Winter Haven Hospital Welcomes New Surgical Services Director

provided by BAYCARE

Winter Haven, Fla., – Mark Poon likes to stay busy. And that was before he took on a surgical services team that handles more than 8,000 cases every year.

The new director of surgical services is a husband and father of four children who also dedicates time as a naval reserve officer. He is about to receive his master’s
degree in nursing … and is planning to return to school next year to earn a master’s degree.

“I guess I don’t have too much free time due to my commitments with work and the military but ensures to make time for my wife and kids,” Poon said.

Poon was born in the Philippines and migrated to the United States, settling in Jacksonville. As a nursing student, he became interested in perioperative care after
participating in a medical mission in the Philippines. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of North Florida and worked in “just about every role you can think of” in the operating room in various hospitals. Eventually, Poon was asked to build an ambulatory surgery center, then established the Surgical Services department for a new hospital in Jacksonville, motivated by the desire to provide the highest quality of care and access to healthcare for the local community.

“I love my patients like I love my family,” he said. “When you’re in the OR, you have an opportunity to be their advocate and guardian angel and I will fight for the best
and safe quality of care for them.”

Poon and his wife spend a lot of time in Orlando/Tampa area and decided to move and raise their children in Central Florida. In the course of interviewing for the
surgical services position at Winter Haven Hospital, he met the hospital President, Tom Garthwaite.

“I found him to be an exceptional leader and he was the main reason for me wanting to be a part of this hospital,” Poon said.

So far, Poon is most excited to continue to be the voice for the patient during the time they’re most vulnerable.

“I want to always do the right thing for the patient,” he added. “My other goal is to provide the best quality of care for the patient, regardless of who they are.”

Poon earned his Master of Science in Nursing – Leadership & Administration degree, also from the University of North Florida, and then will roll up his sleeves again
to pursue a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree. Poon will also continue his obligation to the U.S. Navy Reserves and is hoping to be promoted to Lieutenant Commander. He spends one weekend a month and combined three weeks of each year as an assistant Officer-in-Charge for a detachment in Jacksonville, where he provides the same operating room services to sailors who need it.

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