Hand in Hand With Our Military

Posted: November 11, 2019

This excerpt is from a Veterans Day address by Shea Pribyl, D.O., a cardiothoracic surgeon at NorthBay Healthcare and a lieutenant colonel in United States Air Force. He has been assigned to Travis Air Force Base for the past three years and recently became medical director of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at NorthBay Healthcare. — Editor  

Since I was young man, I have served in the military, first in a military academy and then the Navy Reserve until I joined the Air Force for medical school.

The affiliation between NorthBay Healthcare, the military and David Grant USAF Medical Center has been wonderful. I am only one of several military members who serve both on base as well as at NorthBay Medical Center. From general surgery to neurosurgery, respiratory therapists to anesthesiologists, we continue to share a unique commonality.

Through its partnership with the military, NorthBay Healthcare has allowed many active-duty members the ability to serve a higher acuity population. We airmen are then able to take that knowledge and skill set down range. NorthBay offers us the ability to obtain readiness and trauma experience. It also serves to provide resources and capabilities that the base can’t always provide.

The gunshot wound brought in from Solano EMS in that way serves to save the soldier who was ambushed in the field. The heart surgery on an elderly woman here affords a soldier the chance of getting back home to his mother after massive bleeding from an IED.

Not only are there active-duty members, there are many military veterans who now work with NorthBay Healthcare. The same camaraderie and commitment to excellence that made serving this great country so wonderful, continues and makes NorthBay a second home to many of us.

The ideal of putting someone else’s needs in front of your own and serving a greater good is apparent in the day-to-day patient care provided here at NorthBay. The enemy is certainly different. The enemy is disease. Yet we continue to protect people who may not be able to defend themselves against harm.

We complement each other for the benefit of our community. Many veterans are patients here at NorthBay as well as in David Grant Medical Center. A seamless transition between the two health care institutions allows our military members to receive care here, close to home, where otherwise they could not.

It is an honor that I get to serve both the military, as well as the community, here at NorthBay Healthcare.


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