been fortunate and have not had any major devastating error. It is a constant worry and takes vigilance on a minute to minute basis to avoid. Minor errors have happened but by grace only, nothing became a terrible outcome. 

Does it still bother you? Yes, but I don't let this stop me or paralyze me. I come to grips with all errors by looking for the reasons, so the problem won't happen again. Most errors or irritations are completely my own fault, and I can spend time to make things better or more precisely change the system that resulted in the error. Being flexible and learning from mistakes helps prevent future problems. Questioning why we do things and the impact of changing those old habits or processes is how I try to improve and guard against errors.

6) If you were given enough money to tackle one project (think nearly unlimited) that you felt was important to the Hickory Area, what would that issue be? Make things more fun! Obesity, and all the reasons it happens, and the way a community with the right approach could make a difference for most people through good public health initiatives, healthy eating, education, and recreation. For me a big part of this would be swimming and aquatics which can be a lifetime activity. I want to prevent all drowning, and give everyone the pleasure of swimming and playing safely in water. Sustainable programming for the prevention of disease and maintenance of health is important to the local economy and will attract jobs. Public transportation, wide sidewalks, safe cycling, light rail to Charlotte, Raleigh and Asheville would be a part of the plan to get out and walk more. It has to be fun to be sustainable.

7) Let’s say there is no money available for the foreseeable future. What one project (priority) would you push as part of your agenda that can be done with little or no money?
Provide fun and better programming for the facilities we already possess. Collaborate with the resources we have to make the most of what is here like the Recreation department, YMCA, CVCC, and LRU.

8) What is your overall philosophy of the development of this area? Where would you like to see us in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
(5 years) - More jobs! due to a resurgence of manufacturing in the area. July 2012 we had only 65,621 employed people in Catawba county, 2005 we had 72,470 after the dot com recovery, 2000 we had 78514 at our boom peak, and 1990 we had 68829. We have fewer jobs now than 22 years ago!! Who has been in office from our area? This is a disgrace and lack of leadership. I don't think this a Republican or Democratic issue, this is a lack of leadership on behalf of the citizens of Catawba county. 

(10 years) - Better paying high skill jobs that require less manual, repetitive, mind-dulling labor but involve technical skills and thinking to solve problems and make things work. Regional airlines at our airport. Why not Southwest, it would draw everyone here from Charlotte. 

(20 years) - Mature community with a wealth of life-supporting jobs, spectacular recreation facilities, and equality with level playing field for all the kids and families. Young people wanting to stay and raise their families here.

9) If you could define your Personal Legacy what would you like it to be?
To leave things better than I found them.
What would you like to be remembered for?
That I was a good doctor, I had good friends and family, that I cared and stood up for all people.

10) How do you define Leadership?
Leadership is like respect, it needs to be earned. You need to listen, get the best information you can, surround yourself with smart, talented people and with their help, show up and make a difference. Be willing to be courageous, and expect to be attacked, but be willing to be persistent and uncompromising of your true values. Questioning and speaking up when it is hard to do is a necessity of good leadership. Being ready to admit your own mistakes and not blaming others will engender loyalty and respect of those who follow you.

No comments: