“After Valley” highlights select Valley Christian alumni of all ages, from our first graduating class of 1986 to our most recent graduates.
Brad Zehring ’00
This “After Valley” profile was originally posted in July 2017.
It has been sort of a whirlwind. Professionally, after I graduated Arizona State University I worked for Mayo Clinic Hospital as a surgical technologist and then in the Perioperative Business office. But, the real fun began when I decided that I wanted to become a physician. I applied to medical school (had a lot of fun and stress for four years) and upon graduation from medical school I matched into my Psychiatry residency program (for some more fun and stress for an additional four years) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. I recently graduated from that program and have opened my Psychiatric private practice, with a colleague, called Arizona Restorative Psychiatry in Gilbert, AZ. Also, I work at Doorways, LLC which is an outpatient clinic that treats 13-25 year olds. At Arizona Restorative Psychiatry, my wife runs the front office and assists with the administrative duties. We see all mental health disorders and I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and co-occurring disorders which often are present in people with eating disorders. My wife and I are passionate about caring for, treating, advocating, and educating those with mental illness. We believe that as Christians we are uniquely qualified to help meet the needs in the Christian community when it comes to mental illness. My wife runs a non-profit in AZ called Circles of Change and Ophelia’s Place (founded in NY by my mother-in-law). We are excited to see where our two worlds, when blended together, will continue to serve the community.
Personally, I have been married 11 years to Holli and we have two beautiful children together – Anna (9yo), Andrew (6yo). Being a father has been amazing and watching them grow, learn, and become little people has been such a blessing!
Tell us a little about your daily work:
As a Psychiatrist I treat depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, OCD, PTSD, and other signs and symptoms of mental illness. Many times I am consulted to rule out mental illness as a cause of neurological or other physical illnesses that may look psychiatric in nature. I prescribe medications (or psychotropics) but I also do psychotherapy (“talk therapy”). In addition to medications and therapy, I believe in the importance of sleep, movement, and nutrition as key components to mental and physical health. A big part of my job is not only treat a person clinically, but also make sure that I educate them so they can be as healthy as possible. I see and hear many tragic and sad things. However, I also get to partner with my patients who are incredibly strong, brave, and courageous for seeking help and working everyday to improve their lives. I would not want to do anything else.
I was flown to a hospital in a helicopter, while unconscious, after I got a concussion playing football in junior high.
While you were at VCHS, which teachers, coaches or classmates had the biggest impact on you?
The teachers were amazing – so many to mention them all. Mrs. Mehan was awesome. Mr. Kuiper had a great way of teaching human anatomy and that was my favorite class during my VCHS career. Additionally, probably the best time in high school for me was playing sports. Coach Benson and Coach Haags were amazing. So many memories on road trips, locker rooms, practices, game days, and long drives on a very hot, short bus. Sports naturally teach such important life lessons, but these two men also helped develop and ingrain life lessons to help me develop from a boy to a man. One additional person that I would be amiss to talk about it Coach Timmer; I received great satisfaction beating him in 3-point shoot-outs (routinely) and bench pressing more than him.
How do you stay connected with your friends from Valley and with VCHS?
Telephone. Social Media.
What’s one lasting memory you have of VCHS?
Lifelong friendships that I developed. In such formative years, it was great to be surrounded by friends and teachers that helped support me and truly cared for me
Do you have any advice for current students?
I would just say to try and stay present in the moment and not be in too quick of a hurry to grow up. I realize the idea of college and leaving home is very exciting for a lot of teenagers. But, high school is such a rich time of friendships, activities, pain, discomfort, learning, and exploration. Continue to remain grounded in today and make the most of all the opportunities that you are blessed to have each and every day.
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