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The Urgent Care Association (UCA) is the premier resource for urgent care industry news, information and statistics.

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CEO INSIGHTS: A Common Purpose - UCA as Your Wingman

Author: UCA Admin/Tuesday, October 1, 2019/Categories: CEO Insights

Posted by: Laurel Stoimenoff, PT, CHC, CEO, Urgent Care Association

I was once privileged to fly as a guest on a KC-135 refueler training mission. It departed in the early evening and as I looked below with the sun reflecting off the red rocks of Sedona, AZ, I saw an F-16 approaching in the distance. I was in complete awe of its speed as it joined and ultimately engaged with the KC-135 for refueling. We subsequently returned to the Air Guard base with the F-16 in wingman formation. Peering out that aircraft at the F-16’s lights as night fell is an image I will never forget.

At the time, I was in an operational leadership position with a team that spanned a large western region, so the wingman concept resonated as a business strategy. Col. Lawrence O. Roche wrote that being a good wingman is anchored in personal commitment. They must have a good moral compass, keep their head on a swivel searching for any signs of trouble, and learn how to lead as well as follow.1

The Urgent Care Association (UCA) aspires to serve as your wingman. Our members are at the core of all we do and we and set the goal that you must be better because we exist.


When researching the role of the wingman in the military, I came across countless stories where the wingman did their job of protecting its lead aircraft and a few times when the lead aircraft had to support the wingman. This symbiosis is how I look at the Association’s relationship with our members. Without your support we do not exist. And in return, we support members through advocacy, education, research, benchmarking, and ongoing efforts to advance the industry. We monitor trends, threats, opportunities, and the competition.

Coming Together as a Community

We admit that UCA staff cannot do it all. We count on the boards of the Association, the College, the Foundation, and the Urgent Care Services Corporation for support. We also tap committees, sections,  thought leaders and experts. While the industry continues to grow, we remain a small community in the healthcare delivery juggernaut. We therefore see serving as a connector for our members as an essential function. This is our first year in over a decade without a fall convention, eliminating one opportunity for face-to-face networking. Therefore, we are committed to elevating those opportunities for our members when we convene May 3-6 in Las Vegas for the UCA2020 convention. Our job is to facilitate access to an army of wingmen for success, and what better place than our one and only national convention that’s ours and ours alone?

Team—We Want to Be Your Rolodex

My husband owns a toolbox. He’s not a real handyman so he tells friends that when you open it up, you’ll only find a Rolodex replete with a myriad of phone numbers and contact information for reliable resources. We strive to be your virtual Rolodex. For those who reach out seeking information, support, or simply to let us know what you are seeing on the horizon, we thank you. If you aren’t, we’d ask that you try us. Pick up the phone, send an email, or send a question or comment via the “Contact Us” feature on the website (www.ucaoa.org). Our team commits to getting back to you in a timely manner, as well as living up to Col. Roche’s expectations: acting with integrity, keeping our head on a swivel, and being not only followers, but also leaders.

Our nation’s military may be the best at optimizing the efforts of a team, and the wingman concept in particular. They’ve got each other’s back. And we have yours.



  1. Roche LO. What does it mean to be a ‘wingman?’ U.S. Air Force. Available at https://www.af.mil/News/Commentaries/Display/Article/142238/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-wingman/. Accessed August 29, 2019.

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