Over the chapel doors at the United States Naval Academy is a simple Latin inscription — Non Sibi Sed Patriae — “Not for self, but for country.”
Dr. Adam M. Robinson Jr., the new Chief of Staff for the VA Maryland Health Care System, truly understands the meaning of service to our Nation and those who serve her before self.
Prior to joining the VA Maryland Health Care System, Robinson served as the 36th Surgeon General of the United States Navy. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior leader in the United States Military Healthcare System, Robinson sees his work at VA as a continuation of his service to our Nation and our Veterans.
“When I decided to come and work for VHA, I felt I was completing the circle of service and care to Veterans,” said Robinson.
As the Surgeon General of the United States Navy, Robinson served as the principle TriCare Health Plan representative for active duty sailors and marines, their families, and Navy and Marine Corps retirees and their families, numbering more than 2.5 million people. He led a team of 63,000 Navy Medicine personnel in over 220 healthcare facilities located worldwide with an annual budget of $3.5 billion
“The DoD health care mandate is to give acute care to our wounded warriors and to their families, making it a patient family centered care system,” said Robinson. “I feel VA is also a patient and family care center.”
According to Robinson, in order to successfully take care of Veterans, you must also care about their families, especially for those family members who are care givers.
“Very often Veterans rely on family to serve as their care givers,” said Robinson. “So family becomes an integral part of who we should include and concentrate on in our VA care model.”
“If a family member feels their Veteran is not receiving the care he or she deserves, than that’s a problem and we need to fix it and we need to make it right,” added Robinson.
From his experiences working with Navy medical personnel, Robinson strongly feels VA medical and support staffs are important family members in the patient family centered care system.
“In essence, the care model I am espousing is for our patients, our patients’ families, and our staff,” Robinson added. “We have to care for our staff because if our staff is well cared for, they will do an even better job in caring for the patients we serve.”
Robinson’s is introducing his philosophy of care, “one person at a time,” through discussions with VA Maryland HCS leadership and staff support.
“How I want us to approach our patients —as patient family centered care system—is critical to making sure we understand what we should be doing in our system,” said Robinson. “I think it’s something we should think about for all of the VA health systems nationwide and I truly think it is where we belong in terms of care for our people.”
Robinson encourages health care professionals from both the civilian sector and those who are separating from the military to consider a career at VA.
“When you get here you’ll realize VA is truly a civilian organization dedicated to those who wore the uniform,” said Robinson. “It is a call to continue to serve our Nation and our Veterans.
To learn more about a career in health care at VA, visit VAcareers.va.gov.