Information Systems Employee and Veteran Discusses Her 24-year Career at Shepherd Center
Carla Jenkins is the Epic Grand Central/Prelude Application Analyst in Shepherd Center’s Information Systems Department.
Q: How long have you worked at Shepherd Center?
I started working at Shepherd Center in 1996 in the HR Department. After three years, I transitioned to the Information Systems (IS) team. Working at Shepherd Center is like working with family. I love the great relationships I’ve developed with everyone I’ve worked with through the years. My colleagues in IS are amazing. We have a lot of fun and still get the work done. I can honestly say I have never thought about leaving Shepherd in all the time I’ve been here.
Q: Can you describe your main responsibilities in your role as Epic Grand Central/Prelude Application Analyst?
Epic is Shepherd Center’s electronic health record system that provides an integrated technology platform for clinicians, patients and staff. I am the application support analyst for two applications within Epic called Prelude and Grand Central. These applications help the hospital track inpatient admissions, transfers, discharges and registrations. I support any changes, upgrades, updates or troubleshooting.
Q: What do you love about your job?
I love that I’m always learning something new, and I get excited about learning every day. Of course, I also love my co-workers in IS and throughout Shepherd Center. I’m so grateful to work in an environment that feels like family and community.
Q: Tell us about your military service.
I was a reservist for the United States Air Force for 16 years. As a reservist, I was a weekend warrior in the 88th Aerial Port Squadron at the McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. I joined in 1980 when my friend and I were looking for something meaningful to do with our time when we weren’t at our full-time jobs. We wanted to learn new skills and try something different that didn’t involve sitting at a desk.
Q: What was your experience like as a reservist?
I loved being part of the Air Force Reserve. My job included loading aircraft like C-130s, building pallets, loading cargo and working with the full-time active duty service members. I also managed flight line security, making sure anyone on the flight line had clearance to be there. Being a reservist allowed me to travel to bases around the world in Germany and Japan. The friendships and camaraderie I formed with my squadron were special. Unfortunately, in 1994, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that prevented me from passing the physicals, so I was honorably discharged, but I will always remember this amazing time in my life. My rank when I left the Air Force Reserve was Staff Sergeant.
Q: What did serving in the Air Force Reserve teach you that helped in your civilian life?
Just doing something I never imagined I would do, like driving a forklift or loading a plane, gave me confidence that I could learn new skills. That confidence translated into my everyday life.
- Carla was the dorm chief during basic training for the Air Force Reserve. She was in charge of all 40 women in her squadron when the training instructors were not around.
- Carla has a rescue dog who participates in a variety of dog sports. Her dog has made it to the national competition for the past three years in dock diving. In 2019, Carla’s dog ranked as the 83rd fastest dog out of more than 400 dogs in her breed!
- Carla’s brother is an original member of the popular funk group Cameo.
- Associate’s degree in administration
Epic Certification in Grand Central and Prelude
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.