Hometown Hero

Emergency Responder: Dr. Robert Porter is June's Hometown Hero

Posted 6/10/22

Since the time he was a child growing up in a small New Jersey town near the Jersey shore, Dr. Robert Porter always wanted to be a physician. He worked hard to make his dream come true.

Fulfilling …

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Hometown Hero

Emergency Responder: Dr. Robert Porter is June's Hometown Hero

Posted

Since the time he was a child growing up in a small New Jersey town near the Jersey shore, Dr. Robert Porter always wanted to be a physician. He worked hard to make his dream come true.

Fulfilling his dream meant coming to Arizona, spending time in New York and today he is working in Queen Creek.

Porter began his medical career as an EMT, then a paramedic and later became a flight paramedic on a helicopter in Tucson. After graduating from the University of Arizona, he attended the Arizona Osteopathic Medical School to become an osteopathic physician. He had his emergency medicine residency in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2006, he finished his training and moved back to Arizona, joining Envision Physician Services, a multispecialty medical group and healthcare management team providing anesthesiology, emergency medicine, hospital medicine, radiology, surgical services, and women’s and children’s health services in hospitals and clinics across the country.

He started with Banner University (Good Samaritan) and Banner Estrella. Today he is at Banner Ironwood Hospital, where he serves as site medical director for the physicians in the emergency room.

Working in an emergency room during a pandemic tested Porter’s mettle.

Name: Robert Porter, DO, FACEP

Age: 57

Business Name: Envision Physician Services working for Banner Ironwood Hospital

Town/neighborhood: San Tan Valley

When and why I moved here: I’ve been working at Ironwood since it opened just over 10 years ago.

What I like most about living here: The people are amazing, fun, and free spirited. There are great families and retirees and winter visitors that make for a great mix of people.  

What I do: I am the site medical director for the physicians in the emergency room at Banner Ironwood Medical Center. I do a combination of shifts taking care of patients, which is what I love, and administrative time helping support the hospital and the staff to make things easier for our doctors and our patients.  

Personal background highlights: I was born in Linwood, New Jersey, a small town near the beach of the Jersey Shore. I always wanted to be a physician. Linwood was a small town where everyone knows everyone. I played Little League baseball and basketball, and still play some hoops today. I am a middle child with four sisters and one brother. My mom passed away last year, but my dad is doing great at 87 living in Tucson.  

Professional background highlights: I started my career as and EMT then a paramedic and became a flight paramedic on a helicopter in Tucson. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Arizona and went to Arizona Osteopathic Medical School to become an osteopathic physician. I was matched to a residency in Brooklyn, New York, for my residency to train in emergency medicine. I finished my training in 2006 and came to Phoenix, where I have worked with EPS the entire time. I started the Banner University (Good Samaritan) and Banner Estrella, and then when Ironwood was built started working here and I love it. 

What I like most about what I do: Taking care of patients. It is a great feeling to save someone from an injury or even death, and even to relieve some pain can be rewarding. When patients thank you or ask you if you have a private practice so they can come see you again, it is a great feeling. It feels good to know you have touched someone’s life in a good way. Not every day is good. The pandemic was very difficult on us and loss of life, although inevitable, can be very sad. We see people on the worst day of their life at times and it can be heart wrenching, but the wins and the saves can make up for the difficult times. 

What does being nominated for this category mean to you? This was an extreme honor for me to be nominated. We do our job every day, not expecting recognition, but it sure is nice to get some. 

What does it mean to be a Queen Creek resident? I love working in Queen Creek and I love the people here.

What do you think you bring to the local community that makes it better? I feel like I can bring caring and compassion to people in difficult times. There are very few hospitals in this area and to have the hospitals, providers and the equipment we have to take care of a large variety of patients is invaluable to the community. 

What would you tell people about why it's important to make a difference in Queen Creek? I think it is so important to be a positive influence in your community. The young people are looking for us to set an example and show them what it is like to be an adult and how we can improve our town and our environment and our world. 

Changes I'd like to see in this area: I would like to see us continue to improve as we have done and expand the specialist physicians here in Queen Creek, so people don’t have to travel so far for specialty care. 

Favorite community cause & why: I like the drowning prevention cause that the fire department has been so involved in and what a great cause. We need to protect our young kids around water and knowledge and information are key to doing that. 

My family: I have a beautiful wife Rachel, and three wonderful kids Errol is 8, Daisy is 4 and Major is 2 years old. They are what keep me sane and able to do the things I do. 

My interests and hobbies: I am a sports enthusiast and I love exercising and keeping in shape. It helps me to decrease my stress levels and enjoy life. I love hiking and mountain biking and we have some great areas here in Queen Creek for that. 

The trait(s) I admire in others: Honesty. I feel like being open and honest are important to show your integrity and it shows respect for others.  

People who inspired me (and how): I have my mom and dad that inspired me to work hard and be persistent. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I will work harder and longer than anyone to get my goals accomplished. Also, my wife has inspired me to be a better person, to be a better dad and a better example for our kids. She is the rock of our family and is an inspiration to everyone she meets. 

My guiding philosophy: Be honest, work hard and keep setting goals and improving. Martin Luther King said, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” 

My advice to today’s youth: Put down your devices and enjoy the great outdoors. There is so much to see and do, don’t let it pass you by. 

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