For most people, obtaining a medical degree would be a natural stopping place in their academic career. Likewise, most people with diabetes who undergo dialysis and quadruple bypass, kidney transplant and double lower-leg amputation surgery, all in two years, might be tempted to retire.
But not Dr. Anthony Linz of Sandusky, medical director of BGSU Firelands’ respiratory care technology program. The pulmonary and critical care osteopathic physician, who first graduated from Bowling Green in 1971 with a degree in biology (pre-med) and a minor in chemistry, decided when faced with those daunting circumstances that he would simply change his career path. That was in 1999.
In 2001, he came back to school at BGSU, and on Aug. 5 received his master’s degree in public health administration. Linz was surrounded by numerous family members who, like he, are Bowling Green alumni. They include his mother, Margaret Linz, a retired special education teacher and Martha Holden Jennings scholar who received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in education at Bowling Green and has almost completed her Ph.D.
Linz has also served as director of cardiopulmonary care services at Firelands Regional Medical Center. Because of his suppressed immune system following the kidney transplant, Linz knew that visiting critically ill patients, especially in the hospital’s intensive care unit, would no longer be healthy for him. “I began to think about what I could do,” he remembers.
After reading about BGSU’s program in public health—a consortium of BGSU, the University of Toledo and the Medical University of Ohio—he visited its director, Dr. Fleming Fallon. That meeting proved fruitful for both.
Not only did Linz enroll in the program, but he and Fallon, who was also a physician before coming to BGSU, combined their expertise to work on projects. The result has been the publication of four, peer-reviewed journal articles and two presentations of their research at annual meetings of the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Local Boards of Health.
“I have enormous respect for him, both personally and professionally,” said Fallon. “He has overcome great adversity, and he doesn’t whine about it; in fact, he makes jokes about his legs.
“He has only been in prosthetic legs for a few years and yet, two weeks ago, his daughter got married and I watched him dance,” he said with admiration.
For the Linz family, BGSU has been not only their alma mater but also the place where they have met their spouses. Dr. Linz met his future wife, the former Kathleen Kovach, when she was an education major. Their son, Anthony Scott Linz, a business administration major, met his wife, Kristin Wetzel, an education major. Most recently, their daughter, Sara Elizabeth, a dietetics major, met her husband, Donald Hupp, who has two degrees from BGSU, in social work and psychology.