As the staff ophthalmologist at the Veterans Health Administration in St. Louis, Mo., Dr. David Vollman, 34, helped to organize a program to track cataract surgeries and record that information in a national Veterans Affairs database. For these efforts, the Partnership for Public Service recently named Vollman as one of the finalists for the 2013 Call to Service Medal. The award recognizes federal employees who have made important contributions through their public service.
Vollman answered the following questions about himself and his career in the federal government.
What three words best describe your leadership philosophy? Cooperative, Engaging, Motivational
What’s the best piece of advice (or words of wisdom) you’ve ever received and who gave it to you? My father told me to find a career I enjoyed since I would be doing it for 40 years of my life.
Who is your biggest role model and why? It is hard to pick one but ophthalmologists like George Bartley, former CEO Mayo Clinic, Fla.; David Parke, executive vice president and CEO, American Academy of Ophthalmology; and Mary Lawrence, interim director of the VA/DoD Vision Center of Excellence serve as excellent role models because they show that physicians can balance a career of excellent patient care with serving in leadership roles affecting patients in system wide healthcare delivery.
What’s the last thing you read and what’s next on your reading list? Recent: “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Next: “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham
What’s your favorite bureaucratic phrase? Cutting through the red tape
The Call to Service Award is just one of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) presented annually by the Partnership for Public Service. View a gallery of all the Sammies nominees here.