Our People

From Europe to Utah: This veteran’s journey to CHG Healthcare

Guy and his wife, Janet

Ready for a career change, Guy Zimmerman joined our quality management team eight years ago, where he helps to ensure we’re sending the most qualified healthcare providers to facilities across the country.

“I’ve been in healthcare for 30-plus years and taking care of patients, taking care of their families, is what I do. It’s what we all do. That’s why we’re in business,” says Guy.

One of the reasons Guy enjoys working at CHG so much is because of our culture and core values, especially Quality and Professionalism.

“I’ve worked here longer than any place I’ve ever worked because of CHG’s culture,” he shares. “Most companies have platitudes on a plaque somewhere, but it’s usually in a back room where nobody sees or hears it. It’s just one of the things they do for some sort of accreditation. CHG really lives by their core values, which is refreshing.”

Serving our country

Having a severe case of wanderlust, Guy joined the military when he was 19 years old as a Morse systems operator and analyst in the Air Force.

Guy in the Air Force

“I grew up in a very small town in Pennsylvania,” Guy shares. “I wanted to see what else was out there in the world and the military gave me that opportunity. What I got to do in the Air Force took me all over the world. I got to see and do things for years that I would never be able to do otherwise.”

In the four years that Guy was with the Air Force, he was able to see much of Europe and Japan.

“My first duty station was in Italy,” Guy recalls. “While there, I was sent to England for six months to train with the Royal Air Force. After my duty station in Europe, I was in Japan the last two and a half years of my service.”

He adds, “I spent a lot of time in Rome. That is one of my favorite cities by far. I even had two group audiences with Pope John Paul in Rome.”

But it wasn’t just the opportunity to travel that inspired Guy to join the Air Force. The opportunity to serve our country and the challenge of working in a field that few people get to do gave him a real sense of purpose and pride as well.

“I held high-level top-secret security clearances the entire time I was there,” says Guy. “I was in intelligence gathering. We were commonly referred to as spooks.”

His time in the military gave Guy the confidence to pursue opportunities he never would have thought of before, including college.

“I realized that if I wanted to grow professionally anywhere, I was going to need a degree,” he says. “College was a challenge — intellectually stimulating, meeting people, opportunities for other things. As I was taking classes and meeting new folks, I decided not to make the military a career. Instead, I decided to go into healthcare.”

Serving patients in need

After leaving the Air Force in 1985, Guy moved to California and pursued his nursing degree.

“I jokingly tell a lot of people that I had professional ADD,” says Guy. “Right out of nursing school I went into Intensive Care Units, which was unheard of back in the day. I spent the first several years doing that. I transitioned to the ER after that because I needed another challenge. Never knowing what type of patient that would come through the door required the ability to quickly assess and treat everything from infants to seniors with common colds to trauma. I did that for a few years and moved on to consulting for a large insurance company. Along the way I worked in home health and hospice, per diem agency work, recovery room, acute-care case management, and psychiatric/addiction medicine arenas.”

He also met his wife in California, and they had three kids before moving to Utah in 1993.

“I went to work for the University of Utah in their medical ICU,” he shares. “We just fell in love with Utah and the mountains.”

But wanting a new challenge, Guy switched gears and started his new career path at CHG. He’s been here ever since.

“To be successful you need to decide to take control of your own career. You need to be the driver,” he says. “People need to ask themselves, ‘What do I want to do for my career?’ Because you’re the only person that can really answer that for yourself. And don’t settle, don’t get comfortable.”

Ready to take control of your career? Check out the open jobs at CHG.

About the author

Liz Cornwall

Liz is a communications manager based in Salt Lake City. For more than a decade, she’s done a little bit of everything in the communications world — from writing about locum tenens and travel nursing, to working as an executive speech writer, to becoming a social media influencer in the world of micro goldendoodles.

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