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Improving Health, Improving Lives
Improving Health, Improving Lives
As Labcorp joins the United States in recognizing May as National Military Appreciation Month, we salute the work of Major Travis Wittick, Segment Director, Hospital Reference at Labcorp, and a Seymour Johnson Reserve Citizen Airman with the 916th Aerospace Medical Squadron. In July 2018, when Travis and his unit visited Lakenheath Royal Air Force Base, England, for a two-week annual tour, he was asked to develop the first-ever medical training platform for military staff overseas. It was a herculean task, and Travis completed it with flying colors.
“When I arrived, I told the hospital chief administrator, ‘give me one of your biggest challenges,’” says Travis. “I wanted to utilize the experience I had gained in the military and at Labcorp to the fullest.”
Travis began his military career in college, graduating from the Air Force Academy in 2007. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and stationed for four years in southern California, three years in Germany, and one year in Washington, D.C., all the while serving as a hospital administrator. In 2015, he left active duty to attend Duke’s Business School, joining Labcorp in 2017 as Director of Corporate Strategy before assuming his current role. He now has responsibility for growing the number of hospitals that refer their laboratory testing to Labcorp, and differentiating these services from our competitors.
When the hospital commander at Lakenheath heard Travis’ request for a challenge, he replied, “Do I have a project for you!” He explained to Travis that since 2000, Lakenheath had established relationships with two civilian hospitals, where a few Air Force surgeons rotated through training in the National Health System (NHS) in England. Such partnerships between civilian hospitals and the military are common stateside, as this practice provides military medical staff with the opportunity to participate in a different level of complex care seen at high volume, nonmilitary institutions.
The commander had wanted to expand the training program for a long time to include every surgeon, physician, medic and nurse at Lakenheath. He then hoped to extend the program’s reach beyond the Air Force to encompass medical staff at every branch of the military across Europe. He needed Travis to build a scalable model that would take the training program from the six surgeons currently participating to include more than 200 healthcare professionals, and then ultimately, to serve thousands of physicians, nurses, and medics in the Army, Navy and Air Force.
“Being able to see high volumes of acute care is invaluable, so when our military staff gets deployed to a combat zone, they’re better equipped to save lives,” says Travis. “Partnering with nonmilitary institutions puts physicians, nurses, and medics in a position to refine their skills and stay current—that’s clinical currency. The impact of this program is medical readiness. The commander was passionate about it and he had a vision. But he needed a road map.”
Travis began by researching government policies and conducting multiple interviews. He created a comprehensive timeline for scaling up the project. He developed a staffing model based on a stateside program called SMART, speaking in depth with the head of that program to understand it fully. Realizing the importance of branding in securing the required funding, as well as the necessary level of commitment, he named the program the Joint Platform for European Clinical Currency—or JPECC. A week after receiving the project Travis presented his recommendations to hospital leadership which are now being implemented.
“JPECC is a phenomenal program for our armed forces,” says Travis. “I’m most proud that being a corporate strategist at LabCorp has made me a better Air Force officer. And vice versa, being a military officer has equipped me with leadership opportunities to make LabCorp better. Best of all, I am just one example of the many veterans and reservists working at LabCorp today, and the value our military experience brings to our private sector jobs.”
Travis, we honor you, and all of the veterans and reservists at LabCorp and across the U.S., for serving and protecting our country, and for making our companies, and all of us, better.