Before Patricia Ochan joined Booz Allen, she was a full-time caregiver to her husband—a veteran who was severely injured in combat. A cybersecurity expert with a law degree, she had to give up her career to care for him. She’s one of millions of “hidden heroes” across the U.S.— the spouses, parents, family members, and friends who care for our nation’s wounded, ill, or injured veterans.
Getting a Better Picture of Our Hidden Heroes
To shed more light on hidden heroes like Patricia, we partnered with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. In a first-of-its-kind data analysis project, we’ve developed a data-driven digital tool called the Caregiver Vulnerability Index —using analytics and artificial intelligence to identify where caregivers live in the U.S. and help drive resources to the areas where they need the most help.
Built on Booz Allen’s EpiMaps platform, Caregiver Vulnerability Index is a flexible and scalable solution that helps us identify population density of military caregivers. Using advanced data science, the tool shows where caregivers are, pinpoints locations where they’re experiencing the highest rates of poor health and wellness outcomes, and even gives clues into the factors driving those outcomes. These new insights give the Elizabeth Dole Foundation an unprecedented, evidence-based look into the localized needs of hidden heroes, helping the organization better support military caregivers in local communities nationwide.
How We Partner with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation
This partnership is just one way we support the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. From hosting and facilitating the Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes Impact Forum in 2015, to lending our senior leaders’ expertise to strengthen the Foundation’s infrastructure, Booz Allen has been an essential partner to the organization. Along with the Foundation, Hiring Our Heroes, and AARP, we’re proud members of the Military Caregiver Employment Task Force that contributed to a free toolkit to guide employers in recruiting and retaining caregivers.
To double down on our hiring efforts, we’re sponsoring a new Hiring Our Heroes initiative—the Military Caregiver Fellowship Program—as part of our partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. It places qualified military caregivers in short-term fellowships with corporations to expand their professional network, gain hands-on job experience, and demonstrate their value to the workforce.
We understand military caregivers have unique needs and often require flexible schedules to continue their caregiving duties. That was Patricia’s situation. After 5 years, her husband was finally in a better place where she could go back to work, and she was now her family’s sole breadwinner, “I’m still his primary caregiver, so I needed a flexible job that could fit with our family dynamic,” says Patricia.
A partnership meeting between the Foundation and Booz Allen put Patricia on an exciting career path. After sharing more about her personal caregiver story and volunteer work, several Booz Allen executives asked what they could do to help. “I was impressed by their sincerity,” says Patricia. “I told them that caregivers only want to be given an opportunity, the same as everyone else. They said they’d find a place for me—and they did.”
Strengthening Hidden Heroes from the Inside Out
It’s been a year since Patricia joined the firm, and she couldn’t be happier. Starting part time and working from home, she recently ramped up to a full-time position but still has flexibility to continue to work from home to care for her husband. “I’m seeing my career take off in ways that I never could have even imagined,” says Patricia. “Booz Allen has allowed me to think and be creative. For the first time, I understand what it means to build my career.”
She also still finds time to volunteer in the military caregiver community. “It’s a big part of who I am,” says Patricia. “I have a duty to them, so I’m happy I have a platform to continue thinking about and supporting this community while at Booz Allen.”
From supporting military spouses as they reenter the workforce to developing advanced data analytics capabilities like EpiMaps, we’re making a positive and long-lasting impact through our innovative partnership with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. Our support of the military community radiates from the inside out.
Learn more about the Elizabeth Dole Foundation at https://www.elizabethdolefoundation.org/