100 Miles is Nothing for FutureCare Northpoint’s Phillip Pawlukovich
We are so proud of the care each one of our FutureCare staff members provides to our residents. Their service and care is what makes FutureCare special, and we love learning about what they're passionate about outside of work. We got the chance to speak with FutureCare Northpoint's Phillip Pawlukovich, and we can't believe how incredible his favorite hobby is, and how it has influenced the way he does his job. Keep reading to learn all about one of our unique administrators.
Tell us about what your position is at FutureCare, and describe your typical day at Northpoint.
I am the nursing home administrator at FutureCare Northpoint. Each morning I read every nursing note written from the day prior and round through the facility greeting residents and co-workers, ensuring the facility is presenting well. During this time, I take advantage of any opportunities to serve staff and residents. Shortly after, there is a department manager meeting and then interdisciplinary clinical meeting where we discuss the day and the plan of care for residents. Through, the rest of the day, I meet with residents and family members, make detailed rounds, and facilitate meetings.
What do you think makes FutureCare Northpoint special?
Each and everyday our team continues to grow and evolve – getting closer to the goal of being THE BEST of FUTURECARE. Through hours of orientation and training, our staff has received top notch training from clinical capabilities to providing quality customer service. Our team enjoys working with each other while having fun serving residents, family members, and other providers.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Interacting with the residents and staff every day. I get to come in and serve the residents, staff and visitors, and that really is the best thing. You know, serving as many people as possible and making the facility better.
Can you tell us about your time in the Military?
When I was in the military I was in the Special Operations Group with Civil Affairs. With that I'd go into different villages and did assessments on what they needed. When I was deployed in Afghanistan we'd build schools, dig wells and do other infrastructure projects for the villages. We would also educate American soldiers on the Afghan culture so that they wouldn't do anything offensive.
What was your favorite part of the military?
My favorite part of the military was the interactions with people and the different cultures. To experience different cultures is a great thing. I would get to meet with village elders and see how a whole other society lives, it was enlightening.
You have ran in ultramarathons before, can you tell us about that?
Over the last couple of years I've been running in ultramarathons. They are basically anything that has a distance of more than 26 miles. I have run in races that are from 50k to 100 miles long. This past year I participated in the Ultrarunning Race Series that goes from April to April. With that they rank each race across the country, and then anyone who runs in one is awarded points based on the place they come in. In that I raced all four distances, 50k, 100k, 50 miler and 100 miler. I have probably run nine races in this past year. With that system I was ranked 22nd in the country. What I love most about ultramarathons is that they're challenging and involve problem solving. The races when you win are usually the easiest races where everything went right, but the races where you don't meet your goal are usually the ones I remember and enjoy the most. Part of it too is the process of training for it. Getting to enjoy long runs during the week helps to relieve stress, and makes me a better person.
Are you training for any ultramarathons right now?
I just got done with a 100 mile race in Vermont. It didn't go as well as I wanted it to, and I missed my goals. I had bad GI issues through the last 30 miles of the race and had to struggle through it. I still finished in the top third of the field, and it was just determination that helped me get through it. With that being said, I still have my fitness so I signed up for another one that is about three weeks away. I'll be running that one in the middle of August.
Why did you start running ultramarathons?
I started running just to get back into shape two years ago. I started with just a simple run around the block with my dog because I had just become a little out of shape. I signed up for a 5k after a month and after that race there was an advertisement for a trail race on the window of my car. I remembered from the military how much I enjoyed when we would train and run on the trails so I went to that trail race. There was a guy who finished right behind me who told me about how he was running a 100 mile race the next week. I didn't even know they had races like that so I went home and researched it a little bit and set a goal to do it with in the next year. I progressed through the distances and the next october ran in my first 100 mile race.
How do you think the military and your Ultramarathon running has influenced the way you work?
The experience I had in the military and Ultrarunning have both affected me greatly. They both have helped to shape my personality and continue to help with my growth as a person. In the military you learn the importance of clear communication, reviewing performance to improve future performance (After Action Reviews), reliance on team members, grit and determination. With ultrarunning, I need to continually set goals, problem solve, and be patient. In addition, in many races, you have crew and aid station volunteers to provide you with guidance. Completing a 100 mile run is like living life in a day. There are so many ups and downs that you go through. If you keep moving forward, when you're down and look for what is causing your issues... eventually you can come out of the low that you're in. The important thing is not to quit or stop when you are in a low. Life and operating a facility is very similar to this. Everything is not always going to be perfect, despite the planning and training that you put into a facility or any goal you're trying to achieve. There are going to be concerns, issues, and disappointments but if you keep a positive outlook, continuing to move forward, trying to solve problems, taking guidance from those around you when you may not be thinking clearly or when they have another perspective, eventually your goal will be achieved.
Can you tell us about your family?
I'm married and I have four kids. My youngest is 7 years old, then I have a 9 year old and a 15 year old, and they are all girls. Then I have a son who is going on 20 now, and he's in college. All of my children are active and like most children are involved in multiple sports and activities through the year. It is awesome for my children to see the training that goes into achieving goals and also how I handle failure when goals are not achieved. It is hard for children to relate to professional goals, but it is very clear even to my seven year old when we discuss running. She understands when I win a race or have a horrible one and finish far from my goal. My family, including my parents, are extremely supportive of the Ultramarathons I run. Some of the longer races turn into family trips with my parents and children crewing for me. I try and have my training affect my family as little as possible. I will often run late at night or early in the morning.
What is one of your favorite things to do with your family?
I would say going to Rock State Park. They have a creek there and we can go hiking. So I like going and having a picnic for the day, it's a blast. If that doesn't inspire you to go for a run, we're not sure what will.
We loved getting to speak with Phillip, and we hope you've enjoyed learning about him. Follow him on Instagram at @philpawlukovich to see more of his running career! He really is a shining example of what makes FutureCare so special!