Honoring the Veterans Among our Mighty Brigade

This Veterans Day, CHOC wants to acknowledge the military veterans among our mighty brigade of clinicians and staff, and extend our heartfelt thanks for their service to our country.

We asked our veterans to share how their history of service impacts their work at CHOC, and how it contributes to our mission to nurture, advance and protect the health and well-being of children.

Here are a few of their responses.

Bill Rohde

  • Sergeant (E4), U.S. Air Force
  • Vice president, finance, CHOC

“Veterans understand what it truly means to defend and protect, making them well qualified to be defenders of childhood and protectors of the health and well-being of children.”


Teela Hernandez

  • Hospital corpsman, pediatric unit, U.S. Navy
  • Registered nurse, multispecialty unit, CHOC

“Because of my service, I know how to multi-task and roll with the punches. I work well under pressure.”

Teela Hernandez

Daniel Holloway

  • Petty Officer, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Marketing project manager, CHOC

“I joined the Coast Guard and served active duty for six years because I aligned with the mission to protect lives and the environment, provide life-saving care to those in distress and promote safety through law enforcement. Military service taught me teamwork and discipline to see things through. Transitioning to CHOC was a great fit for me as its mission and values are in alignment with protecting the health and well-being of children and everyone who comes through our doors. I am grateful to work in partnership with the most wonderful people doing incredible, life-saving work within our community. I am a proud veteran and CHOC employee.”

Daniel Holloway

Cortney McKinney

  • Medic, U.S. Army
  • Registered nurse, outpatient infusion center, CHOC

“While I was a medic in the Army, I found my love for medicine and helping people. I knew I wanted to be a nurse. The Army helped me realize that God gave me the heart of a servant. I now continue my service as a nurse caring for my patients here at CHOC.”

Courtney McKinney

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  • Navy Veteran Now Serves CHOC Patients
    In honor of Veteran’s Day, we spoke to Navy Veteran Danny Rodriguez, a clinical associate in CHOC recovery room (PACU). After a near-drowning accident when he was 4 years old, ...


Navy Veteran Now Serves CHOC Patients

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we spoke to Navy Veteran Danny Rodriguez, a clinical associate in CHOC recovery room (PACU). After a near-drowning accident when he was 4 years old, Danny was hospitalized at CHOC. Years later, he returned to the hospital as an employee to help other patients the way he’d been cared for. CHOC is proud to have numerous veterans on staff taking care of our patients.

Q: What role do you play in caring for patients at CHOC?

A: As a clinical associate, I assist nurses by taking patients’ vital signs in the pre-operative unit, and by helping patients be discharged from the recovery room. Before transferring to this department, I worked in central transport for two years, helping ensure all departments, including surgical services, had the medical supplies and equipment they needed, when they needed it. We also worked hard to ensure special patient care needs were met promptly and efficiently.

Q: What aspect of your role as a clinical associate are you most passionate about?

A: I’m the first one to see kids when they come in for surgery. I get to find out what they like and talk to them about it, to make sure they’re comfortable. Sometimes I’m able to see them before and after their surgery. Everyone does such a great job here at CHOC, but parents and kids like it when they see familiar faces.

Q: How have your experiences in the military prepared you for your healthcare career at CHOC?

A: My experiences in combat have taught me to expect the unexpected. I’ve been deployed three times, and I’m the first line of care for my artillery unit. Going back to the Spanish War, every generation in my family has had someone in the military. But I’ve always wanted to work with kids, and during my deployment to Iraq, I had some experience treating kids. When I got off active duty and joined the Navy Reserve, I had the chance to come to CHOC and give back to the organization that helped me as a child.

Q: What advice would you offer someone considering a career in healthcare?

A: Come to work always ready to have fun and keep a smile on your face!

Q: How do you cope with juggling two roles, in the Navy Reserves and at CHOC?

A: I love to be on the go, but I couldn’t do it without my wife. She’s my rock. When I’m not at work, I coach football, and play competitive rugby and softball.