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Craig is one in 61,000

By Lauren Urban, Writer

Craig Washington, director of materials and administration operations at Zucker Hillside Hospital, grew up like most kids on Long Island. The second oldest of four siblings, he was raised by his mother, a long-time RN in the North Shore University Hospital NICU, and his father, an architect. After graduating from Uniondale High School, he went on to Boston University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Film and Television.

While Craig enjoyed a happy and content life, he always carried with him one big dream: joining the U.S. Air Force.       

“My parents didn’t want me to join after high school,” he explained. “Like most parents, they want you to go to school…But after college, I still had that desire to serve. I never lost it.”

So in 2006, two years out of college, Craig joined the United States Air Force and then became a supply sergeant. He was responsible for getting the pilots and crew chiefs the supplies that they needed to get aircrafts off the ground. He was stationed at Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma, and was then deployed to Afghanistan twice—Bagram Air Base in 2008 and Zabul Province in 2010.

Craig’s experiences overseas transformed his entire outlook on life.

“We lost two guys in our unit to a suicide bomber…It changed my perspective on life and how I view things. So after I got back, I completely rethought how I’m going to live my life. I’m not going to pass anything up. I’m going to make sure I explore. I’m going to make sure I enjoy life. Because you never know when you might not be here anymore.”

After leaving the Air Force in 2011, Craig adapted a “yes” mentality, embracing every new experience that came his way, which is clearly evidenced by his Instagram account. He attends a wide range of events from sport competitions to New York Fashion Week, and he loves being surrounded by people. He has also made traveling a priority, rather than an obscure future goal. He’s visited several places within the U.S., as well as Ireland, Spain, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica­---where he was born.

“I’m looking to go to more places. It’s a big world. So, I’d like to see more of it,” he said.

Craig’s experience in the Air Force also led him to his position at Zucker Hillside Hospital, where he’s worked for the past five years.  His job is to ensure that patients and staff have all the medical supplies and equipment they need, from exam gloves to portable X-ray machines. 

 “Instead of supplying the aircraft mechanics and aircraft crew, I supply doctors and nurses and the staff.”

Both at work and in his personal life, Craig never takes anything or anyone for granted and abides by the mantra “living my best life.”

Follow Craig’s adventures on Instagram at the handle: @craigwash

Interested in joining the 61,000? Learn more about careers at Northwell Health.