Perimeter Behavioral CEO Checks Off Three Degrees at Bellevue University
Robert Marsh can check a few things off his to-do list -- not one, not two, but three degrees from Bellevue University, a CEO title at Perimeter Behavioral of the Ozarks, and a growing family in Springdale, Arkansas. All at the age of 31.
“It's very humbling to see how my education and work experience have come together to afford me the opportunity to be a CEO at such a young age. I'm grateful for the support my wife and family have lent me in pursuing my goals both academically and professionally,” he said. “Joining an organization like Perimeter Healthcare has been a dream come true. I'm looking forward to opportunities to continue growing with this organization and within the healthcare industry.”
Marsh started his Bellevue University career in the summer of 2010 and had his first degree completed, a Bachelor of Science in Human and Social Services Administration, in late 2012. He went on to earn a Master of Public Administration in 2013 and a Master of Healthcare Administration in 2017. A native of Clarinda, Iowa, Marsh took both in-class and online courses, while working toward his degrees.
“Anyone looking to further their education needs to put the time and energy into the research. The reviews from graduates and various publications were phenomenal. Bellevue University was the best of both worlds and would fit into my work-life balance easily,” Marsh said. “If anything ‘cinched’ it for me it was visiting the actual campus. It is beautiful. I was really pleased to see a campus so open and welcoming, from students to faculty. That made it one of the easier decisions of my life.”
Once enrolled, Marsh relished the interaction with all of his professors throughout all three programs.
“All of them had various backgrounds within the field and continually offered experience-based feedback on questions and concerns,” he said. “It has been very rewarding to feel prepared as various challenges have come and gone during my first year in this position. I owe a lot of success in this role to my experience in the MHA program.
Dr. Mike Freel, Director for the Master of Healthcare Administration program, takes pride in the success students are achieving out of the MHA program.
“It’s so satisfying and fulfilling to know that the MHA program at Bellevue University is preparing people like Mr. Marsh for working at such a high level in healthcare!” Freel said. “Personally, it’s affirming that the MHA curriculum is at the leading edge of providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective healthcare administrator. When we’re able to tie in coursework with real life experience, it enables students to take on more challenges and succeed in this field.”
“There were many professors and advisors who helped me through my three degrees at Bellevue. I can honestly say I was never ‘just a number’ in any class, in any forum. Faculty showed their dedication in taking the time to answer questions with forethought and relatable examples. This included after-hour emails, phone calls, and clear direction.”
Marsh has been CEO at Perimeter since March of 2018. He came to the facility having worked as the Senior Program Director for the Youth Ranch, a non-profit- organization in Boise, Idaho.
“While working there, I learned the importance of community support and involvement. Community involvement is a necessary ingredient for a successful program and without the support, it is much more difficult to truly impact the lives of youth in need,” he said. “People are inherently good – given the opportunity to support programs like The Youth Ranch, they will. With that you will achieve success beyond imagination.”
Marsh has brought that philosophy along with him to Perimeter, a psychiatric residential treatment facility that specializes in working with young women. He is responsible for overall operations, as well as community engagement and involvement.
“The biggest reward is the day-to-day care of our patients. Their mental health care, education, and well-being is first and foremost in my team’s daily routine. I’m also immensely proud of the commitment we have to my organization’s staff. I am proud of the relationship my management team has with staff to ensure that they have every potential to grow not only within this field, but to help them for any position they may aspire to. We strive to be servant leaders.”
Marsh credits his Bellevue University with playing a key role in helping him land the CEO position.
“My Bellevue University education is absolutely critical for my success. Not only was it a direct qualification for the CEO position, but it also demonstrated my competency and commitment within the healthcare field,” he said.
Marsh credits his wife, Cheri, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science in 2018 at Bellevue University and is currently enrolled in the University’s Master of Science in Human Services program, for providing much of his motivation.
“My wife is the inspiration in every aspect of my life. I would not have been able to accomplish any of my academic or professional goals without her,” he said. “She is my support to push myself further in personal growth and to give back to the community. She has given me an opportunity to not only be a better husband, but a better man. Our daughter, Ava, is a light in both of our lives that reminds us daily of the kind of world we are working to have her grow up in.”