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MEEKER | Dan and Katie Olson, with their four young boys in tow, are moving to Meeker as a result of Dan’s new position of compliance, risk and HIPAA privacy officer at Pioneers Medical Center.
Dan has worked as a laboratory assistant and in other areas, but his real passion lay in all aspects of hospital safety, a capacity in which he served in several hospitals in the Denver metro area, including University Hospital.
It is that passion that brought him to PMC, where his responsibilities encompass both patient safety and general hospital safety. A major emphasis is on “general compliance,” which involves following government regulations, developing programs and documenting everything. The better all this—and much more—is practiced, the fewer on-site inspections are likely.
Another key aspect of his job is that of HIPAA compliance. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.
“My biggest passion in all of it is to be able to provide care for patients that they’re not going to get anywhere else,” Dan said. “I know this might sound a little ‘fairytale-ish,’ but this really is my ‘dream job.’”
There is, however, a stress factor in all this. “One of the biggest challenges is finding a good balance between meeting what the law requires but also creating the most useful work area,” he said. “Some laws (for example) can intrude on how we do things, so we must find a good balance so we can always meet the law but at the same time understand why we have that law. Education is crucial in this.”
While Dan and Katie were both raised in Arvada, with only about 20 blocks between them, they did not meet until 18 years later through a friend.
Marrying in 2005, Katie finished up her bachelor’s degree in speech therapy and worked in that capacity in schools, while Dan, because of his long interest in the medical field, started in pre-physician-assistant studies. When three small children came along, however, “speed was of the essence,” he said, so he chose a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in biology, graduating in 2012.
With a total of four boys now, all spaced about 18 months apart, it is a busy household, with Katie now a stay-at-home mom.
As the oldest, 10-year-old Liam is “the cautious one and likes to be the boss,” Dan said. Luke is the free-spirited and creative one. Benjamin is the “goofy” one and likes to pull pranks and jokes on his brothers. “He’s kind of our comic relief,” Dan added. Finally, there is Jacob, another “free-spirited kid” who can always bring a smile to his parent’s faces.
“My poor wife—five ‘boys,’” Dan interjected with a chuckle. They have also talked about a girl, but by way of adoption.
One other point Dan wanted to convey was that, “my successes, moves in life and passions are completely dependent on, and are a result of, God’s work in my life.”
Welcome to Meeker, Olson family.
By Doc Watson | Special to the Herald Times