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Don Funicello Keeps the Information Flowing Smoothly

Don Funicello

Fremont-Rideout can thank the rekindling of a high school romance for bringing STAR performer Don Funicello to our community as a Network Technician in Information Services.

Don was a single parent living in Southern California and working as a computer technician. "One day, my parents ran into some old friends who asked about me," he recalls. "The friends ended up giving my parents the email address for my high school sweetheart, Georgia. We started corresponding and dating long-distance in 2001. When my son graduated from high school, I moved north to Auburn, where she lived, and we got married in 2005. It was really something to reconnect with her after nearly 35 years."

Part of Don's experience with computers came during his service in the Army many years ago, working on a radar site in Germany. "Computers are much more sophisticated now," he says. "Back then, we had to track hostile airplanes on the radar screen with a grease pencil."

Today, Don helps set up and maintain all the desktop and laptop computers used at Fremont-Rideout. "We make sure all the systems are connected, and we troubleshoot any kind of computer problem people may have," he explains. "In addition to our normal working hours, each of us is also 'on call' from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. about five times per month, because computer problems don't just happen during the day."

Noting that the world of information technology continues to evolve rapidly, Don remarks: "That's part of my fascination with the job. But I also enjoy making use of technology to help support the hospitalís mission and business of providing quality care to our patients. I recently upgraded the computer systems at the Cancer Center, giving them the highest level of service I could provide, and I like to think it makes their jobs easier."

When he's not tinkering with Fremont-Rideout's computers -or his own - Don enjoys spending time with Georgia, golfing, working out at the gym and watching NASCAR races. "I think I'm too old to take up race car driving, though," he chuckles. "After all, I'm not Paul Newman."