ROANOKE, Va. – From the battlefield to the health care field, Carilion has combined forces with other health systems across the commonwealth to help get military veterans in more hospitals.
"Over the years we've discovered that it is difficult when a veteran leaves the military to find employment. Their skills don't always carry over into the health care field," said Jamie Ratliff, human resources recruiter for Carilion.
But thanks to the new Military Medics and Corpsmen program, some of those skills will be honed to help patients here at home.
"It's been very important to us to be active in the process from the very beginning, and we're hoping we can see a lot of success with the program," said Ratliff.
The program is a path to careers for veterans who have been referred to health systems by the Department of Veterans Services. The veterans must have served as corpsmen, Army medics, or Air Force medical technicians. They also have to have been actively discharged within the last 12 months.
Program officials call it a win-win situation -- a way to combat health care shortages and a way to put veterans' skills to good use.
"It helps them fill those shortages but the big thing it does, it allows the corpsmen to keep their skills sharp when they get out of the service," said Mark Whiting, lead program manager for the program.
At Carilion, these veterans' new title will be intermediate care technician, working alongside a registered nurse. The goal is for these former service members to continue their education and further their health care career.
Virginia is the first state to implement a new program of this kind.
To learn more about the program, click here.