PCHC Veterans Day Profile: Jennifer White

On this Veteran’s Day, we wanted to highlight the story of one of our own veterans, Jennifer White in Human Resources. Here is her story as she tells it:

I grew up in Enfield, Maine. I had a good childhood and was supported by two wonderful parents. I had two siblings, an older brother (also retired military) and a younger sister (A successful speech pathologist). I was very active in recreational and school sports. I spent a lot of time on Cold Stream, swimming, and hanging with friends and I always wanted to join the military but went to college instead.

I joined the Navy in 1994, wanting to “get out of Maine,” as many of us do at that young age. I knew right off that the Navy was the service I’d join, mostly because my brother was already serving in the Army and there is a natural rivalry. Within seven days of signing my contract, I was on my very first plane ride headed to boot camp in Orlando, Florida.

I absolutely loved serving in the military! I loved getting to know all the different cultures/ethnicities within the Navy. I loved being able to go to a new duty station every two or three years (I’m a gypsy at heart) and loved meeting new people. It inspired me to become an influencer, mentor, and leader, and it didn’t hurt that I received most of my education for free, have a nice pension, health care, and have family all around the world thanks to my service.

What I didn’t like about the military was the frequent goodbyes, the time missed with family and friends back home and some cultural issues that are still being tackled today.

My favorite duty station was in Sicily, this sparked my bug for European travel. My most successful duty station was as a Recruit Division Commander (Drill Instructor), not only did I advance to a significant rank in the military at this duty station, I also got to witness all walks of life that arrive at boot camp, and I also got to see them graduate as little versions of me.

I served in the Navy for more than 20 years with my time ending in 2014.

Meanwhile, I got my start in health care while I was in the Navy. I was a Hospital Corpsman which is basically a Medical Assistant on steroids. I did six years of actual healthcare work where I worked as a Respiratory Therapist, Allergy/Immunology Technician, Emergency Medical Technician, I served in clinical supervisor roles as well as an instructor for continuing education units for all ranks. The last 10 years of my career were spent working in the military equivalent of Human Resources and the civilian version of director roles.

Military life has undoubtedly contributed to my success at PCHC. When you work at a healthcare facility you need to have some basic knowledge of how they run, the people that are employed by them, and the policy and procedures that come with healthcare facilities. In the military, attention to detail is a very important part of daily life. f you didn’t follow all the details, you could kill someone or yourself. The job function I have in the Human Resources department requires attention to detail and an eye for compliance and safety. The Navy also made me a good listener, I love hearing employees’ stories and I love being able to assist them when they need help.

Veterans Day and every day, PCHC thanks all veterans, active-duty military, and reservists, including the many we work with, for their service.