Texas Tech University

Faculty Spotlight: Larry Fulton, Health Organization Management

Darla Vasquez

November 18, 2016


Dr. Larry Fulton served more than a quarter of a century in the United States Army Medical Department, retiring in 2010 after attaining the rank of colonel. He served at every rank from private through colonel. After retirement, Fulton began a full-time career in academia and healthcare/aviation consulting. He was appointed an assistant professor in the Computer Information Systems & Quantitative Methods Department of Texas State University (San Marcos). While assigned to Texas State, Dr. Fulton was awarded the Alpha Chi Favorite Professor Award by students, as well as the Presidential Distinction Award for Teaching. Dr. Fulton also taught leadership courses for the College of Bahamas Master of Business Administration program in Nassau. In 2014, he accepted a position in the Rawls College of Business, Health Organization Management Department, as an assistant professor.

How will the skills that students acquire through the health organization management program help in their career?

The HOM program is designed to provide students requisite skills, knowledge and abilities for a successful career in the business of healthcare. As part of the program, our students are required to apply what they learn by completing a one-year internship with a healthcare organization.

What do you do, as a faculty member, to position your students for success?

As a team, the HOM faculty are careful during the admissions process to ensure that admitted students are already well prepared for success. The team, in conjunction with the HOM Advisory Board, ensure that admitted students receive relevant, health-care focused business education, as well as internships that prepare them for career positions.

What qualities are most looked for in recent graduates applying for entry-level positions?

Like most positions in professional sectors, there are often a few barriers to entry. Many of the entry-level positions in healthcare administration require a graduate education in health organization management. Although experience in healthcare is generally a plus, students may also enter into the discipline through an internship or residency process.

What advice would you give current students in the Rawls College pursuing, or considering, a health organization management degree?

The outlook for the healthcare sector is phenomenal, and a well-prepared individual will have the opportunity for a career in a highly rewarding industry. Keep in mind that chance favors the well prepared, and the HOM program at the Rawls College provides that preparation.  Students without experience in the healthcare sector should consider volunteering in a healthcare organization to obtain exposure and ensure that the industry is a fit for them.

What resources does the Rawls College provide to help students obtain an internship or full-time position after graduation?

In the spring, HOM sponsors a Preceptor Conference (set up by our wonderful administrative assistant, Ann Bertoia). At this conference, students and potential employers engage in a "speed-dating" style interview process. Additionally, faculty members coordinate with local facilities (e.g., University Medical Center, Lubbock Community Health Center, etc.) to help place our students.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at the Rawls College?

The students. Having taught at other universities, I can state unequivocally that our students are some of the most dedicated and focused on the planet.  I enjoy learning with them.

More About Dr. Fulton

During his military career, Dr. Fulton led soldiers in combat during Operation Desert Shield & Desert Storm as a medical evacuation aviator (1990-1991) and during Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Deputy Surgeon and Chief of Medical Operations, Plans, and Effects for the Multi-National Corps-Iraq (2005-2007). He served in many locations in the United States as well as in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Central America, providing leadership for medical evacuation, health administration, health logistics, and hospital organizations around the globe. Some of his most memorable contributions involve medical missions conducted to support developing and war-torn countries and the re-building of Iraqi medical infrastructure.

While in the military, Dr. Fulton earned graduate degrees in Human Resource Management (Troy), Health Administration (Baylor), Military Science (Command & General Staff College), Strategy (Army War College), and Statistics (University of Texas at Austin). He was also awarded the Ph.D. in Management Science & Information Systems by the University of Texas at Austin in 2005, a degree that prepared Dr. Fulton to lead an operations research team in support of the Army Medical Department.

During his Army tenure, Dr. Fulton taught healthcare professionals both military and academic skills. As an Associate Professor for the Army-Baylor Master of Health Administration (MHA) Program, the U.S. News & World Report's 7th ranked MHA in the country, Dr. Fulton taught physicians, nurses, administrators, and other professionals the art and science of statistics and leadership, earning two awards for teaching.

Some of Dr. Fulton's individual military awards include the Legion of Merit (peacetime), the Bronze Star (combat), two Air Medals (combat), and five Meritorious Service Medal (peacetime and combat). His unit awards include the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Citation. While serving as a medical evacuation leader, Dr. Fulton was awarded two civilian awards, the Order of Saint Michael for aviation service and the Order of Military Medical Merit for contributions to the nation's military healthcare system.

As a consultant, Dr. Fulton has provided advice and analysis to support Sikorsky Helicopters, Navigator Development Group, Medical Evacuation Proponency Directorate, the Center for Army Medical Department Strategic Studies, the Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, and Geneva Corporation. His primary consultant interests are in the areas of military and medicine.

Dr. Fulton has more than 50 articles in print or in press. Most of his contributions are in the areas of aviation and military medicine. He has published in journals such as Simulation, Interfaces, Health Administration, Nursing Administration, Pain, Learning & Instruction, and IIE Transactions on Healthcare Engineering. Dr. Fulton has mentored doctoral students at Penn State, the University of Texas at Austin, and Central Michigan University.

Dr. Fulton maintains certifications both in healthcare and quantitative methods. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executive (FACHE), a Chartered Statistician and Chartered Scientist of the Royal Statistical Society (CStat CSci), a Professional Statistician of the American Statistical Association (PStat), a Certified Analytics Professional of the Institute for Operations Research & Management Science (INFORMS CAP), and a Certified Quality Engineer/Six Sigma Black Belt of the American Society for Quality (CQE CSSB).

Dr. Larry Fulton maintains fixed and rotary wing pilot licenses with a Sikorsky S-70 type rating. He donates his aviation services as a member of Angel Flight Southwest.

Dr. Fulton and his wife of 30 years, Debbie, hail from the Texas Hill Country and have three boys. Their youngest son will graduate from Texas Tech this May.

This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.