Honoring Our Veterans – Paying Tribute to Their Service Then and Now
Nov 12, 2019 | St. Francis News
St. Francis Medical Center was proud to honor veterans across the country, including the many veterans who are members of our health care team. In an annual program organized by St. Francis Medical Center trauma surgeon and U.S. naval officer Jonathan Pryor, MD, the hospital recognized the doctors, nurses and staff who served in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, many of whom remain active in the military reserves today. Veterans were individually recognized and had the opportunity to share what their service means to them and the significant lessons learned. Other staff had the chance to acknowledge family members whose call to duty influenced their own lives. Each veteran was then presented with a custom St. Francis Medical Center challenge coin in recognition of their service.
The full program featured insights and reflections inspired by our veterans’ commitment and calling. It opened with the posting of colors by the Los Angeles Naval Operations Support Center Color Guard and a prayer by Brother Richard Hirbe, fsp, director of Spiritual Care Services at St. Francis. It was followed by a musical tribute and an introspective vision for our future by family practice physician and St. Francis board member Harding Young, MD.
The audience then welcomed keynote speaker Jermaine M. Upshaw, EdD., MS. Dr. Upshaw is a veteran Army Specialist and recipient of the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal and Army Achievement Medal and is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army Military Police School. He currently is a teacher and dean at Highland Park High School in Los Angeles. Dr. Upshaw discussed the importance of fulfilling our duty and having honor and integrity in all we do. He encouraged us to be the fuel that sparks the next generation’s flame and emphasized that our veterans’ dedicated service to our country is something we can each bring to our workplace and community. Dr. Upshaw concluded with three important directives: Give back, perfect the person you are, and continue to believe in one another, knowing that you can learn something from someone every day.
St. Francis Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer Derek Drake, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CNML, CNL, closed the program with sincere thanks to Dr. Pryor for carrying forward our Veterans Day tradition and to our St. Francis veterans for serving our country and our hospital community.
Thank you to all of the veterans who teach us every day about selflessness, sacrifice, and honorable service. We salute you!