Honoring Our Veterans: A Salute to Those Who Have Served

November 7, 2023 | by Heather Drevna
Honoring Our Veterans: A Salute to Those Who Have Served

More than 18 million Americans are veterans of the U.S. armed forces, according to the Census Bureau. That’s about 6.2% of the U.S. adult population.

At Pediatrix®, we are proud to count many veterans among our employees. Our long-standing mission to “take great care of the patient, every day and in every wayTM” is only made possible by our compassionate, highly specialized clinical teams and our talented workforce that supports them, and that includes veterans serving in a variety of roles from providing direct patient care to ensuring our information technology supports care delivery.

Veteran Physicians: Serving Patients With Honor, Healing and Compassion

Serving in a branch of the U.S. military provides physicians with a unique perspective on patient care. The strong sense of duty instilled in physicians with a military background often translates into a heightened commitment to patient health and well-being. This background equips physicians with resilience, adaptability and empathy, enhancing their capacity to provide exceptional health care to patients, both in and out of uniform.

“Serving in the military is serving your country for a common goal,” said Stephanie Wright, D.O., an OBGYN and practice medical director at Pediatrix Gynecology of the Rocky Mountains and U.S. Air Force veteran. “We are a community and a family. Those I serve with are some of the most valued people in my life. We support each other in peace time and war time. As a Pediatrix physician, I hope to carry over that same sense of community and family. I want my patients to see me as a partner in achieving a common health goal. I want them to know that I value them as a whole, unique individual and that they matter to me.”

Additionally, the experience of working in high-pressure environments and dealing with a diverse range of medical challenges can sharpen their clinical skills and decision-making abilities. Military service also fosters strong teamwork and leadership skills, which can improve communication and collaboration among health care teams, ultimately benefiting patients and the care they receive.

“My time in the Army taught me several important skills I use today,” said Ronald Davis, M.D., a pediatric neurologist and practice medical director at Pediatrix Neurology and Epilepsy of Florida and U.S. Army veteran. “First is to treat colleagues (of higher and lower rank), as well as patients, with respect and dignity, regardless of race, creed or color. Second is learning to be efficient with my time and others’ time. Finally, learning that teamwork gets things done better, faster and easier.”

Veterans Supporting Pediatrix Clinical Teams: Serving With Leadership and Dedication to Mission

While those with clinical experience may be able to easily picture themselves in a civilian clinical environment, non-clinical veterans say the leadership skills they learned during their service are applicable in almost any work environment, but particularly in a mission-focused company like Pediatrix.

“It taught me a lot about teamwork,” said Sheila Cylc, an executive assistant on the Pediatrix People Services team who served in the U.S. Army in an administrative role. “You learn how to work well with others because you have so many different personalities in the military, but you also get that in your workplace. You have to learn how to get along with people.”

According to Cylc, clear communication in pursuit of a common goal is key. “You have to be able to communicate and understand. It's important to be an active listener.”

Melissa Miles, a telecom analyst and U.S. Air Force veteran who worked in satellite communications, agrees that the clear focus on a common goal provided by the armed forces teaches teamwork in a way few other environments can.

“Going into the military, I had never had a job where I was working toward a common goal. It was kind of just like do this, do that,” she explained. “It was the first time that I had a job, and it felt like a team, and it felt like you're working toward this vision, but the vision just happens to be the security of the whole country and the people in it. When you're around all the people with that same kind of frame of mind, the same kind of pride, the same goals, working toward the same vision, it builds such a camaraderie.”

Miles sees something similar at Pediatrix. “We're all working toward the same vision, the same goals, which is treating these amazing moms and babies out there, and even if I don't get to experience that face to face, and I'm not interacting with babies and doctors, I'm still contributing heavily to that,” she said. “Without my team and without what we do, they couldn't do what they do in the field.”

Jamila Jones, CPC, hospital coder and a U.S. Army veteran who worked in communications, agrees that the mission-focus at Pediatrix was a draw in joining the company.

“Everything depends on getting the mission accomplished and, here, our goal is to serve the patient,” she explained. “And I feel like, if there's a place where you can help out a team member, you should, in order to get the mission accomplished. That [mindset] came from my military experience for sure.”

Jones, who used GI bill funds to train as a medical assistant after her service was completed, said her military experience also helped her to be more assertive and advocate for herself.

“I was very soft spoken when I was younger,” she said. “I definitely learned how to speak up for myself and go for what I wanted because I was very ‘if you give me an option, I'll pick one, but I won't just tell you what I want.’ So now that's a whole different story. I feel like it brought me out of my shell so much.”

Cylc also cites adaptability as a key skill learned during her time in the military. “One of the things I think is important is being able to adapt to change,” she said, noting that because of her Army experience, “I know I can handle change in pressure situations.”

Jones said she would advise any veterans unsure that their skills would transfer to a clinically focused company like Pediatrix to look at the opportunities that are available and think of how their skills may apply.

“It's always good to broaden your horizons and enter something that you may not have a lot of experience in, but if you have some type of interest and you get with a good group of people, I feel like you can develop into this being the career for you no matter what field,” she explained. “Because, especially with Pediatrix, there are so many different roles at this company; I think any Service member could find a great place to fit in here.”

To all our employees, their family members and all others who have served and continue serving our country, thank you. And thank you for bringing your talents, leadership skills and compassion to Pediatrix. We are proud to call you colleagues.

For more on career opportunities at Pediatrix, please visit https://www.pediatrix.com/careers.