Commitment to the mission is critical for active duty and veteran military. The military professionals who make up Envision Healthcare are committed to our mission of improving life in our communities one moment at a time. In recognition of their efforts, we are proud to share the stories of some of Envision Healthcare’s talented and dedicated military professionals.
Envision Healthcare is proud to feature Jennea Correia, M.D., Associate Medical Director, Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia, as part of our ongoing recognition of clinicians who have served their patients – and their country.
Americans decide to join the military for numerous personal reasons, but most can be boiled down to two major motivators: some join out of a profound sense of duty, while others see military service as a means to receive skills that can prepare them for the rest of their lives.
And when it was time for her to answer the call, Jennea Correia, M.D., found herself influenced by a little bit of both.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Correia immigrated to the United States to further her education at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Interested in pursuing a career in medicine, Dr. Correia said that a conversation with a military recruiter allowed her to see a path towards that future – while also repaying what she saw as a debt to her new country.
“I felt like moving to America from Trinidad gave me a lot of opportunities that I couldn’t have had in my native country,” Dr. Correia said. “Part of me saw (serving) as a way to give back to America, but at the same time, medical school can be very expensive, and their pitch of paying for my tuition was really appealing.”
Joining the Navy through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), which covers civilian medical school tuition, Correia completed her education at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School before beginning an internship at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia. Shortly after completing the first year of her internship, Dr. Correia received orders to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan, to support the medical needs of Marines stationed at the base.
While these orders were unexpected, Dr. Correia said, the experience in Japan was rewarding. Dr. Correia served as medical director for Marine Air Control Group 18 (MACG-18) and was tasked with ensuring all marines were medically ready and mission-ready for deployment.
“Normally, you complete medical school and then your residency (before being deployed), so I can’t say I was initially happy with the orders,” Dr. Correia joked. “But in retrospect, being sent out was extremely valuable because serving as a medical director for a marine air control group helped develop my leadership skills. It wasn’t a Monday-Friday, 9-5-kind of job; I was on-call 24/7.”
Dr. Correia said she optioned to extend her orders there for an additional year before returning to Portsmouth to finish her residency in emergency medicine. From there, Dr. Correia was stationed in San Diego before serving an eight-month deployment in Afghanistan.
“In Afghanistan, I worked out of a hospital that was a multi-national facility run by the German army and included units from countries like Germany, the Netherlands and United States,” Dr. Correia said. “Serving alongside professionals from other countries to help our joint forces was a really amazing educational experience.”
Serving At Home
In 2014, Dr. Correia transitioned from active duty as lieutenant commander into the civilian world, taking an opportunity at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Jayson Tappan, M.D., a former military colleague and current medical director of Spotsylvania’s emergency department, reached out to Dr. Correia with a chance to join his team comprised of several former servicemembers.
Drawing heavily from military experience is not a coincidence, Dr. Correia noted, as she views servicemembers as possessing qualities that make them unique when compared to civilian physicians.
“In the military, we are trained from day one that, if we want to complain about something, then we also have to come up with a solution, and that mindset never really leaves veterans,” Dr. Correia said. “At Spotsylvania, we currently have somewhere around seven providers who are either still in the military, are working part-time or are prior military. That’s because Dr. Tappan knows that (veterans) will work hard, know how to work as a team and will always try to find solutions to problems.”
In a position of leadership as associate medical director at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, Dr. Correia said her experience with Envision Healthcare has been a fruitful one. With Envision, Dr. Correia said, she sees a partner that supports her at every turn, providing resources while also listening to her concerns as a physician on the ground level.
“I feel like if I am going to present a problem or an issue, then I know that Envision is going to listen to me,” Dr. Correia said. “We may not get everything we want, but if I know that leadership is listening and is willing to fight the battles on a higher level that I can’t fight on my own, then I know they’re on my side and I can do my job better.”
Now a commander as a reservist in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Dr. Correia continues to give back to her country. The commitment to be a reservist, Dr. Correia said, allows her to continue to live as a civilian while continuing to uphold the values of service that interested her as an immigrant to the country.
“I look back on what I’ve done and where I’ve gone in my life because of the military, and I don’t have any regrets,” Dr. Correia said. “Serving in the military made me appreciate what I have and where I live and the freedoms that I am afforded as an American.”