It's been 14 years since Ron Liston began a job in handicapped services that he thought would be just a one-year career move in between jobs.
Now, even though Liston has left his position as assistant superintendent of the Utah State Training School, he is not leaving handicapped services. Instead he is entering a new field, medicine for the handicapped.Liston has been named administrative director of the new Intermountain Health Care Rehabilitation Center at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, set to open in January.
In coming to UVRMC to direct the work at the new Rehab Center, Liston said he does not feel he is leaving handicapped services.
"I see this as an opportunity to stay in that field, but work with a different population of people with disabilities. And there is something exciting about starting a new program and services.
Liston, who lives in Orem with his wife, Lola, and their five children, received a bachelor's degree in sociology from Brigham Young University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Utah.
"After getting out of school I worked in drug rehab services for a time," Liston said. "From there I got involved in state services and found the work rewarding and challenging. But I felt it was time for a change. And with what I've found here at UVRMC I'm glad to be here."
One of the major hurdles Liston has faced with the new Rehab Center has been in recruiting. "This is a new field of medicine and there are not a lot of people out there available to come to a new center," he said. "There is a major shortage of occupational therapists and physical therapists trained in this field.
"I think we've been fortunate in being able to find the qualified people we need. And there has already been a good team spirit developing among the people we've brought onto the staff."
The new center will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 14, with tours of the center, lectures, refreshments and prizes.