CCC alum cooks up IT success at FMC


Coconino Community College alum Stuart Todhunter works as an IT tech for Northern Arizona Healthcare.


Flagstaff, Ariz. -- Computer equipment and tools filled the cart as he pushed it down the hallway. As hospital staff passed him, he would give a smile.

Stuart Todhunter is a Field Services Tech for the Information Technology Department at Northern Arizona Healthcare. He landed the job after receiving his computer training at Coconino Community College.

“I was a chef for 30 years,” Todhunter said. “I didn’t want to do that anymore. The long hours were wearing on me.”

He was 45 years old and looking for a change, so he decided to explore Information Technology at CCC. He had always been interested in computers.

“It had been a very long time since I had been to school,” Todhunter said. “I didn’t have much computer experience. It was very limited because I didn’t grow up with technology like kids today.”

But, he knew he was drawn to it, and at CCC, he got the entire foundation for IT in the College’s computer lab on Fourth Street. He received several certifications in the process. At Flagstaff Medical Center, he started in the kitchen, and eventually landed a job in the IT Department one day a week. He waited until a full-time position opened up, and he applied for it. He didn’t get the first job, but when another position opened up, he applied again.

“And I was able to get it that time,” Todhunter said, smiling.

Before landing his job at FMC, he worked as an independent contractor for several companies in order to gain job experience. He also did an internship at the CCC Lone Tree Campus as a help desk employee, and he worked in the computer labs for both CCC Flagstaff campuses.

“I loved it over there (at CCC),” Todhunter said, adding that instructors like David Bowman and Bill Branch made the difference. “CCC just worked with me in every way. Certainly, the training at CCC is what set the pace for everything. They put it all together, and it prepares you quite well.”

He received hands-on, technical training that can’t be found in books alone. He went through the process slowly, whittling away at it. He received training in web design, Linux platforms, programming, Windows support, Cisco, A-plus, servers, and more.

Northern Arizona Healthcare runs FMC and is the largest healthcare organization in the region. More than 3,000 employees work together to serve more than 700,000 people across the region with two hospitals and a variety of other primary-care and specialty centers. Todhunter is part of an IT team of more than 100 people, many of whom also took classes at CCC, that offers support to both Flagstaff campuses at FMC, the physical therapy facility, Guardian Medical Transport and Guardian Air. He estimates that he walks more than 8 miles a day. He focuses on hardware and software and works on desktops, laptops, smart phones, tablets, printers, televisions and much more.

“It’s very rewarding,” Todhunter said. “Doctors and nurses can’t treat patients without us.”

Even though he’s left the culinary arts behind professionally, Todhunter still gets hit up to bring the good dish to company functions, and he and his colleagues do “talk food” often in the office.

“It’s always a hot topic,” he said.

An IT cookout is coming up, he said, but management is providing the food.

“So, I just need to attend,” Todhunter said and laughed. “Which is fine by me.”


Tuesday, 1st November 2016

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  • Tuesday, 1st November 2016