Recently, Cardinal Health selected Fisher House Foundation as a primary recipient of its charitable donations. The foundation is best known for its Fisher House Program, which provides a home away from home for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Each of the 70 Fisher Houses allows families of veterans and military to stay at no cost.
“Military families are the true unsung heroes,” says Jonathan Downes, a veteran and Black Belt Operational Excellence consultant at Cardinal Health. “Fisher House is like a silent partner for a military family and their soldier. It lets them focus on the soldier’s healing.”
Downes, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 as a platoon leader, says, “Fortunately, none of my soldiers needed the services of Fisher House. But we were grateful knowing that Fisher House would take care of us and our families if we needed it.”
Fisher House Foundation will be the beneficiary of Cardinal Health’s charitable initiatives at three national business conferences this summer, attended by company leadership and thousands of customers.
Supporting Veterans at Work
Cardinal Health also proudly supports veterans in the workplace, through active recruitment, training and career development.
Employee Charlotte Click, one of the program managers of the company’s accelerated leadership development program, EMERGE, is deeply engaged in these efforts. As a former long-time military spouse, she brings unique perspective to the transition that veterans and their spouses face as they enter civilian life. “I was a volunteer Navy ombudsman; later, my son served in the U.S. Army,” she says. “My experiences have given me a particular passion for supporting veterans.”
Last year, Click was on hand at the Pentagon when Cardinal Health was honored with the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor given to employers for outstanding support of National Guard and Reserve employees. “It was an amazing, moving event,” she says.
Cardinal Health was given the award for several reasons, including:
- A free Veterans Professional Advancement Course (VPAC) for military members seeking employment.
- The Veteran Advocates Forum (VAF), which Cardinal Health hosts for the Human Resources Association of Central Ohio (HRACO). This annual event brings area employers together for awareness and education on veteran and military spouse talent. Later the same day there is a job fair for veterans.
- The Veterans and Military Advocates Employee Resource Group, which supports veterans in the workplace as well as veterans causes around the country. (Cardinal Health has also helped other employers establish military resource groups.)
- An annual Support the Troops Care Package Event, which has delivered almost 5,000 care packages and received more than $54,000 in donations.
Click says, “It’s an incredible honor to work with veterans. And it’s a privilege to work in a company that does so much for those who have bravely served our country.”