Tom Schuelke is excited to be here.
He’s the new Challenge Detroit fellow for Beaumont this year and he’s working with the Beaumont Medical Group. “I’m already on a few big projects,” he says. “I feel like I’ll immediately be able to make a difference here and that’s excellent. ”Challenge Detroit is an initiative aimed at boosting the reputation and vitality of Detroit through “challenges” by young professionals.
Beaumont’s part is to host a fellow who will live, work, play, give and lead in Detroit for one year. My professor forwarded me the information about Challenge Detroit,” he says. “I jumped on the opportunity. It sounded like a great chance for me to use my newly developed skills in business to help.”
During the year he’s with Beaumont, Tom will help with a government-mandated upgrade for medical billing codes by coordinating the upgrades with Information Technology and the professional training sessions. In addition, he’ll be working on the Physician 360 Project, which synchronizes and stores information on Beaumont doctors.
Originally from Rockford, Mich., he has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. He worked at General Motors for five years and led the team that created the front shutter grill on the Chevy Cruz that helps with gas mileage and went into nearly 3 million cars worldwide.
“But after five years at GM, I found myself missing something,” he says. “I wanted to be able to help people – I really wanted to use my time and talents to make a difference in people’s lives. So I went back to school to the U of M Ross School of Business, which is one of the few business schools in the nation to off er a curriculum on social enterprise and non-profit management. I have my MBA with a focus on finance and social enterprise.”
Through Challenge Detroit, Tom’s able to work in different areas of the city and at Beaumont to help him decide where to land his career path. “I’m clearly looking for where I want to head in my own career and how I can help improve people’s lives while I’m at it,” he says. “How can you help people improve their quality of life more than by being in health care? I really hope to inspire positive change.”
A newlywed, Tom has many hobbies that fill his time. He has a personal goal to play in at least one tennis tournament a year. Also of note, he’s taken drum lessons from one of the drummers from K.C. and the Sunshine Band. And as a self-professed foodie, he’s famous for his dual layer cheesecakes, particularly raspberry-lemon or pistachio-lime. He also recently picked up wine making. “I just ordered 80 pounds of grapes from California,” he says. “My first batch was drinkable, but the second batch was significantly better.”
Tom will be contributing articles to the Beaumont Blog about his Challenge Detroit experience and the things he’s learning about Detroit. Subscribe below to receive email updates from the Beaumont Blog.