For many veterans and military members, pursuing a civilian career after service can be a challenging transition. In this blog series, we hear the stories of people who made that transition and found their fit at UPMC.

Meet Barrett H., Army Veteran and Health Coach Specialist

For Barrett H., Army Veteran and Health Coach Specialist, UPMC’s values made for a seamless transition between a military career and a civilian career.

“Being a member of a team was what I enjoyed most about the military – the camaraderie. I get the same sense of service and teamwork here at UPMC,” Barrett said. “UPMC is a place where your military values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless-service, honor, integrity, and personal courage will be matched on all levels, and where you can continue to serve your family and community with pride.”

Barrett enlisted in the Pennsylvania U.S. Army Reserves in 2000 as a Nuclear Biological Chemical Specialist. Just one week after 9/11, Barrett applied and was accepted to Army Officer Candidate School (OCS) located in Fort Benning, GA. He graduated OCS in April 2002 as second-lieutenant in the military intelligence (MI) branch. Upon completion of initial officer training, he was deployed to Camp Greaves, Republic of Korea (ROK), where he served as the Assistant S2 in the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (Air Assault), 2nd Infantry Division.

Barrett with his battalion.
Barrett when he was stationed in Iraq.

Following his deployment to ROK, Barrett returned to the U.S. to serve as a Company Executive Officer in the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, helping to provide foreign language and cultural insight to the Department of Defense and other Federal agencies.

In 2005, Barrett separated from active duty but continued to serve his country as a civil servant in the US Department of Defense until 2009. Following his second tour in Iraq in 2009, Barrett resigned from the defense industry and shifted his focus to health and wellness. Now, he’s a Health Coach Specialist with UPMC Health Plan.

Barrett camping with his son!
Barrett running the Big Sur Marathon.

“Being a member of a team was what I enjoyed most about the military – the camaraderie. I get the same sense of service and teamwork here at UPMC."

Barrett H., Army Veteran and Health Coach Specialist, UPMC Health Plan

Coaching You To Your Best Self

As a Health Coach Specialist, Barrett helps UPMC Health Plan members accomplish tough-to-tackle goals, helping navigate health journeys including tobacco cessation, weight management, physical activity, nutritious eating, and stress management.

“My favorite part of the position is witnessing the evolution of a member’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior – and partnering with them as they advance toward their best self in a meaningful way,” Barrett said.

Having held roles from yoga and meditation instructor to personal trainer, Barrett feels UPMC is the perfect fit for him because of the culture on his team and the opportunities for growth.

Hiking Mt. Elbert.
Shoshoni Yoga Teacher Training.

Barrett primarily assists members by phone, but as a recent member of the Digital Health Coaching team, he coaches members through UPMC Health Plan’s app, RxWell. In the coming months, he will be adding virtual coaching to members, in addition to a program called Healthy Families.

“I feel my diverse experience is appreciated,” he said. “The size and culture of the organization affords me a great number of opportunities to continue to grow into my best self.”

Barrett teaching a yoga class.

The process of pursuing a civilian career after service can be daunting — with soul-searching to determine what career path you might enjoy, leveraging your array of military skills for a civilian workplace setting, and finding a career that aligns with the values most important to you. At UPMC, we understand the many sacrifices you’ve made to serve our country near and far, and we’re here to help you find the right fit, just like Barrett did.