Dr. Erik Southard earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from Vincennes University in 1999 before moving to Terre Haute to start his nursing career at Union Hospital. Southard, a native of Odon, Indiana, completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science with major in Nursing degrees at Indiana State University.
Southard worked for Union Hospital Health Group as a float nurse and an intensive care nurse while finishing his undergraduate and graduate degrees. His master's thesis “The Effectiveness of Chronic Disease Management for People with Diabetes Mellitus” earned him a position as a Project Associate for the Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health.
Southard next served as the Director of Special Projects at Lugar Center before taking the Executive Director position. Southard served as the Executive Director at Lugar Center for nearly two years before deciding to go back to clinical care. Southard was instrumental in the growth of store-and-forward as well as live telemedicine in Indiana. He has also been involved in employee wellness, electronic health records and chronic disease management projects.
His clinical experiences include industrial, correctional, mental health, indigent care populations, and family medicine. Southard worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner for Vermillion Parke Community Health Center before accepting a tenure-track Assistant Professorship in the Department of Advanced Practice Nursing at Indiana State University.
Southard continues to practice and provide healthcare consulting services for a variety of clients. His doctoral dissertation was titled, “Can Telemedicine Enhance Rural Mental Healthcare Access in a Critical Access Hospital Emergency Room in Rural Indiana?” Southard graduated from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland, in May of 2010 with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree focusing on health systems leadership and health policy.
Future interests include health research, health promotion, evidence based medicine, patient-centered medical care, malpractice/risk mitigation, patient safety, and health care reform. Erik is an avid outdoorsman and loves spending time with his wife and daughter.