I am Chuck Shoemaker.
I live in Xenia Township with my wife of 35 years and have three children and three grandchildren. I started working at Kettering Health in 2013 as the security manager and have been the network Director at Fort Hamilton Hospital since 2018.
In this role, God blessed me with the opportunity to build and work with a great team of experienced and talented officers, many who still work there today. This is also where I collaborated with a co-worker to start the “Dr. White” process—a process put in place to minimize the number of violent incidents against our employees, the majority of which were in the ED. During the first year, we had over a 60% reduction in violent incidents with no ED personnel injured. This process is now used in all of the ED’s across Kettering Health.
I’ve been fortunate to get the opportunity to assist two great leaders—Tom Thompson and Chad Depew—in the reorganization of our department. We integrated three separate security departments into one, becoming one of the first true network departments. We now have nearly 150 officers across six counties and are the 8th largest police department in the state of Ohio.
I had worked for the organization prior to 9/11 and was also in the National Guard. The day of the attacks, I went on active duty status—deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq during that period—and stayed on active duty until my retirement in 2008. After retiring from the military, I went back to the Middle East for a few years as a security contractor. I worked for the State Department, at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and their consulate in Basra and did some security work in Saudi Arabia. During this time, I had the good fortune to work alongside and lead others with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religions. Some of whom I still stay in contact with today.
After leaving this line of work, I changed pace and went to work for an oil company in North Dakota, west Texas and eastern New Mexico. Due to a knee injury that resulted in surgery, I returned to Ohio where I focused on recovery and rehabilitation. During my recovery, I received a call from Mike Emmons, who I had worked with prior to going on active duty and who was the security manager at Kettering Medical Center. He shared with me that a position was opening at Fort Hamilton and wanted to know if I would be interested in applying. I always enjoyed working for Kettering Health and often thought if I ever had the opportunity to go back, I would seize it.
The most inspiring part of my job are the people I work with day in and day out, both within my department and across the organization. Unfortunately, I’ve seen some of the worst humanity has to offer, however, God has blessed me beyond measure to be able to work here, with those who exemplify the best humanity has to offer. I’m truly inspired to be a small part of a great team of people who can touch lives—some during their darkest moments— in such a positive way, each day.
I’m very blessed to have a close, tight knit, loving family, who puts their faith in God. Without question, one of the biggest challenges was my time away from them while working overseas.
Some advice I’d like to share with fellow colleagues is, no matter what career path you choose, do it to the best of your ability and always be respectful, helpful, and kind to others—even if they’re not that way towards you. I’ll paraphrase a quote I read once by Maya Angelou, that I believe rings very true: people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
If you choose to be a leader, lead by example and always be willing to “get in the trenches” with those you lead. Have an open line of communication with God and a good sense of humor, because you’re going to need them both.