With our MyStory video series, we’re sharing an inside look at the lives, experiences and passions of people who are part of the Highmark Health community. These videos were created by the talented members of the Highmark Health video team: Richard “Zoot” Dwyer, Tanner Rose, and Rachael Hower.
What do a team manager, a chef and a helicopter pilot all have in common? They all have a role in helping Highmark Health serve its community customers, employees and partners across every area of health care. But professional responsibilities are only one small part of their stories.
Angela's team at HM Health Solutions is like a second family to her. She tells us about being diagnosed with breast cancer and how her work family stepped up to show their support.
You look around and there's a lot of negativity, not only just people personally maybe going through things, and it's always seeing things the glass half empty? I'm the glass half full kind of girl.
My name is Angela Wylie. I am a solutions PMO team manager for HM Health Solutions. I oversee a team of eight employees, including one college rotational employee, split between Camp Hill and Pittsburgh.
My husband's name is Maxie Wiley and we've been married for 13 years. My daughter's name is Jamie Wiley and she just turned 21. And my son is Ronnie and he is 23.
In 2013, I was having some issues with my right breast. We were taking my daughter to school, freshman year in college, and my daughter said mom don't call me if it's bad news. So we get her all settled in, we get in the car, and the phone rings, and they tell me that, um, I had invasive breast cancer. My husband and I, we pulled off, and I'm just overwhelmed with emotion. It was complete silence. And then he all of a sudden just stopped the car and he pulled me out the car, and we just stood on the side of the highway and just cried. And then collectively we just took a deep breath, and he looked at me in my eyes and he said let's go. And we started this journey, and it has been a very challenging journey. That journey took me through 11 surgeries over a two-year period, so I would be in and then I would be out, and then I would be in and then I would be out. But through it all the staff never wavered. They never said, hey, you know, we can't count on this girl. I'd come in when I was able to work, and I put in a hundred and ten percent. I didn't know I was going to be out the next time I would be out, but still the team stepped up and they just covered for me. So for that I will be forever grateful — for what Highmark has done.
Conversely I had a bilateral mastectomy on my birthday of 2013. And because of where I was, you know, trying to process this whole thing, I said, well, I don't want anything. The only thing I want is for everyone to take pictures of themselves in pink. From the time I woke up that morning to get prepared for the surgery my phone just was buzzing like crazy. I had hundreds of pictures. The phone calls, the cards, the letters — they sent me care packages. It was just unbelievable. It just brought tears to my eyes, because I didn't realize how many people cared. From that moment I thought you know what, I work at a pretty special place.
Then I got this, um, book from Highmark, and inside the book it’s messages and photos. This is, like, one of my favorites, where it has everyone standing in front of PPG, because we were working out a PPG at the time. But they all rallied and put pink on and then they just wrote messages and funny little notes and things, and it meant so so much, and even just candid pictures that they had in there. So I keep everything, and I go back and I get encouragement and I draw strength from the cards and everything that I got from Highmark as well.
I could certainly kind of crawl up in a ball and surrender, but then where will it — what will it gain me? Nothing. If I can be a light in any room I'm in, then I'm good. That is who I am and I just love life. I appreciate life so much more now than I did before.
A passionate cook, loving family man and dedicated leader, head chef Cameron gives us a tour of his cafeteria kitchen at Highmark Health’s Pittsburgh headquarters and his life as a father of six sons.
I truly fell in love with food when I graduated high school. I left home and went straight to the beach. I found myself in a position to get a job at one of the only five diamond resorts on Hilton Head Island at the time. I walked in and just kind of was in awe for a long time. The old bay and the seasoning and the lemon and all that brought together, it just kind of made me feel like part of home, and I really fell in love with food from that point on.
My name is Cameron Clegg and I'm the executive chef at Highmark in Pittsburgh. Parkhurst is part of the Eat ‘n’ Park hospitality group, and it has worked out so far. I've been here for almost four years now. We say in a day we see about 1,200 people. We see about five hundred to six hundred for breakfast, and then seven to eight hundred for lunch. We use local farming as one of our resources to drive our menus. Our healthy garden was developed so that we could utilize fresh herbs and vegetables in our regular everyday production. We're probably at about twenty percent of our usage on a monthly basis from our hydroponic garden.
When I began my career here at Highmark, the mantra was definitely to offer the healthier dining, and that that has been my focus and gear ever since I've been here at Highmark. Since my inception we have certainly changed a few things around. We have gotten rid of a few things. We have courses like the kitchen coaches class, and we, you know, do chef's tables, where we get to interact directly with the guests and get their feedback and what interests them is and what things they'd like to see in the café. The best part about my job here at Highmark is, honestly, it's the people. You know, getting to come in and work with Lenny and Tymara on a regular basis, getting to come in and build the By Design station with Adrienne and Andrew, or getting to come in and make a special salad with George. They are all very passionate about what they do and you can see it in their work every day. I just kind of give them a little push in one direction, and it's rock and roll the rest of the day.
There's certainly a few dishes that I'll never forget that my mom inspired, one of them being raisin bread. Even still to this day you know it's one of the Christmas gifts that everybody looks forward to. Um, nine times out of ten, I'm cooking it up, and if it's grill time, it's definitely time for dad to hit the grill, and, you know, kids will not be allowed around the grill. So, you know, the beverages come out and it becomes a very enjoyable experience for myself.
My wife is a very talented pastry chef. She really brings that into my boys’ lives, like my mother did. My son Ryan is our first, he is now nine. My son Aydan was born 2006, he is now seven. We have been a little bit shocked by this, but now we are blessed with twin boys, identical, Collyn and Wyatt, they are now four. We were giving it one more shot there and we were trying to have that girl, and we were blessed again with another set of boys. They are fraternal, Gavyn and Shayne, they are now five months old. Angels in their own right, but they are still not sleeping through the night, so I think that's the challenge of today, but they are doing very well and healthy and they are the blessings of my life for sure. Truly they are everything I live for.
I think kitchen life will grow you. It will — it molds you, it makes you become responsible and makes you grow. I think that I can instill that in my boys as they become older to learn those processes and to be able to do that in my own kitchen, delicatessen or establishment, and, you know, reap the benefits of the business with the growth of my family — rock and roll right here, this is as good as it gets.
Aviation is a lifelong passion for Jeff, a LifeFlight helicopter pilot serving the Allegheny Health Network. He talks about earning his wings in the U.S. Army and how he continues to serve his community by providing emergency air transportation for those in need.
The best part of my job is my office is at 2500 feet. You know, day in and day out, I get to fly different places, see different faces. No day is the same day. You don't have to worry about the traffic down below, you don't have to worry about stop signs, and the hustle and bustle — it's just you and — you and the sky out in front of you.
Hi, my name is Jeff Riley. I'm a helicopter pilot for Metro Aviation, and we contract for Allegheny Health Network to fly helicopter emergency medicine. In my current position I've been working for just a little over four years. We work out of Indiana Regional Medical Center, and our territory is in the northern section of central Pennsylvania. We transfer most of our patients back down to Pittsburgh and multiple trauma centers throughout the area.
Yeah, the preparation, you come in in the morning, you do a change out with the other pilot, and then you walk down, you do a pre-flight, thorough pre-flight on the aircraft. And once you determine it’s air-worthy, you come back up here and you brief your crew. There's always a camaraderie. You know, everybody wants to help, everybody wants to get in there, and it's a team effort. I enjoy helping people. I don't do anything other than drive the bus, you know, but that's a pretty important job, to get that person from point A to point B to get that higher level of care.
Well, at an early age, my dad, he was a flight instructor for fixed-wing aircraft, and I grew up on a small private airport that my grandfather built, so I've been around aviation pretty much all my life. When I was little, Dad would take me and do aerobatics and flip upside-down, and, you know, I just caught the bug. Ever since then, you just get up there and you have this sense of satisfaction. My dad was a Vietnam vet. We shared a bond being in the Marine Corps together and then as aviators together. There's a picture of my dad pinning my aviation wings on. It was exciting — you know, it was exciting to have your dad do that for you. The wings that are on my chest on my flight suit here are the same army wings that I earned.
There was a lot of military in the family. My dad was a Marine, my brother's a Marine. I started off as a military pilot and worked my way up through. I got most of my hours deployed between Iraq and Afghanistan. I became an instructor pilot in the military. When I went through flight school they set me up with the Kiowa Warrior — the OH58 Delta. So for my whole active-duty career that's a helicopter I flew. When I went back in the National Guard, they don't have OH58 Delta Kiowa Warriors. The only one they had was the Apache, so they sent me through flight school to learn how to fly the Apache. That helicopter is pretty much an attack helicopter. It is used for combat. It's a very intense helicopter to fly.
My wife's name is Laura and my daughter's name is Alexis. She’s a great kid, she's very smart, not like her dad. I'm very proud of her. For the most part, you watch your kids grow up on a webcam. When you leave, you leave a family that's here, and as you go through deployment, your family moves on, but when you come back you're still here with them, and they they've already become up here. And then you fall further and further behind. It's harder and harder to close that gap.
I really enjoyed helicopters. I really I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. I've done a lot. I've checked a lot of those bucket lists off. They let me fly an Apache helicopter on one side. They let me fly an emergency medical helicopter on the other side. Life can't get any better than that.