We Together: A Communication of Stormont Vail Health (May 23, 2023)

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail’s Wally Brannen Achieves “Chief”
  • HealthAccess Receives Azura Donation
  • EMS Week – Plan to Celebrate on Friday

Stormont Vail’s Wally Brannen Achieves “Chief”

Wally Brannen had a goal to attain a highest enlisted Air Force rank, Chief Master Sergeant (E-9), a position that only 1% of the Air Force enlisted personnel can hold at any one time. It seemed the goal was becoming farther from reach as he balanced his regular work and family life through the years.

Wally, Lead Clinical Simulation Educator in Stormont Vail Health’s Learning and Talent Development since August 2021, went active duty in the Air Force at age 19.  As a medic, he completed his Emergency Medical Technician certification and on-the-job training, before he was stationed at his first permanent duty location. He served in both U.S. and Germany military locations.

“After active duty, I wanted to go to college,” he says. He struggled to adjust and find work, but eventually went to paramedic school and joined the Air Force reserves. He was working full-time, in school full-time and in the reserves. He was deployed to Iraq and Turkey, rising through the ranks. He had the opportunity to move to a specialty duty position of 1st Sergeant for the McConnell 931st Refueling Wing. He started as a Master Sergeant, then was promoted to Senior Master Sergeant.

With the arrival of his second child and wanting more time with his family, Wally transferred to the 190th Air Refueling Wing in Topeka. With that move, he didn’t think it was likely he would realize his goal of the Chief E-9 rank. Instead, he focused on providing training and helping those around him succeed.

“I helped the others grow and provided leadership when needed,” he said. “When you become a leader in the military, a highlight of your day is watching someone else make it. Technically, you already have, but for them it’s huge. To see the excitement on their faces and for them to be able to travel the world, that’s a highlight of being a leader.”

In 2020, Wally was approached to consider working toward the Chief Master Sergeant position. He recalls there are rigorous steps to go through, including interviews with military leaders and reviews of performance. His hard work paid off, and Wally was promoted to the rank this past April.

“One of the only reasons this happened was because of Stormont Vail,” he says, noting the support and flexibility to attend trainings and be involved in 190th programs he received from his supervisors, Aubrey Mink and Kim Brown, as well as the support of his fellow educators and peers who take care of Stormont Vail projects when he is fulfilling military orders.

In return, Wally has worked hard to support Stormont Vail’s involvement and connections with military medical personnel to show them Stormont Vail is a great place to work. He has helped arrange tours of Stormont Vail with area medical units and been involved in supporting training agreements for medical service members to do training at Stormont Vail “in the real world” and in the simulation lab.

Wally comes from a military family, with a brother, father, grandfather and uncles all with service time. He also shares his interest in healthcare with his wife, Holly Brannen, an APRN at the Manhattan Cardiology Clinic.

HealthAccess Receives Azura Donation

HealthAccess is proud to be selected as a recipient of the Azura Employee Foundation 2023 Sprint Grants.  HealthAccess was awarded $2,000 to help fund operational support to continue assisting low-income, uninsured residents of Shawnee County with access to donated health care and prescriptions.

HealthAccess has partnered with the medical community of Shawnee County since 2002 to coordinate donated medical care and provide prescription assistance to those who qualify. Stormont Vail Health donates office space and human resource services to HealthAccess as a long time and valued partner.

EMS Week – Plan to Celebrate on Friday

May 21-27 is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week and we’ll be honoring our partners in EMS and presenting the annual Excellence in EMS Award this Friday. We will have food trucks located in the HR parking lot, 1615 S.W. 8th Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and one food truck will arrive at 6:30 a.m. Please stop by and celebrate those who work on the medical front line and serve our communities.

We together,
Dr. Kenagy

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