Madeline Church Buono ′15 Thrives at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Naples

October 17, 2018 at 3:39 pm

  Spartanburg, S.C. — Madeline Church Buono had never lived more than two hours away from her Spartanburg home. When her husband Kirk was deployed to Afghanistan, he received orders that they would be moving to Naples, Italy. With a bittersweet feeling, she shared the news with her family, resigned her job as a first grade teacher at Oakbrook Preparatory School, packed her bags, and shipped all of their belongings.

“Our move to Italy was challenging but rewarding, fearful yet exhilarating, and honestly, the best decision the United States Navy could have ever made for my husband and me,” said Buono, who earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in healthcare and education in 2015.  “We will be living in Italy for three years with the possibility to extend to four.”

Buono credits the education she received at USC Upstate as helping her prepare for this global journey.

“Like all college students, we learn and grow, and in those vital years, typically become the person we were always meant to be,” said Buono.  “USC Upstate provided me with an education that no one can ever take from me. It’s a reminder that hard work and dedication do in fact, pay off; that a college degree sets you apart and in this day and age, almost seems required for full-time careers.  Having my bachelor’s degree has provided me the job opportunities that I have had as well as gave me the prerequisite to start on my master’s degree in a completely new field.”

After months of searching for a job in Naples, Buono was offered the position of Executive Assistant to the Director of Administration (DFA) and Command Master Chief (CMDCM) of the U.S. Naval Hospital, Naples.  Her duties include administrative, clerical, typing, and transcription in management of the office.

“I provide direct support by coordinating, analyzing, reporting, and performing all details of administration as well as recommend changes in administrative policies when I see fit,” explained Buono. “I also am secondary Executive Assistant to the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer of USNH Naples, providing maximum coverage for the Executive Command Suite:  CO, XO, CMDCM, and DFA.  My additional responsibilities include relaying messages from higher echelon and other headquarter agencies to various staff levels within the Command.  I have exclusive control over the Command Suite’s calendars and schedule appointments as necessary, ensuring no discrepancies or conflicts.  I also serve as the Recorder for the Environment of Care (EOC) Committee, which encompasses facility issues, patient safety, and management plans in support of the Navy’s Medical Mission.”

In addition to her job at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Naples, Buono is currently enrolled in Penn State’s MPS (Masters of Professional Studies) Homeland Security Program, specializing in Public Health Preparedness.

“This program will give me the knowledge and skills to appropriately and efficiently respond to natural and man-made disasters, help others adapt to catastrophe and its aftermath,” said Buono. “With this degree, I will be equipped to work for government agencies such as FEMA, WHO, the FBI, or even the military.  I can fill leadership roles in public health, education, health care, emergency management, etc.  The next phase of my career will begin when my husband and I move back to the U.S. in a couple years and currently I am open to the idea of any position of leadership in public health and emergency management of a hospital or any government entity.”