Salena Ingham: Military Education Offers Transferrable Skills to Healthcare Management


Envision Physician Services
Envision Physician Services
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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 Major Salena M. Ingham, Director of Operations, Envision Physician Services, Pensacola Operating Unit, as part of our ongoing recognition of employees who have served their country.

Ingham

Major Salena Ingham, Director of Operations, Envision Physician Services, Pensacola Operating Unit, says her military experience in the United States Air Force taught her essential skills for hospital management.

Ingham enlisted in the United States Air Force upon graduation in 1997. She served as an aerospace propulsion apprentice for the 2nd Maintenance Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base in northwest Louisiana. By day, she worked on B-52s as an engine mechanic, and she earned her bachelor’s degree during night school. She subsequently transitioned to the Air Force Reserve and began working on her master’s degree in counseling and guidance.

After 9/11, Ingham went back into active duty as an officer and served several assignments until 2011 when she transitioned again into the Reserves. Today, she serves as force support flight commander for the 556th Red Horse Squadron in Hurlburt Field, Florida.

“My job description is quite vast,” Ingham stated. “I supervise a full range of personnel programs to include accession, retention, promotion, education, training, recreation and fitness. My position combines human resources and manpower. Under human resources, I manage the operations of base hotels, dining services and mortuary services. I assist in payroll and ensure military personnel receive medals as deserved.”

Additionally, Ingham pairs and tailors war packages and processes leave for members of her unit. Currently, half of her unit is deployed, and she is waiting to bring them home and unite them with their families.

In 2011, Ingham joined Envision Physician Services as director of operations for the Pensacola Operating Unit, which is dedicated to delivering quality emergency medicine, hospital medicine and anesthesia services to community hospitals across the country. She leads a team of seven members who manage 35 accounts, mostly smaller community hospitals throughout the United States.

Several of Ingham’s peers commend her as a leader. Facilities Manager Mary Ann Mitchell says of Ingham, “She serves both Envision and our nation at the highest levels with honor and distinction.” According to Envision Vice President of Clinical Services Jan Corcoran, “She is an outstanding leader for Envision Physician Services and [is] a perfect example of the benefits of hiring military personnel.”

Transferring Military Skills to Envision

Ingham affirms she uses her military training every day to perform her duties at Envision. While she served as a detachment commander in the Air Force, she supported seven geographically separated areas across three air force bases with a team of 13 and reported to her superiors three hours away. During this time, she learned how to communicate relevant information to her leaders, which ensured 1,000 supported members received excellent service.

“I find that Envision’s current organizational structure shares many similarities with my detachment,” Ingham explained. “I manage a team of seven who in turn manage thirty-five practices across seven states. As a team, we balance meeting our clients’ and Envision’s expectations without sacrificing the personalized care and attention our practitioners need and deserve.”

Envision and Military Professionals

Ingham is enthusiastic about Envision hiring more veterans. “The professional military education that all military members receive is the most valuable and transferable skill that would make any veteran hire a sound decision.”

Although active duty and healthcare management appear to require separate skill sets, Ingham said they are not dissimilar. “Military training and experience are easily transferred to healthcare management, as healthcare is ever-evolving and adapting, and this feels very comfortable to those of us who have served. The extensive training we have been given could be utilized in any capacity a company could imagine from scheduling and resource management to strategic planning and execution.”

A great deal of Ingham’s success as an effective leader can be attributed to her dedication to education and training as well as her experience. “At this point in my career, I’ve had the opportunity to complete 1,331 hours of formal (curriculum-based) training courses in leadership, problem-solving and planning,” Ingham said. “In addition to the classroom training, I’ve been allotted opportunities to utilize the tools and skills I learned as part of my career progression. I started out leading small sections of 5-10 people up to a command of 250.” 

Ingham looks forward to continuing her career with Envision as well as the Air Force Reserves and will be promoted to lieutenant colonel on March 13, 2020.