Commander Shad Schoppert receives IHS Director’s Award

June 6, 2019

The Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS) recognizes individuals or groups of employees whose special efforts and contributions, beyond regular duty requirements, have resulted in significant benefits to IHS programs, priorities, or customers and fulfillment of the IHS mission.

Commander Shad Schoppert, ANMC Supervisory Facilities Management Engineer, received the 2018 IHS Director’s Award for his exceptional leadership of the ANMC Facilities team following the 7.1-magnitude earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018.

Cmdr. Schoppert, along with other award winners throughout the U.S., will be recognized and presented with his award by the IHS Principal Deputy Director on June 21 at the IHS Director’s Awards Ceremony at IHS headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.

“This honor is really just a reflection of the amazing work ethic of the folks in my crew,” said Schoppert. “They are an incredible group of skilled tradespeople who passionately care about providing the best facilities for our patients to heal in, our staff to work in, and our guests to rest in.”

Schoppert was nominated by his supervisor, LeeAnn Garrick, Vice President of ANMC Administrative Services.

Garrick wrote in her nomination, “Immediately following the 7.1 earthquake striking the southcentral region of Alaska, ANMC’s Supervisory Facilities Management Engineer Commander Shad Schoppert, reported to the Hospital Incident Command Center and then directed the actions of a large 45-person team of facilities and maintenance staff in the midst of unknown disaster conditions. He was on planned Station Leave that day but had come to the medical center early that morning to complete performance evaluations for his team members when the initial strong earthquake hit. Knowing the medical center relies on its infrastructure, Commander Schoppert sprang into action to check on the safety of his team and understand the Incident Command objectives. His goals to his team were clear: ensure infrastructure safety and operational continuity for the staff and patients at ANMC.

Cmdr. Schoppert’s leadership of his Facilities Maintenance team is built on trust and competence and this combination was particularly important on the day of the earthquake and the several long days of repairs ahead. He quickly organized his team into a satellite Incident Command in the facilities maintenance control room with roving team members reporting in damage from across the campus. The several strong aftershocks following the initial earthquake made this assessment more difficult, but Cmdr. Schoppert kept his team’s goals at the forefront to continue the critical work. With damage already reported in some buildings, he stayed focused and prioritized the safety of patients and staff as the main priority following by building damage mitigation.

Cmdr. Schoppert’s natural ability to find innovative solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems was extremely valuable. ANTHC’s Emergency Preparedness program trained several civil engineers in different programs in Rapid Damage Assessment (RDA) but the group had not yet drilled or practiced together. Cmdr. Schoppert took this emergency as the opportunity to put the training into action, utilizing those trained professionals with their RDA supplies to inspect every building and report any damage. Under his instructions, this was a very successful and consistent assessment of the campus infrastructure which gave leadership the information needed about what programs could resume.

Later when the Municipality of Anchorage put the community on a boil water notice, Cmdr. Schoppert switched the medical center water source to a 100,000-gallon fresh water tank to ensure patients and visitors had a safe water source. That evening when the notice was still in effect, he turned to Environmental Health and Engineering to test the hospital’s water and be prepared to treat it for possible contamination. His long-term relationships with other safe water treatment experts in the organization is a credit to his professionalism, regard for his fellow engineers and assured a continual safe water source for the medical center.

After 14 straight hours, Commander Schoppert sent his day team home and gave instructions to the evening team about repairs and checks to be completed. He wanted to be sure that his team had the chance to rest, reunite with their own families and assess damage in their own homes that evening. At 7 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, the team returned to the ANMC campus to resume repairs. In the first few hours, he was able to prioritize those safety elements that needed to be resolved immediately and those that could be handled at a later date. His leadership of this focused team continued over the next several days and all programs were open and available for patients that next Monday following the earthquake, while much of the city was still picking up pieces.

Commander Shad Schoppert is an extremely high performer with the ability to get high-quality projects completed quickly within budget. On Friday Nov. 30, 2018, Commander Schoppert exemplified the IHS priorities of People, Partnerships, Quality and Resources. His ability to quickly assess and repair the damage from the earthquake to ensure that ANMC and the ANTHC campus could continue providing high quality of care for our people and patients was nothing short of heroic.”

Please join us in congratulating Commander Schoppert on his IHS Director’s Award.

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