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Fall 2019 Alpha Rho News Digest: Featuring Brothers Bryan McElderry (Fall 2011), Eric D. Wells (Spr

Great things are underway for several of our Alumni Brothers as we head into the busy holiday season -- a period that not only includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but also two other most high dates for the Men of Alpha Rho Chapter -- Founder's Day (December 4) and Charter Day (January 5). More on the Charter Day festivities around the nation in the next AP Digest.

But for now -- feast on this menu of six alumni stories.

-- The Editors.


Holistic Life Coach Brother Dr. Bryan McElderry (Fall 2011) Announces March 2020 Publication Of Book "The Purpose Shift"


According to Brother Author: "Transformative and revolutionary, The Purpose Shift will hopefully give you some deep insight into being purposely positioned right where you are and how to change the course of your life, discover your calling and start living with intention."

The Purpose Shift was written for this soul reason; to invite readers into a world where it’s ok to want more out of life; where it’s ok to be vulnerable; where acceptance of failure, setbacks and defeats are welcomed because these are where the lessons of life lie and growth transpires. You will embark on a journey of self discovery through various stories followed by actionable steps on how you can not just survive, but thrive in all aspects of your life.

Dr. McElderry chronicles his experiences that have shaped him—from his childhood growing up in the birthplace of the civil rights movement, Birmingham, Alabama, to his undergraduate and graduate school matriculation, to the triumphs, disappointments and lonely nights of carrying out a vision no one else could see; to the moment he decided to SHIFT from traditional pharmacy to a holistic approach to living.

His goal in developing a holistic life coaching practice is to help high performing professionals and entrepreneurs master their mindset and tap into a deeper understanding of themselves. Once this SHIFT happens you begin to see an immense amount of clarity, calmness, peace, happiness, and fulfillment out of your life.

This then trickles into the area of life you’re looking to optimize; whether it be your business, career, relationships, health or spirituality. The goal is to fill in the gap and challenge you to be the BEST VERSION of yourself and to realize your potential is so much more than you think.

After earning his Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry from Morehouse College, McElderry went on to earn a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from St. Louis College of Pharmacy. During his matriculation, he felt there was a lack of focus on non-pharmacological treatment options and preventative strategies for disease states that could be reversed or prevented by simple lifestyle changes. At this point, he was becoming very consistent with his exercise and my nutrition.

As a result, he began seeing changes both mentally and physically; so much so that he ended up competing in a men's physique bodybuilding show structuring my own training and diet regimen.

In 2016, shortly after his pharmacy school graduation and the passing of his grandmother from a mismanagement of medication which lead to severe demential, he founded Envizion Health.

It was initially as a brand to spread knowledge, motivation and inspiration to people looking to better their life both mentally and physically. He wanted people to be a part of a brand that would not only provide a service, but could build a community of like minded individuals that believed in the same mission. Through his health services, he made it a point to incorporate a holistic approach to serving each client to safely and effectively get them to their desired result of creating a well-balanced lifestyle.

Fast forward to November 2018, I realized many of clients were gravitating to the changes they were making outside of the physical aspect.


They were beginning to heal their love lives, they were showing up more productive and efficient at work, they were more energized and the questions of entrepreneurship/life mastery begin to arise.

Since then he's created the SHIFT Mentorship along with the Academy, a holistic life transformation coaching program.

Now, he helps top executives, professionals and entrepreneurs identify and capitalize on opportunities for individual and organizational success. His coaching has empowered these individuals to significantly reduce stress and worry that can ultimately lead to diminished productivity and burnout.



Brother Dr. Farris T. Johnson (Spring 1972) Details How To Live Well And Age Well In ACCA Newsletter

Interview Source:

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you decided to become a doctor.

I was born here in Athens and I decided to become a doctor in fourth grade. No reason. I went through a variety of career choices. I wanted to be a policeman because I liked the motorcycles. At the time, they rode Harleys with a stick shift right by the gas tank. I wanted to be a fireman because I liked the big trucks. I wanted to be a garbage man because I liked the big trucks. For some reason in the fourth grade I decided I wanted to be a doctor and I never changed my mind. I guess part of it is, once you start telling people, then you don’t want to change your mind. I briefly considered dentistry, but I could not see myself spending the rest of my life looking into people’s mouths.

If you knew you wanted to be a doctor, why did you decide to join the military?

I wanted to be in the military from the time I decided to be a doctor. My father was in the Navy during World War II and so I thought it’d be great to join the military. When I was about to graduate college and had been accepted into medical school, I asked one of my advisers about scholarships. He told me about the military branches. I applied and was accepted into the United States Air Force. I was inducted in the Air Force Reserve before I started medical school. After I graduated medical school, I decided to go into the Air Force to do my internship and residency.

How did you decide to become a flight surgeon and then a family practitioner?

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to be a general surgeon, but my general surgery rotation was probably the worst one. I had a friend who knew about family practice, which is what I actually do. I didn’t know anything about it, but it sounded good and was everything I liked. I started to find out about careers beyond simply practicing medicine in the Airforce. Flight Medicine goes back to the British. When the air became a combat environment, it was found that the physical stresses were different and sometimes caused impairment. In time, it was found that people who operated aircraft should have certain physical characteristics, such as excellent eyesight and so the discipline of flight medicine came to be. I just found it exciting. I was a flight surgeon. During my remaining five years in the Air Force, I was a family practitioner and a flight surgeon. I took care of all kinds of people ranging from pilots, crew and air traffic control workers. We were also the environmental health officers and inspected areas where there might be hazardous waste and epidemics. It was exciting and a real enhancement to my career. I’ve used a lot of those skills subsequently.

What brought you back to Athens?

I was born here. It was nice to come back home. I’ve always liked Athens. In fact, I remember leaving Athens one morning going back to Pittsburgh driving as the sun was coming up. I remember being amazed at how beautiful the sunrise was and I said to myself, “I would really like to come back here one day.” It worked out great. My kids were able to grow up around their grandparents. I got to come back home. Athens is my kind of speed.

What advise do you have for people who want to live and age well?

If I were talking to a child, I would emphasize physical activity, emotional activities. Form friendships and learn how to treat others as they would like to be treated. Children need to learn how to be well rounded and to take as much personal responsibility as they can.

Teenagers: I would talk about resisting peer pressure. Peer pressure is not going to last very long. Avoid the temptations. Try your best. Learn to trust. Learn to trust adults. Learn to find trustworthy friends. Don’t feel that you have to carry all of your burdens whether they be physical or emotional by yourself. If you can, develop a spiritual life. Not necessarily a religious one, but a spiritual. Become involved in community events. Develop a sense of pride in your surroundings. Become invested in it.

Young adults: See the community as a place you might want to have kids and invest in the people. Do everything you can to make it the place you want it to be. Help somebody else. Extend yourself a little bit further than you think you can. When you’re doing it you may not see it at first, but when you do see it coming back, the investment is huge.

Older adults: Maintain close contact with the health community. Diet. Friendship. Stress reduction. Learning how to deal with loss and separation. Enhancement of spiritual life. Community involvement. While you think you may not have anything to offer, there’s always something. Sometimes the more you do, the more your talents are enhanced.

Elderly: Social relationships are key. Stay in contact with young family members and teach them about their family history and heritage. Tell them about anything you can think of that would be an enhancement. Simply tell people what it was like growing up and growing old. I find that older people have a wealth of wisdom, knowledge and experience and by sharing it, they actually improve themselves cognitively and physically. Finally, find a nice place to rest. Preferably climate controlled.

And be sure to laugh. Laugh at yourself.

What are you looking forward to most in 2019?

I am looking forward to two good knees. I’m going to try to read more. I’m going to get in better shape. Mostly continuing the stuff I’ve been doing. The medical school offers me a lot. We’ve got a lot of new and exciting things planned with the students that I’m really looking forward to. About three years from now I’ll be retiring, so I’ll be getting ready for hobbies.



Brother Dr. Kito A. Lord (Fall 2002) Named to National List of Rising Stars in Healthcare Under 40

Written by Jackie Denton |

In 2017, Kito A. Lord, MD, MBA, moved to Memphis from Philadelphia to lead the Department of Emergency Medicine at Regional One Health and to help expand the UTHSC Emergency Medicine Residency program into the hospital, which is one of the busiest trauma centers in the country.

Recently, Dr. Lord was named to the 2019 list of Rising Stars in Healthcare Under 40 by Becker’s Healthcare. A leading source for business and legal information for leaders in the health care industry, Becker’s Healthcare has a portfolio of five-industry publications including Becker’s Hospital Review.

He was recognized for his efforts to generate efficiencies, advance patient outcomes, and improve care management as medical director of Regional One Health’s Emergency Medicine Department. First he orchestrated a clinical redesign of the emergency department reducing the number of steps to see a doctor from 26 to three, installing a rapid assessment zone (RAZ) to improve the treatment of lower acuity patients through the department. Then, Dr. Lord led efforts between the Trauma and Emergency departments to improve patient care, access, and training of residents – a win-win for the community.

Dr. Lord, site director for the UTHSC Emergency Medicine Residency program, championed the idea of Emergency Medicine and Trauma physicians working together to care for patients with traumatic injuries. Working with Peter Fischer, MD, trauma and critical care surgeon at the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, and James R. Walker, MD, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UTHSC, they created an innovative plan to improve their care delivery model.

“We are making a lot of operational changes to reduce the amount of time that patients spend in the waiting room,” Dr. Lord said. “Making the door-to-doc (doctor) time quicker, so that patients are being treated more efficiently. We also had a goal to reduce the number of patients who left because the wait is too long. Every patient deserves timely, efficient and compassionate care.”