Nate Szejniuk, Services Support, HMC (SW/AW), USN (Ret)

Chief Szejniuk (Nate) retired from the US Navy in 1996 after nearly 21 years of honorable service in US Navy medicine. Nearly half of his career was spent in general operational healthcare including serving as the team administrative and training manager for one of the Navy’s Medical Mobilization Augmentation Readiness Teams (MMART) Surgical Support Team #5 (SST5). The other half was spent in operational public health, occupational health and industrial hygiene program operations management.

As a Chief Hospital Corpsman, Senior Supervisor/Programs Manager he supervised sick-call managing the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries and in the general administration of medical departments. Such duties included, but were not limited to: supervising health care, preventive medicine and environmental health inspections; maintaining health, dental, personnel, and accounting records; determining the legal implications in routine and emergency medical care situations; departmental administrative procedures; developed and coordinates health care programs; compiled budgetary statistical data. managing diverse medical equipment and supplies. As a HM-8432 (Operational/Global Public Health – Preventive Medicine Technician) his duties have included assisting Medical Department Officers in the performance of Operational Preventive Medicine and Occupational Health Programs for Navy and Marine Corps forces ashore and afloat. He also trained as a Certified Industrial Hygiene Technician. As a HM-8404 (Combat Causality Care Technician) he provided emergency medical services for personnel in field units including other medical technical and administrative skills to support the mission and functions of Navy and Marine Corps units, including medical supply management.

Several of the major programs managed by Chief Szejniuk on active duty, including: the Pediatric Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and developing an Environmental Health Services (EHS) inspection program for ships forward deployed in the Western Pacific while stationed at the US Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan; Fleet Liaison Coordinator managing > 1,000 clinical appoints per month (Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, VA) in support of the all commands of the US 2nd Fleet homeport in Norfolk, VA; Malaria Chemoprophylaxis Program during Desert Shield Operations; and, other occupational health and safety programs designed to tract various public / environmental health and industrial health concerns across diverse command elements. At each stage of his career he continued to hone and refine his data management and research skills and they have served him well in his post-military life. In particular, his data management, program management, and research skills have been especially helpful in support of the VHWF Mission and Vision.

His military decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement x2. Navy Sea Service Deployment x5, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service x2, Unit Commendation award, Meritorius Unit Commendation ward, Good Conduct x5, and Southwest Asia Service medal x2; plus, the Enlisted Surface Warrior Specialist (ESWS) and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) designations.

After retiring from the navy Nate attended East Carolina University earning a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health Sciences with a Public Health focus. While a student, he was inducted to the Environmental Health Honor Society, Epsilon Nu Eta.

Since retiring, Nate has served in many roles. These include but are not limited to serving as a first Disaster Management Coordinator for the University of North Carolina Healthcare System’s Level I Trauma Center, serving as part of the Hospital Incident Command System version 4 (HICS-IV) National Working Group, developing the HOPCON Model, and serving as the executive assistant to the CEO of Insightformation who is a global thought leader on strategy management and Balanced Scorecard methods.

He also has also served as a Scouting volunteer in diverse roles for > 40 years as an adult scouter, more recently he served in the medical logistics and operations at the 2010, 2013, 2017 National and 2019 World Scouting Jamborees. Nate is an Eagle Scout (Class ‘ 72) w/ Palms and a 3-B Wood Badger. Additionally, he has served as a Red Cross Disaster Volunteer and CPR / First Aid / Water Safety Survival and HIV Awareness Instructor. He is also a participant in the VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP) genetics research project.

Nate is married to the former Ms. Betty Payne, also US Navy retired, of Panama City Florida. Her father was US Navy (ret) serving as a submariner before, during and after WWII. His father immigrated to the United State after WWII, became a US citizen and joined the young US Air Force. Later an accident would render his father 100% Service Connected Disabled (SCD). Nate and Betty have two children and two grandchildren. Nate has an eclectic taste in music, reads, gardens and enjoys writing poetry and short stories, is learning new skills in website design. In addition to scouting, he also teaches chess to K-12 students in the local school system.

Capri Fowler, Senior Director, Impact and Development, Veteran Advocate

Capri Fowler currently spearheads multi-year strategic planning efforts and implements data collection processes to track outcomes and impacts for NCC, a DC-based disability service provider. She believes in the power of supportive communities which is why she invests her time in non-profit organizations like NCC and the Veteran Health and Wellness Foundation (VHWF).

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Joseph A. Simonelli, Jr., Special Projects Director, Colonel, US Army (Ret.)

Joe Simonelli retired as a Colonel from the Army, where he served for 30 years in positions that ranged in levels from tactical to senior Department of Defense, in areas of human resources, procurement, policy, city management and legislative affairs. In his last three years in uniform he served as the Chief of Staff of Arlington National Cemetery.

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