An Insight into the Health Facilities Group

Mark Pounders
I am a project manager with Faithful+Gould and currently a member of the Health Facilities Group completing Initial Outfitting and Transition (IO&T) projects around the world.

I recently finished the Keller Army Community Hospital Addition project in West Point, NY, which was a tremendous success for the IO&T division. For that project I served as the transition manager. I am currently working as the project manager, providing IO&T services for the Camp Zama, Japan Health & Dental Clinic Renovation Project, and serve as the operations transition lead for the Fort Irwin, CA Weed Army Community Hospital Replacement project. Although I have been in the healthcare industry for more than 28 years, the greater part of my time prior to Faithful+Gould was spent in the United States Air Force and as a registered nurse.

...I realized that I really appreciated "military medicine" - there was a camaraderie that I enjoyed being part of, and it was an honor to serve my country.

When I was 18 years old I joined the Air Force and after serving for over five years in Security Forces, I was selected for a special duty assignment in recruiting service. After 18 months in recruiting, I was selected for a position as a health professions recruiter assigned in the Atlanta, GA area - with the state of Georgia as my territory.

As a result of this position, I was in and out of hospitals and clinics as well as medical and allied health university programs, recruiting physicians, dentist and allied health professionals such as laboratory officers, pharmacists, hospital administrators, etc., to join the United States Air Force. It was during this time that I realized that I enjoyed working in this environment and became interested in pursuing a healthcare-related field.

When I was young and growing up in Alabama, I had an older sister who worked in the nursing arena, and that may have played a part in my career path, but my real desire to pursue becoming a registered nurse came much later. After finishing my time as a health professions recruiter in 1989 I separated from active duty and went into the Air Force Reserves as an aeromedical evacuation flight medic. The experiences I had in the medical field left an impression on me and I decided to become a registered nurse.

After graduating from Grambling State University’s nursing program in 1995, I remained in the Air Force Reserves and went to work in a large civilian hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana. This was a great start to my nursing career, as I was given the opportunity to work in several different areas of the hospital. My primary position at the hospital was in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU), but I also worked in other areas including the Heart Transplant Unit and the Surgical ICU, and a cardiac floor where patients were waiting on heart transplants. After my time at Shreveport, I realized that I really appreciated "military medicine" - there was a camaraderie that I enjoyed being part of, and it was an honor to serve my country. After discussing this with my wife, I decided to submit an application to return to the Active Duty Air Force and serve as an Officer in the Nurse Corps.

My transition to IO&T and the Health Facilities Group started years later while I was working as the chief civilian nurse for the Camp Zama Clinic in Japan.

Throughout my career I feel I have been very blessed but I would have to say that the hardest job I ever had as an Air Force nurse was also the most rewarding, and that was serving as a flight nurse. I was stationed in the Tokyo, Japan area and flew all over the Pacific region, as well as in the Middle East. During this time I was deployed to the Middle East about three weeks before 9/11/2001, and was a part of the events that followed. Helping our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who are willing to give their all for this great country, is one of the most rewarding experiences that anyone can be a part of and it was an honor to be an Air Force Flight Nurse during this challenging time.

My transition to IO&T and the Health Facilities Group started years later while I was working as the chief civilian nurse for the Camp Zama Clinic in Japan. I was introduced to members of the Health Facilities Planning Agency, who provide oversight and management of the Army medical construction projects. In the course of the conversation with them, they asked if I would consider working with them on the Camp Zama Health & Dental Clinic Renovation Project. This sounded like a great opportunity and I officially started my IO&T role.

...as a project manager and a transition manager in Faithful+Gould’s IO&T division, I am now in a position to help whole communities improve quality of life...

While working at Camp Zama for the government, I met several members of Faithful+Gould including Vice President, Ron Pruzinsky, and Program Director, David Bailey, quickly discovering that I liked their professionalism and work ethic. In 2013, my position with the government ended and after returning to the states, I spoke with David about a career with Faithful+Gould. I realized that joining the Health Facilities Group would be a perfect fit and began my role as project manager for the Camp Zama Health & Dental Clinic Renovation project.

I believe I contribute a lot to the IO&T Division as a registered nurse. I was the first "clinician" Faithful+Gould brought on board to help with the IO&T services, and therefore understand the roles and responsibilities of the clinicians who we are helping to serve through our IO&T services. In speaking with our end users in the medical facilities, I am able to bring the knowledge and understanding of the day to day operations in a medical facility, and the credibility as a fellow healthcare provider who understands them. I believe this has helped Faithful+Gould to take our IO&T services division to a new level.

As a registered nurse, I was in a position to help people improve their quality of life, but it was on a small scale of helping one or several people at a time. However, as a project manager and a transition manager in Faithful+Gould’s IO&T division, I am now in a position to help whole communities improve quality of life by ensuring I do all I can to help them get the medical facilities equipped the way they need to be, and make sure the staff is effectively trained and prepared on day one to see patients and take care of them, whether it is a new facility being built or a renovation project.

Working with Faithful+Gould, gives me the opportunity to help more people and more communities, at a much greater level, than just working in a single healthcare facility and it is very rewarding.

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