Honoring military veterans with a continuing commitment to service

AdventHealth recruits military veterans who thrive by adapting previous experiences to new roles in service to others in health care.

As we honor military veterans on Veterans Day, the experiences of some service members are on display in various roles at AdventHealth.

To help veterans transition to a career within the health system, AdventHealth has developed a special website job portal that translates military job codes into a customized list of open positions where military experience and specific skills can best be utilized.

Click here for a video that highlights AdventHealth’s commitment to hiring military veterans: https://militarymakeover.tv/adventhealth-on-a-mission-to-a-successful-transition/.

Pedro Fernandez, senior chaplain at AdventHealth East Orlando

Pedro Fernandez

Pedro Fernandez, a senior chaplain at AdventHealth East Orlando, says the military helped shape the person he is today.

“My military experience has been a blessing for me and truthfully has transformed my life in a positive way,” Fernandez said. “It helped me become a better person, a better father, and a better husband. I learned that whatever difficulties may come or however difficult a condition may be, I will never quit.”

Fernandez, who is currently serving with the U.S. Navy as a reservist chaplain, says his work at AdventHealth is a reflection of his faith and the discipline gained during his time in active duty. His experiences in the Navy formed a firm foundation for facing challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was trained as an officer in the military to always be the first on the battlefield and the last one to leave,” he said. “In other words, I don’t run away from difficulties. I face them. It is an honor to serve others, and to think of their needs before I think of myself. I am here for a higher cause.”
Jeri Henderson Navy Resized

Jeri Hendershot

Jeri Hendershot, a nurse manager at AdventHealth Waterman, said the foundational principles of military service reveal themselves in her daily role. Hendershot, who served as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy, leads a team of nearly four dozen clinical staff. Trust and camaraderie on the patient floors, she said, are important to the clinical team.

“In the military, it’s all about the team, not individuals, and I’m so proud to be part of this team,” Hendershot said. “AdventHealth’s service standards – ‘love me, own it, make it easy and keep me safe’ – are not only for patients, they are for the staff as well. To me, that speaks volumes to anybody who is a veteran and looking for a place to continue their career and call home.”
LaDonna Veteran Resized

LaDonna Sampson

LaDonna Sampson, a retired lieutenant Naval Commander and senior nurse manager at AdventHealth Orlando, turned her experience as a structural mechanic in the U.S. Navy into a post-military career in nursing.

“I had always wanted to be a nurse, but was scared to do that first step,” she said. “The Navy gave me opportunities and pushed me to do things I wasn’t necessary comfortable with, but success on the other side kept me going.”