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Veterans BJC Connection


The BJC Veterans Connection group brings together BJC team members who have served and are currently serving our country, as well as all team members who want to show their support. The group volunteers in the community together and celebrates Veterans Day as a community each November.

Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly

David Rogers

David Rogers

Cathy Wagner

Cathy Wagner

Donna Walton

Donna Walton

BJC Veterans Connection co-leads:

  • Dave Rogers, performance improvement consultant, supply chain, BJC HealthCare
  • Cathy Wagner, manager, cardiology and surgical services, Alton Memorial Hospital
  • Donna Walton, executive assistant, operational excellence, CCE, transformation support, BJC HealthCare

BJC Veterans Connection executive sponsor:

  • Mike Kelly, vice president, operations, Missouri Baptist Medical Center

To learn more about the BJC Veterans Connection Group, please email us

Related News

/ Categories: Veterans Connection
May 2022

BJC selected as one of 30 national finalists for the 2022 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award

BJC HealthCare has been selected by Missouri Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) as one of 30 finalists for the 2022 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the highest recognition given by the Department of Defense to employers for their exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve members.

To earn the award, employers must demonstrate outstanding support to Guard and Reserve employees through leadership and practices, including adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the Guard and Reserve.

“At BJC, we strive to be a national health care leader where diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded in our values, honored in our daily practices and experienced by everyone we serve,” said Steven Player, BJC vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion. “Receiving such an honor reaffirms our commitment to those currently serving our country, as well as those who have served and sacrificed with pride and honor to ensure everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the freedoms our country provides.”

The finalists include small and large private and public sector employers nominated by a National Guard or Reserve Component member employed in their organization. ESGR received 2,777 nominations for this year’s prestigious award for employers throughout the 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia.

BJC was nominated by Master Sergeant Dave Rogers, Air Force Reservist and BJC supply chain senior project manager, along with eleven BJC employees in the National Guard and Reserve who submitted testimonials about the supportive policies BJC has put into place for those serving in the military.

"I'm very grateful to BJC for truly setting the standard for policies and practices that support and retain team members like me who are serving in the National Guard or Reserve," said Rogers.

Terrie Hart, BJC workforce diversity senior manager, said BJC is proud and honored to be a finalist for the Freedom Award. “We have 52 BJC team members who are currently serving in the National Guard and Reserve, representing the Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard,” Hart said. “BJC supports them with our Military Leave Policy and our new policy of paying a team member’s salary for two weeks of military duty.”

Rogers said that new policy makes a big impact. “Paying a military member’s salary for up two weeks while they’re on military duty is very helpful for our team members and in line with what the best-of-the-best employers are doing for their military employees,” he said.

Another way BJC supports and recognizes employees who serve or have served their country is through the BJC Veterans Connection group. The group volunteers within the community and celebrates Veterans Day together each November. For more information about BJC Veterans Connection, visit

The Department of Defense will announce the 15 employers selected to receive the 2022 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award this summer. The recipients will be honored in local ceremonies by the ESGR Committee in their state.

National Guard and Reserve members share how BJC supports them:

  • “Each supervisor, manager and director who has presided over me has been overwhelmingly supportive. It seemed as if they were both impressed of the dual careers and proud of having a member of the military in their department. I never felt intimidated or reluctant to put in my request to serve. They excitedly asked, ‘What is it like? What are you doing? Where are you going this year?’ And they’d ask the same questions when I would return, whether from long orders or short weekends. I appreciate how easy my department makes it for me to serve as a reservist.”
    — Sharie McTyer, Air Force Reserve Technical Sergeant, customer service lead, Home Medical Equipment
  • “My manager invited my wife to our team outings. She couldn't attend, but she thought it was so kind! Also, my director emailed me monthly during my deployment and asked about my family and asked if my family needed help with cutting grass or getting groceries or anything. I laughed, but he was 100% serious. I didn't need to take him up on his offer, but the peace of mind if an emergency happened that we would have support was amazing.”
    — Dave Rogers, Air Force Reservist and BJC supply chain senior project manager
  • “I had injuries with one deployment and coming back they were more than accommodating to me in the back and forth with follow-up medical exams. Changes in the military can come in an instant, and I’ve never had a problem communicating to my boss the issue at hand. My co-workers here work almost as well as a fire team in the Army, only with a different purpose. We support each other and cover and assist each other with difficult tasks. Transitioning to and from military duty is relatively easy. I also have to give a shout out to the BJC Employee Assistance Program providing no cost counseling for employees, as well as resources available to returning soldiers. The military has done a lot in mental health and to continue that type of care within BJC — at no cost — is amazing!”
    — Phillip Richardson, Army Reserve Staff Sergeant, clinical engineering, advanced imaging engineer, Missouri Baptist Medical Center
  • “One of the biggest benefits I have had working for BJC is I have had amazing bosses. Both bosses have been fully supportive of me and my military duties. This is saying a lot, as my job within the Air Force Reserves is a special duty position. I am a Flying Crew Chief, which requires me to fly on random missions that happen throughout each month and range from one day all the way up to 20 days. I have received nothing but support and encouragement to continue my career within the reserves.”
    — Travis Hoffeditz, Air Force Reserve, senior analyst IT infrastructure
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