Meet the Team: Meghan Williams
One thing is definite within the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone – our team is a team. Each and every staff member not only plays a crucial role in accomplishing our mission to ensure our military families receive the care they’ve earned, but they do so from the heart and with a passion that can’t help but to inspire. Here’s a closer look at one such teammate, Outreach Director, Meghan Williams.
Tell me a little bit about yourself, such as where you grew up and your background leading up to joining CVN?
I’m a Michigan girl. I was raised north of Detroit and, yes, I’ll show you on my hand when asked. I’m the youngest of three girls and jokingly claim I’m the perfect mixture of my two older sisters. I spent my childhood on a field or a court or in a lake or skating on one. I was blessed to have a father who became my hero throughout it all. He was physician and all I ever wanted to do was follow in his footsteps. I spent many years devoted to science and went on to college at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a plan to go on to medical school. As we all know, plans don’t always go as, well, planned. I fell in love in with writing, telling stories and was soon drawn to journalism. After graduation, I set out to pursue a career in television news. I moved to Florida and spent six years on an anchor desk. Then, I met a Soldier and again my plans changed. We moved to Fort Campbell, the home of the decorated 101st Screaming Eagles and I was introduced to military life – its challenges. Its demands, but most of all, its sense of community. I’ve been in Clarksville, TN 16 years now, and I can honestly say it’s the people that keep me here. A military town is simply special.
You’ve taken life experience and built a career to help others, what was your greatest takeaway from this process?
Throughout my career in television I was often humbled when given the chance to interview our nation’s heroes. I remember each to this day, but one made such an impact it changed my course, yet again. I was invited to tell one man’s story. He had been a POW in WWII. It was the first time he had ever spoke of his experience, having not wanted to talk or relieve the horrors he had seen. Let’s just say there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as he told me of the hardships he and his fellow prisoners of war faced. I was awed by his resilience and grateful that he was willing to talk with me. At the end, he breathed a sigh of relief and I knew then by finally sharing his nightmares, he had found some peace. I take that with me every day and strive to ensure our military men, women and their families know they are never alone.
How have things been going at the clinic since you arrived?
I arrived at the clinic in 2018 just before our grand opening. It has been an amazing ride ever since. We’ve grown. We’ve welcomed two sister clinics in Jacksonville, FL and Fayetteville, NC. We’ve welcomed new staff and battled a pandemic together. Throughout it all, we’ve helped our nation’s heroes heal. I see it every day. It is heartwarming to witness.
Have you faced challenges so far in your time at the clinic?
The pandemic certainly wasn’t easy. I’m a people person who loves to be out and about in our community. Being forced to abide by physical distancing guidelines was difficult for me, but we were all in it together.
What do you hope for clinic and your clients?
Although I’m not a clinician, I hope I am able to encourage those in need of support to seek it. I lost a friend to suicide just years after he transitioned to civilian life. It was devastating and so many questions ran through my mind like they do in times of tragedy, but I kept coming back to the relief I saw on that POW’s face when he finally shared his story. No one should ever feel alone. Now, working alongside a team where each and every member cares so deeply about the wellbeing of our military and their family members, I hope I can share that message. I am confident in the good we are doing here. I wouldn’t be as passionate about it if I didn’t. So, I hope we continue to demonstrate that in every way and that our clients walk through our doors knowing we are all here to help them heal.
What do you like to do for fun?
Sports – all sports.
Favorite sports team?
Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Lions. Feel for me, we’re rebuilding….still.