In March, TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest) employee volunteers participated in the Maricopa County StandDown event. If you’re not familiar with the term “Stand Down,” it’s a military term that refers to the brief period of time given to a soldier to leave an active combat area in order to rest and regain strength before returning to battle.
The annual StandDown event is coordinated by the Arizona Housing Coalition’s Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance. Since 2001, the event has served thousands of U.S. military Veterans and their families who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness in the Maricopa County area of Arizona, home to the City of Phoenix and TriWest’s corporate offices.
The event offers Veterans and family members an opportunity to get and stay connected to supportive services like getting access to the Department of Motor Vehicles for ID credentials, the chance to address local courts and speak with public attorneys, and even to get haircuts and medical care.
TriWest has participated in the event for several years, and this year, 22 employees were able to volunteer at the event. Many found the experience to be moving and motivating.
TriWest employee volunteers have a lot in common, but one thing they all shared at the StandDown was their eagerness to help. That and their smiles. Even with volunteers’ faces behind masks due to COVID-19 restrictions, if you spoke to them, you could tell they were smiling – you could hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes.
“Our employee volunteers had the opportunity to pick their assignments for the day. Choices ranged from event set up and tear down – which was more important than ever this year given a move of some services to outdoor spaces to meet COVID requirements – or serving as a ‘Veteran navigator’ to walk Veterans around to the various services available. Some employees were directing and welcoming Veterans into the main entrance, while others were doing things like Veteran intake assessments and handing out meals and drinks,” explained TriWest Director of Customer Care & Community Relations, Glenn Gray. Glenn coordinated TriWest’s participation in the event and organized the employee volunteer opportunity.
TriWest Volunteers Were Eager to Help
Some volunteers started their shifts as early as 6 a.m., and by noon, they were happy to direct Veterans to what they needed and were still ever-friendly.
“At TriWest we work with like-minded people who want to take care of our nation’s Veterans. We want to take them under our wings and help them as we can.” – David Rolan, TriWest senior IS security engineer
David Rolan, senior IS security engineer at TriWest, was one of the early bird volunteers at the StandDown. By 11 a.m. the outdoor temperature in Phoenix had risen and the sun was high in the sky, but David was still smiling broadly, waving to Veterans, thanking them for their service and directing them to what they were seeking.
“We need to take care of those who took care of America,” said David. “I also care because my family has a history of military service. At TriWest we work with like-minded people who want to take care of our nation’s Veterans. We want to take them under our wings and help them as we can.”
Nicole Goergen, provider credentialing specialist and Mila Riley, customer service representative, worked together at their designated stations at the StandDown. You could tell that they were motivated by being part of something special.
“I have deep roots of my family serving in the military,” said Nicole. “I can’t wait to get out and volunteer more. The pandemic really held us back, but actually seeing Veterans’ faces today is awesome. I’ve never worked for a company that did so much for Veterans.”
Mila has worked for TriWest for just about three years and was inspired to participate in this year’s StandDown by her love of working with Veterans and explained that, before working at TriWest, she worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs. “This event makes a huge impact on a lot of Veterans who don’t have a lot of resources,” shared Mila. “There are so many things that Veterans can get taken care of here today.”
A Day Well Spent Helping Those in Need
In all, there were 13 TriWest employee volunteers who shared their time with Veterans at the StandDown. “I know that several of our employees were looking forward to the opportunity to give back to Veterans in a way that is different from their normal duties,” shared Glenn. “Thanks to support from TriWest senior leadership, our employees have the ability to utilize the paid volunteer time benefit to support events like this that benefit some of the Veterans we serve.”
As a company, TriWest offers employees Volunteer Time Off benefits to give back to Veteran and military communities. Not only do employees work toward a common purpose each day, but they do so with benefits that make a difference in their lives. For those looking for opportunities to be part of a company that cares, visit the TriWest Careers page for more information.
Mischa Davis, TriWest QC & escalation specialist summed up the day this way: “This is my time to help someone else. A little of my time doesn’t compare to the time and sacrifices Veterans have made for us.”