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Reality starts with a dream for Dr. Jose Colon

| Academic & Student Affairs, CFH, Monday Letter, Our Alumni

“The Sleep Guy speaks for people whose tongues are crying for advocacy, but are not heard because they have silent disorders. Not everyone who isn’t well wears a cast or has lost their hair,” wrote Dr. Jose Colon in a recent journal article.

Colon graduated from USF with dual MD and master of public health degrees. His MPH is in maternal and child health.  Not the average doctor, but one passionately involved in helping his patients, Colon specializes in sleep disorders.

Jose Colon, MD, MPH

Jose Colon, MD, MPH

“Helping the many” is what Colon said interests him most about public health.  “I love helping people, and it’s great when you can help a community with the same knowledge that it takes to help one person.”

In his article “THE SLEEP GUY: The Lorax of Silent Disorders,” he discusses incidences in which people with silent disorders have been embarrassed because of the insensitivity of other people who were unaware of their condition.  He also describes some of the illnesses and their symptoms.

The most captivating story that was mentioned in the article is that of a six-year-old boy who has a mitochondrial disorder. On a trip to the movies with his family, his mother parked in a handicapped parking spot. A man saw that no one had a wheelchair and raged about it to the family. This caused the little boy’s mitochondrial symptoms to flare, which led to an epileptic seizure. The man learned a valuable lesson.

Colon said he’s living his dream job as medical director of sleep medicine and neuro-dynamics at Lee Memorial Health Systems in Fort Myers, Fla.

“With the education at COPH, I sit on multiple administration committees and independently I have started Paradise Sleep.  Paradise Sleep is an organization that is dedicated to teaching the public about sleep health in a way that is fun.”

The Sleep Guy’s publications include adult insomnia books and children’s bedtime stories.  His books include The Magic Ice Cream Palace and The Sleep Diet, A Novel Approach To Insomnia. He also authored”Pediatric Polysomnography” in The Encyclopedia of Sleep Medicine.

Colon said his fondest wish would be “the power to enter into anyone’s dreams so I could plant seeds of positivity and kindness.”

Story by Infiniti Mincey, edited by David Brothers, USF College of Public Health

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