Cerner Operations Exec Credits His Faith

Sep. 16, 2013 - by Carol Best

MNU Experience Is Great Foundation for Alum

by Rachel Phelps ('09)
September 16, 2013
20131105 DPeterson

From shooting guard for the Avignon-National 2 professional basketball team in France to operations executive for Cerner Corporation, David Peterson (’04) says the one constant in his post-college life has been his faith.

“I just trust that God's got a plan and try to stay faithful. It comes full circle,” says Peterson.

Peterson played basketball for the Pioneers all four years of his college career. After graduating with a BA in business and communications he spent his first several months after college completing an international business internship in Avignon, France at Palais du Pape (or The Pope’s Palace), and stayed to play professional basketball. When he returned to the US to search for a job he found himself moving furniture and roofing houses. Learning about an opportunity at Cerner, he landed a formal interview at the corporation’s headquarters in Kansas City.

“I relied on my background in sports and working on and with teams as my foundation when being interviewed. Not to mention I had faith the Lord would guide my hand,” says Peterson.

This pioneering attitude paid off for him. An official offer arrived in the mail several days later and Peterson began his career with Cerner. During the last eight-plus years, he has held nine positions within the company – from solutions delivery consultant to operations executive - and has worked in London, Paris and New York City, among other locations. The international scope of his job is something he worked toward in college.

“My end goal was to get back to Europe to use my French language skills,” says Peterson, who took international business courses at MNU. “Through this job, I had a chance to do that for two years. The Lord knows the desires of your heart.”

Cerner is a health software company that designs, builds and implements medical software across specialties and venues. Peterson’s job involves coordinating with two of Cerner’s largest clients – Adventist Health East and Florida Hospital.

“It is my job to work with executive leadership on the client side to ensure they are realizing the full potential in their partnership with Cerner. I spend half my time working in Orlando with the client and the other in KC coordinating with some 13 divisions at Cerner to ‘keep the wheels greased’,” he says. “I’m making sure they're having the best possible experience with Cerner, maximizing their value and realizing the investment on their dollars.”

This includes meeting with CEOs to plan a “roadmap” for utilizing the software and making sure any problems reported are dealt with in a timely manner. Working for a health software company wasn’t Peterson’s precise goal, but Cerner has enabled him to exercise his passion for serving others.

“I've always felt like engaging with people, seeing it from another's point of view, is one of my strengths,” says Peterson.

Which isn’t to say that his job doesn’t hold its challenges. His current position often includes working 12 hour days or longer, and there are unique hurdles to overcome. He recounts an experience of training physicians in Marseilles, France, on Cerner software.

“It's intimidating when you're the only American trying to speak French to 16 doctors, but I relied on the Lord's strength and trusted that He had a plan,” Peterson says.

His MNU experience helped him gain that trust. Peterson says when he looks back at his college years, what stands out most to him are the character-building lessons he learned – the importance of integrity, honesty and valuing other people. The relationships he had with his professors enriched his learning experience.

“Having an intimate setting such as MNU for college was great in that I was being taught by professors with doctorates – and they genuinely cared for their students,” says Peterson. “The fact professors were willing to go the extra mile and take an interest in helping you not only succeed in the classroom, but in life, is one facet of MNU that sticks with me to this day.”

Peterson has a family legacy with the MNU. His grandfather was the architect for the campus, his father coached Pioneer basketball in the 1980s, and his mother is the current Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He currently volunteers as an assistant coach for the Women Pioneers basketball team to stay involved at MNU.

“I’m just trying to teach them life through basketball,” says Peterson. “Being selfless, being a servant to others, those are things I try to communicate to them through sports.”

While coaching gives him a chance to exercise his love of sports, it also allows him to observe the campus community as it is now.

“Seeing the diversity on campus these days is a prayer answered.  Students and faculty alike hail from different countries, ethnic and social backgrounds and religious viewpoints. And that’s what I see at MNU these days – people embracing ‘who they are’ and living for Jesus,” says Peterson.

apply-banner-300

Fill out our free online application and advance your career!

Apply Nowinfo-banner-300
Enter your contact information and one of our experienced admissions representatives will contact you shortly!
 

MNU News

Sunday, December 4
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Straley-5
Alum Mixes Faith and Forensic Science

Alum Mixes Faith and Forensic Science

When forensic science comes to mind, scenes from CSI and NCIS may flash before your eyes. What you might not think about is one’s faith. But 2015 alum Hannah Straley has figured out how to balance…

Read More
GivingTuesday IG-firstphoto
Today is MNU Giving Tuesday

Today is MNU Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving fueled by social media and the collective support of millions. MNU’s goal is to reach 500 donations today and here’s how you can participate. All…

Read More
Spittal Official Headshot 2012 small edited
Spittal Elected to Second Five-Year Term at MNU

Spittal Elected to Second Five-Year Term at MNU

MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Board of Trustees unanimously passed a renewal vote for a five-year term of its fifth president, Dr. David J.…

Read More
Cunninghams 2014 Cathedral Builders Award
Student Center To Be Named After Cunninghams

Student Center To Be Named After Cunninghams

When MNU’s Bright Futures: the campaign for MNU was announced last month, many were delighted to hear that the new Student Center would be named…

Read More
IMG 0115
Scholarship Challenge Set for Jan. 27-28, 2017

Scholarship Challenge Set for Jan. 27-28, 2017

MNU’s second annual Scholarship Challenge is set for Jan. 27-28, 2017. The best and brightest high school seniors can compete at this year’s…

Read More
GivingTuesday IG-firstphoto-v2
Giving Tuesday is Nov. 29 at MNU

Giving Tuesday is Nov. 29 at MNU

Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving fueled by social media and the collective support of millions, is Nov. 29. This year MNU will participate in the philanthropic movement now in its fifth year.…

Read More
Emily Phillips 1
Senior’s Compassion Grows Through Internships

Senior’s Compassion Grows Through Internships

When student Emily Phillips went to Greece to intern with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in the Syrian refugee camps, she wasn’t expecting her…

Read More
Students Walking
MNU Receives $300K from Sunderland Foundation for New Student Center

MNU Receives $300K from Sunderland Foundation for New Student Center

The proposed Cunningham Student Center is part of the new Bright Futures: the campaign for MNU, a three-priority, multi-year campaign for $61…

Read More
Nursing Sim I
Collaboration with Olathe Fire Department Makes Realistic Simulation for Students

Collaboration with Olathe Fire Department Makes Realistic Simulation for Students

Yesterday the Olathe Fire Department participated in a collaborative simulation with pre licensure nursing students at MNU. For students it started…

Read More
Sports
Gameday Central

Gameday Central

#1 WBB at Missouri Valley | W 78-72 #8 MBB at Missouri Valley | L 76-80

 
Huge 4th Quarter Keys Road Win

Huge 4th Quarter Keys Road Win

MNU trailed by 9 points late in the third quarter, but a 21-3 run put the Pioneers in control in a 78-72 victory at Missouri Valley on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Bob Timmons Challenge

Bob Timmons Challenge

Indoor Track & Field | Lawrence, KS Coverage | Results

 
Latest Photos
Mayors Prayer Breakfast
Mayors Prayer Breakfast
MNU Men's Soccer
MNU Men's Soccer
MNU Men's Soccer
MNU Men's Soccer