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Lessons Learned in Military Serve Double-duty in Health Care

Observed on Nov. 11 each year, Veterans Day honors military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. AdventHealth recognizes and honors those who served to protect our country and the freedoms of others.

To honor the observance, six of AdventHealth’s veteran team members share lessons from their military service that they continue to apply to their roles in health care.

Deena DeThomas

Deena DeThomas

Executive director of human resources in AdventHealth's West Florida Division

Inspiration: I followed in the footsteps of my grandfather, a member of the National Guard, my father, a Marine, and my brother, a member of the National Guard and the U.S. Air Force. I joined the U.S. Air Force because I was inspired to contribute to something bigger than myself – for the greater good of society.

Service lesson: I learned two foreign languages while assigned in Crete, Greece, and Sembach, Germany. As a military member, I gained significant responsibility at a young age, which helped me develop my confidence, leadership skills and desire to give back and inspire others in fulfilling their careers.

Janice Scales for Veterans Day

Janice Scales

Quality improvement nurse at AdventHealth

Inspiration: My father was in the military, but I hadn't given much thought to joining the military. After observing my grandmother's dedication to patient care in an Iowa hospital, I went to nursing school, where I became close friends with a classmate who was in the Navy. After graduation, I stayed in touch with my friend and eventually joined the Air Force.

Service lesson: I enjoyed the recognition pinning ceremonies in the Air Force, which inspired me to maintain high-quality service standards in my current role. My military experience also taught me to always be prepared for unpredictable situations.

Michael Briscoe for Veterans Day

Michael Briscoe

Director of practice operations for the AdventHealth Medical Group in Georgia

Inspiration: My inspiration came from my grandfather who served in the military. I served in the Navy and now serve in the Air Force Reserve. The military has always played a part in my life, and I met my wife while we were both serving.

Service lesson: In both the Navy and the Air Force, meeting diverse people with unique viewpoints was – and still is – a gift. My service has made me resilient, adaptive and equipped with life experiences. I learned servant leadership, which teaches that the best way to take action is by collaborating and supporting those who are on the front lines.

Diana Gomes for Veterans Day

Diana Gomes

Director of the progressive care unit at AdventHealth Central Texas

Inspiration: I come from a long line of military family members who served in the Navy, Marines and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. My father is a retired Navy serviceman, and my sister is a retired Marine. My grandfather served in World War II. It was a source of pride for me to carry on the family tradition as part of the U.S. Army.

Service lesson: A famous motto in the military is “Mission First.” Leading and learning from my teams during my first assignment to Korea was a privilege. As a nursing leader at AdventHealth, my outcomes wouldn’t have been possible without the supportive teams around me.

Robert Colella for Veterans Day

Robert Colella

Director of new hire training simulations at AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division

Inspiration: My grandfather's bravery in World War II inspired me to join the military. During my service, I traveled the world and kept a journal of my experiences to share with future generations.

Service lesson: While serving in the Army, I learned the importance of patience in various aspects of military life, including setting conditions for success and adapting to new environments. In my work at AdventHealth, I've found that patience is also crucial for building successful simulation programs and fostering strong teams. Seeing young nurses develop their skills and improve patient outcomes has been incredibly rewarding.

Knyvett Barnes for Veterans Day

Knyvett Barnes

Revenue integrity manager at AdventHealth’s Multi-State Division

Inspiration: I grew up in a farming community in the Midwest. My father and brothers served in the military and inspired me to join at a young age. It was a transformative experience.

Service lesson: My time in the Army taught me to make the best of any situation. This skill has proven to be beneficial in my professional career. As the health care industry evolves, this skill has helped me adapt to changes and approach problems creatively.

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