National Guardsman goes above and beyond, earns state award

Richard D. Pulice, a physician’s assistant, is awarded the Ohio Health Care Worker of the Year for 2016 for his outstanding work with the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Hospital Association)

Richard D. Pulice, a physician’s assistant, is awarded the Ohio Health Care Worker of the Year for 2016 for his outstanding work with the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Hospital Association)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard D Pulice, a physician’s assistant with the 121st Medical Group, examines Senior Airman Tiera Graves, with the 121st Force Support Squadron, Aug. 8, 2016 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio. Pulice was recently awarded the Ohio Health Care Worker of the Year for 2016 for his outstanding work with the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard D Pulice, a physician’s assistant with the 121st Medical Group, examines Senior Airman Tiera Graves, with the 121st Force Support Squadron, Aug. 8, 2016 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio. Pulice was recently awarded the Ohio Health Care Worker of the Year for 2016 for his outstanding work with the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard D Pulice, a physician’s assistant with the 121st Medical Group, examines Senior Airman Tiera Graves, with the 121st Force Support Squadron, Aug. 8, 2016 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio. Pulice was recently awarded the Ohio Health Care Worker of the Year for 2016 for his outstanding work with the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard D Pulice, a physician’s assistant with the 121st Medical Group, examines Senior Airman Tiera Graves, with the 121st Force Support Squadron, Aug. 8, 2016 at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio. Pulice was recently awarded the Ohio Health Care Worker of the Year for 2016 for his outstanding work with the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams/Released)

RICKENBACKER AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ohio -- An Airman with the 121st Medical Group was recognized as the 2016 Ohio Health Care Worker of the Year during the Ohio Hospital Association Recognition Dinner June 14, 2016.

Lt. Col. Richard Pulice, a Physician Assistant, was given the Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year award for his exceptional service.

"Being awarded the Ohio Health Care Worker of the Year was a huge shock to me," said Pulice. "There is one winner from 220 Hospitals and 13 Health systems throughout Ohio and it encompasses any job within the hospital."

After serving Active Duty as an x-ray technologist, Pulice got out of the service to pursue an education in medicine and started working at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

"The more I worked with veterans, the more I missed the military," said Pulice. "The Ohio National Guard is a great fit for those of us who are established in a civilian career and still wish to serve."

Pulice has been with the 121st MDG for over 14 years now.

"I truly feel blessed to have two awesome careers, the VA and the National Guard, that allow me to take care of people," said Pulice. "It is very rewarding to have someone entrust their medical care to you. Winning the award amongst all of the other nominees is surreal. Any one of us equally deserved the award. I am humbled the Association picked me, especially because I am privileged to do work that I enjoy."