A total shock came Heather Taylor’s way last week when she was called up on the stage and named the U.S. Army Medical Command’s Employee of the Year for the Tier I category.
“I was sent [to San Antonio] under the pretense that I was going to a conference,” said Taylor, but the recognition was not lost in her surprise.
“I feel very honored to be recognized. It just makes you feel really proud to be a part of it, but it makes you feel so many others should be recognized,” said Taylor.
Taylor attended the MEDCOM Symposium in San Antonio, Tx., and was awarded the honor by Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Eric Schoomaker, the Army Surgeon General on June 27. She has worked at the McChord Medical Clinic within Madigan Healthcare System since September of 2008 when she started as a medical support assistant. She became the lead in January of 2010 and now mentors six other MSA’s in the daily duties of checking-in patients and scheduling.
“Ms. Taylor is one of the driving change agents in the McChord Medical Clinic,” said Anthony Munoz, administrative officer for the McChord Medical Clinic. “Her desire to constantly seek new ways to improve patient satisfaction is one of her greatest assets. She is an analytical thinker with a unique ability to envision key business practice changes that have positively impacted provider productivity.”
Taylor has led the McChord MSA team through some turbulent times.
Recently the clinic has experienced significant turnover within the seven-member MSA team.
Her leadership has helped with the transition, but her boots on the ground have been the most recognized effort to make the turnover transparent with patients.
“Heather has always been the one to pitch in,” said Munoz. “Even though she’s the lead, she’s not one who will sit in her own office and not help. She recognizes that when people are sick or we are short of staff that she’s going to be out there at the front.”
Taylor likely does this because she loves what she is doing.
When asked what it is she likes about being an MSA she said the daily interaction.
“I get to interact with my co-workers and anytime there is a situation with a patient they give me a call. I like to try to problem solve and help them,” said Taylor.
The McChord Clinic being smaller is one aspect of her job she also appreciates.
“I think it comes to our advantage that McChord Clinic is smaller,” said Taylor. “We usually do great on meeting our goals. We are able to problem solve and make changes quickly.”

Munoz believes that Taylor is one of those folks who will be moving on up in the ranks very quickly.
“I’ve often said that it’s hard to find good people, but it’s even harder to keep them because they are rising stars and Heather is a rising star,” said Munoz. “She has unlimited potential. I just see this award as a stepping stone to her moving up the ladder very quickly.”
In the nomination Taylor was recognized for leading McChord Clinic to a 99 percent coding accuracy and a 97 percent customer service ranking, the best in MEDCOM. She was also listed as having reconstructed provider templates, which increased and improved patient appointments by 10 percent. Her expertise on closure of patient charts improved medical coding as well.