Veterans leading from the front

By Janice Erdlitz, Lyster Army Health Clinic Public Affair OfficerNovember 10, 2020

Each year on 11 November, we as a nation pause to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those loyal men and women who have worn the uniform.

“Inspired by patriotism, our veterans choose to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Lyster is proud to have an amazing group of veterans that continue to serve their country as Army Civilians. The strength and leadership they bring to our team ensure our continued ability to deliver our mission to provide safe, high-quality health services in support of the Total Force to ensure readiness and conserve the fighting strength while protecting those entrusted to our care,” remarked Lt. Col. Danielle Rodondi, Lyster Army Health Clinic Commander.

Veterans serving as Army Civilians come from all walks of life and play an integral part in Army Medicine. They took off the uniform but they continue to serve.

Let’s meet two veterans on the Lyster Army Health Clinic team who are leading from the front.

Keeley Garcia currently serves as the LAHC Safety Manager. Her service to her country started in the United States Air Force in Bioenvironmental Engineering, 4B0X. Garcia explained, “Being prior military has had a significant influence on shaping me as a leader. I have taken all of the core values that were installed in me and incorporated them into my leadership style. I am proud to say that my previous military skills and knowledge have been invaluable during this time of COVID-19. Because I know how emergency management works, I have a solid understanding and background to handle a multitude of situations. I’ve been able to think quickly, be confident in my abilities, and speak up to make the best decisions to ensure the safety of our clinic and patients during this pandemic.”

Garcia played an instrumental role in the pharmacy drive-thru operations when COVID impacted the community. She found herself working daily alongside Soldiers and remarked how her prior military experience allowed her to understand the struggles Active Duty service members face during challenging times. She found herself making it a priority to mentor and be available to all members of the clinic. Ensuring the safety of clinic patrons and staff during a pandemic has kept Garcia a very busy person.

Raymond Cavanaugh serves as the CIO/Chief of Information Management at Lyster. Before stepping into the shoes as an Army Civilian, he served in the Army as a 31F, Network Switching Systems Operator-Maintainer. Cavanaugh commented, “My Army leadership always tried to give me opportunities to excel professionally and personally. My time in the service gave me a leader’s perspective that helps me to challenge my staff to be the best they can be."

Being a part of Army Medicine during a pandemic, Cavanaugh has played a critical role. He and his team had the initial daunting task of meeting the needs of a rapidly changing virtual workforce and the continued efforts of providing the technical support for virtual and telehealth services alongside all their normal day to day operations. He continued to explain when faced with new challenges, effective leaders should offer ample support to achieve goals.

Cavanaugh remarked, “I am blessed to be a part of the Lyster Army Health Clinic. Even though our mission has stayed the same, how we execute that mission during this pandemic has been challenging. Fortunately, when you have selfless staff members, sections chiefs compromised of both civilian and military leaders, and a command team working together for the common welfare of beneficiaries, anything is obtainable.”

Our military veterans are respected among their peers and experts in their fields. The experience and expertise they bring to an organization are invaluable. We thank all the dedicated veterans that continue to serve and the positive impact they have on the Lyster team. Army Medicine is Army Strong.

Lyster Commander, Lt. Col. Rodondi, concluded, “Our people are a priority. It’s an honor to work alongside these dedicated professionals who continue to lead from the front.”

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL