Veterans like how work honors their service and sacrifice
Stephanie Workman, military and veteran outreach coordinator, uses her passion and connection to engage service members daily.
“Many fought for our freedom. Our military family is a piece of our community’s fabric, and it’s important to mark this day in time and to pay respect those who are no longer with us,” Workman said.
Friday, with the help of the Urbana American Legion Post 71, Workman helped honor fallen service members during a ceremony outside the Heart and Vascular Institute.
Veteran Stan York appreciates that Carle recognized Memorial Day.
“It keeps it at the forefront having it right here on campus,” the information management and analytics worker said.
The initiative Workman leads recruits and retains talented veterans who bring their strengths to deliver care and service to patients. More than 200 Carle employees self-identified as service men and women.
“Veterans are valuable. Their leadership and project management skills are easily transferrable. And I find that they are ready to hit the ground running,” Workman said.
“The military operates much like a large company – from a mail room to communications to logistics – there is a role for everyone,” York said. “I worked in communications. If it talked or squawked, I messed with it.”
York served during Desert Storm/Desert Shield from 1989-1993. Stationed in England, he worked on computers, radios and satellites, supporting troops around the world, some in combat zones.
“Much like clients I serve today, fast, quick-fixes are best. Back then there was incentive to have things up and running again in 10 minutes less,” he said.
His incentive then? No paperwork.
Today, York’s rewards include the opportunity to participate in ceremonies like the one for Memorial Day. Although his co-workers have not served, several know someone who has or is serving.
Veterans at Carle draw from their different experiences and are in a variety of roles.
Tenika McMillan serves in Nursing Education at Carle and credits her military experience for sparking her interest in nursing.
After an explosion on board the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson McMilllan witnessed a Navy corpsman leap into action.
“That corpsman wasn’t performing surgery but she’s the reason he’s alive today. She stabilized him and kept major organs from suffering any further damage.”
McMillan credits the calm, confidence for saving the sailor’s life. Much like today, simply being there for a patient is a major part of care.
“I wasn’t really interested in Nursing until that day. I wanted to be able to do that for someone,” McMillan said.
Today she is doing that – for patients and also by training new nurses. McMillan has recently earned her Master’s in Nursing and helps lead the Carle Nurse Residency Program.
On Memorial Day, she reflects on her experience and pays gratitude to service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“It’s so amazing that Carle takes the time to honor and remember.” She also takes time to thank those who are still in harms way.
“I’m proud of my military experience. It taught me how to be an adult, to follow through, and to take care of my responsibilities. But I don’t take it for granted. I still have friends who are serving. Those friends are missing Mother’s Day and their child’s ball game because they are protecting us,” McMillan said.