November 23, 2011

Emory Profile

Henry Intili: Nursing a passion for caring, travel and adventure

Henry Intili
Henry Intili is a nurse practitioner for Occupational Injury Management and the Express Care Clinic.

By Kim Urquhart

You may know Henry Intili as one of the friendly faces at the Express Care Clinic, where Emory employees can go for free care for acute illness or work-related injuries.  Intili is a certified nurse practitioner for Occupational Injury Management and the Express Care Clinic, on the ground floor of Emory University Hospital.

When he's not in the clinic caring for patients, Intili can be found tending to his flower and fruit orchard or turning bowls from local oak and cherry in his woodworking shop.

An avid adventurer, Intili and his wife, Barb, both in their 60s, have travelled the world by backpack and canoe. Despite plenty of misadventures — from freezing in Alaska to dehydrating in Utah — they found hospitality and friendliness everywhere.

Their most interesting journeys are chronicled in "Travel Junkies: An Older Couple From Georgia Explores the World with Backpack and Canoe," which he penned in 2008. He's now putting the final touches on the sequel, "Travel Junkies II," and is also at work on a cookbook and a children's book about the adventures of a young boy and a shaggy dog.

Intili talks with Emory Report about his varied passions as an author, adventurer and healer:

You went back to school as an adult to earn your nursing degrees. What led you to nursing? 

I wanted to secure a license that would enhance my position in the marketing of medical products. One day in my pediatric semester for RN, caring for an acutely ill young boy at Grady, I realized that I loved clinical practice. By the way, as a nurse practitioner, I'm more practitioner than nurse.

What would you like Emory employees to know about the Express Care Clinic?

Make use of our services when you are acutely ill and cannot be seen by your primary care provider. We cannot act as a provider for chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension.

You've written technical articles in the clinical field as well as several novels and plays. What interests you in writing?

I worked summers with my father for 10 years, starting when I was 10 years old. Yet I know very little about what he thought about his marriage, family or work. He left no writing about his thoughts. I do not want my life to be such a cipher for my children. That's the sane reason. On the other hand, there are character voices in my head that demand to be heard and written. They do not leave me alone until I put them and their stories on paper!

You are an avid traveller. What are some of your travel highlights?

• Most friendly places and people: Ireland, especially the Dingle Peninsula, and small towns in Tuscany, Italy.

• Most beautiful places: Hinchinbrook Island National Park on the Coral Sea off Australia and Jasper National Park in Canada.

• Most dramatic national parks in the U.S.: Glacier in Montana and Gates of the Arctic in Alaska.

• Most beautiful areas of the U.S.: Southern coast of Oregon and the Finger Lakes of New York.

• Most dangerous place: Afghanistan.

• Places I want to visit again: Cape Breton Highlands of Nova Scotia; and the Cotswolds area of England.

Many of your adventures involve backpacking and paddling. Why do you choose this method of travel?

There is only one way to experience the beauty of Heart Lake in Yellowstone or the Brazeau Valley in Banff or the Pronga River crossing in Iceland – you have to hike in. Similarly, if you want to experience the wildness of the Arctic, you need to canoe one of its rivers and pit your skills against its demands. How can you immerse yourself in the vineyards of Italy or the stony ledges of Canyonlands in Utah while looking out the windows of an air-conditioned bus? Barb and I plan to add bicycling to our modes of travel next year when we cycle through Holland at tulip time.

Do you have a philosophy that guides your travels?

If you don't live your life to the fullest now, when are you going to?

File Options

  • Print Icon Print

Related Information