Camp Pendleton, California - Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton offers the Reintegrate, Educate and Advance Combatants in Healthcare program to help ill and wounded service members as they integrate back into civilian life as a veteran.

The REACH program is a Navy Medicine initiative to recruit, teach and employ wounded warriors into medical professions within the federal government.

"The idea behind the program is that it gives individuals an opportunity to work with healthcare professionals in about 18 different specialties, with the goal to lead to full-time employment in Navy Medicine," said Lt. Cmdr. Ramaud Love, NHCP REACH coordinator. "The main requirement for participation in the program is that the individual must be likely to be discharged with at least a 30 percent disability rating."

The program provides education, guidance and training for careers in the health care field and helps support a college degree. The 18 specialties offered include, but are not limited to, Case Manager, Dentist, Medical Technician, Nurse, Medical Doctor, Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist, Respiratory Therapist and Recreational and Creative Arts Therapist.

People participating in this program are eligible to begin within 90 days of their discharge date, and will work in their field of interest until their separation date. Following the separation date, participants are guaranteed a part-time job in Navy Medicine as long as they remain in school. After completing education and training, participants have the opportunity to get full-time employment in Navy Medicine.

"Almost everyone is starting from ground zero with no education or experience, so we get them on an education plan and get them an internship in the hospital so that they test drive the ship before they go through the long road of education," said Jeffrey Tanner, career coach for the Camp Pendleton REACH program. "My job as a career coach is to keep them on the path of where they're going from start to finish with their education."

This Navy Medicine program is not only located at NHCP, but also at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Naval Health Clinic Annapolis and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda.