Q&A with Marc Greene, Senior Director of Government Affairs
Marc Greene is the new Senior Director of Government Affairs for Floyd Lee Locums. As a distinguished veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Marc is a seasoned military commander with added experience in community development and business operations. He recently shared how his military past prepared him well to transition to civilian life and his new role with Floyd Lee Locums, leading our charge to support veterans’ healthcare.
SUPPORTING OUR VETERANS THROUGH MDE
Q: You’re charged with developing business within and adjacent to government programs at Floyd Lee Locums, and you’ve already made an impact with the Medical Disability Examinations (MDE) program. What opportunities do you see in this area for locums in the US?
A: Yes, it’s certainly a different business model than traditional locums. To me the biggest element of MDE for providers, beyond helping our veterans, is providing concierge employment opportunities, ultimately allowing the doctors, NPs, and PAs to decide when and how they want to work accommodating the lifestyle they have earned the chance to pursue.
So the MDE program provides an employment opportunity where they have the ability to pick a location they prefer, say when they’re available, and make a schedule that works for their calendar, whether it’s a week or two or more.
Q: How does this compare to opportunities outside the US?
A: The international piece looks more like traditional locums because you have foreign licensing and accreditation processes that take time. Thank you to Congress for passing the Portability Act at the end of 2001, which enabled any active state license to be applicable and carry over to work in any other state, for the specific purpose of facilitating MDEs.
That in turn created the opportunity to have a concierge approach to employment in our program, which puts the provider at the center of our model and in turn, allows the provider to put the veteran at the center of their focus.
“OUR JOB … IS TO FIND THE RIGHT PROVIDERS TO NOT JUST FILL OUT CHECKLISTS AND DO EXAMINATIONS BUT EMBRACE [THE PROCESS OF] RETIREMENT AND TRANSITION … FROM THE MILITARY.”
Q: How are you finding the transition to civilian life?
A: It’s been wonderful…having a blast. I enjoy stepping into environments that I’m unfamiliar with and being thrown straight into the fray and figuring things out. And that has been every bit of that over the last two months.
I’m also fortunate to have the ability and the relationships on base to go back and speak with the retirement classes. I’ll go every quarter and kick off the week of retirement transition prep that’s mandated by Congress for all military members.
They give me 45 minutes to offer my thoughts. And in the process, I have learned a ton about myself … about how to be not just a better professional, but how to be a better husband and father as well. And my experiences at Floyd Lee have been a very important piece of that.
LIFE IN THE AIR FORCE
Q: Let’s trace the timelines in your Air Force career.
A: I went to the Air Force Academy after high school, beginning basic training in June 1996. I graduated from the Academy in May 2000.
I went to pilot training from there and then rotated through new locations and deployments, including years of flying missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, moving cargo and personnel in and out of various airfields all over both countries. After that, I served a couple of staff tours in Washington, DC focused on policy considerations both for the Air Force and as a member of the staff for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Three times commanding — and command jobs are unique. The role can be difficult to explain for others who are not familiar with the military culture. As a commander, you are in charge of mission execution, success, preparedness … and personnel issues. You are the operational leader, but also the person in whom legal authority is vested.
My last command position was here at Joint Base Charleston, where I was in command of the installation. And with that, I had the opportunity to work extensively with the local community. I was fortunate to work on education for military children. We made significant progress and hopefully, in the next couple of years, the first brick will be placed for a new elementary school outside the base, supporting the children of North Charleston and military kids living on the base.
We worked on attainable housing with the Chamber of Commerce, as well as military spouse employment at the state level. The military base commanders across South Carolina also met with the governor once a year, which was tremendous.
I finished that job on July 15th of 2022 and then officially retired on November 1st, 2022.
Q: And what exactly is a Joint Base?
A: Congress enacted laws about 20 years ago that changed how the military services — the Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines — posture themselves around the country. Where bases from different services were adjacent or in close proximity they were combined into a single Joint Base.
In Charleston, Charleston Air Force Base and Naval Base Charleston were combined to form Joint Base Charleston. The past 12 years of operation as a joint base, with an Air Force Commanding Officer and a Navy Deputy Commander, has shown that the model can be successful.
Joint Base Charleston is massive, spanning 24,000 acres, 2 airfields, and 22 miles of shoreline along the Cooper River. The Joint Base operates the largest portion of our nation’s C-17 aircraft fleet and trains nuclear engineers for our Navy, just to name two of the many critical national defense missions performed across the installation.
Q: What’s your proudest moment from the Air Force?
A: That’s a tough question. It’s probably the opportunity to serve as an operations officer at an early age…just the way the circumstances worked out… and I had a great team.
During that same year, I became a dad, which was amazing. So, it’s not a specific event but an experience captured by a single photograph my wife took in my office – I’m in my flight suit sitting in a chair and I’m holding my daughter. And she’s at the age where she essentially fit just on my forearm and I couldn’t be happier. I loved my job and we loved our life as new parents. That’s probably my best memory.
CONTINUED INVOLVEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY
Q: What do you expect from your new volunteer role with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce?
A: All those things I did in the public-facing part of my job as base commander — education, spouse employment, infrastructure support — that’s the stuff I’ll take on for the Chamber, providing support to the current base commander and his replacements.
This role also provides a bit of continuity. I have had the ability to pull from my experience to provide a better perspective to the Chamber itself and help them navigate and manage the issues that can arise from the changes in base commanders, which happen every two years.
Q: What are the primary interests shared between the Chamber and the Joint Base?
A: The base is the number one employer in the low country, with 24,000 employees across 67 different organizations. About 20% of jobs here are directly related to the base or connected to the existence of the base. So the base accounts for $12+ billion of the employment economy. It’s massive, especially in transportation, logistics, and technology.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Q: What do you see as the MDE’s full impact?
A: Well, as someone who went through it as a patient eight months ago, it’s very personal. Our job, our charge as I look at it, is to find the right providers to not just fill out checklists and do examinations, but who can embrace the broader context.
Looking back on my retirement and the six-month window of transition, it was more difficult than I expected. And when I went back recently and spoke to the retirement class, I told them two things:
1. It’s going to be harder than you think, and
2. in the end … it’s going to work out.