Army veteran finds a new Mission at OSF HealthCare

When he retired from the U.S. Armed Forces after more than 23 years of service, Patrick Barrett wasn’t sure what type of career he’d have as a civilian, but he felt like OSF HealthCare was a good place to start.

Just like he did to the military, he had strong family ties to the organization. His dad – who died fighting in Vietnam – his stepdad and his three brothers served in the military, while his mother, sisters and, later, his wife worked for OSF HealthCare. Two of his great-aunts who served as Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis are buried at the Motherhouse near East Peoria.

“I knew I wanted to be near family and work at OSF, but quite honestly I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do,” Patrick said.

Finding a place

Patrick joined OSF HealthCare 11 years ago, the same year he retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel.

He served in the Medical Service Corps, the health care administration branch of the Army, working in military-run hospitals both domestically and abroad before he joined OSF HealthCare as a project manager. He now supervises design and construction projects in the Peoria region.

“Project management became a good fit for me based on my military training. In the military, they teach us about managing projects, schedules and budgets,” Patrick said. “And I enjoy working for a system whose Values mirror the military’s when it comes to honesty and trust. It’s the same expectation of an officer in the military.”

The greater good

The decision to join OSF HealthCare is one Patrick is happy with not just because of his background in military hospital administration and deep family ties. While he’s transitioned from life as a military officer to life as a civilian, he’s able to continue to use many of the same skills.

“Veterans would like working here because we are a large system, so we’re like the military in some ways,” Patrick said.

Some of the same draws for a career in the military – serving a Mission and working as part of a team – are also benefits to working at OSF HealthCare.

“People here are working together, not just for themselves. It’s not all about the bottom line. It’s about taking care of the patient. And that’s what the military is about, too – serving the greater good,” Patrick said.

He adds another reason veterans would enjoy working with OSF HealthCare – an emphasis on employee well-being and benefits that include an Employee Assistance Program, a confidential service through which Mission Partners can receive free counseling and support services.

As an affirmative action employer, OSF HealthCare invites all veterans to apply for our many job openings throughout Illinois and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

To start your career with OSF HealthCare, visit

About Author: Laura Nightengale

Laura Nightengale is a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper for five years before joining OSF HealthCare. 

When she’s not working, Laura loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family, including her sweet and ornery dog.

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Categories: Working at OSF