Robert DeFraites, MD, MPH

Robert DeFraites, MD, MPH

Name: Robert DeFraites, MD, MPH

Department of Primary Appointment: Preventive Medicine & Biostatistics
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Associate Professor

Email: (link sends e-mail)
Office Phone: (301) 295-0777



Robert F. DeFraites, MD MPH is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Tulane University. He served on active duty in the US Army from 1980 thru 2011 when he retired as a Colonel (O6), Medical Corps. He completed residencies in Pediatrics in 1983 and General Preventive Medicine/ Public Health in 1989 at Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA. He earned a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1988. His Army assignments as a general pediatrician included Irwin Army Hospital, Fort Riley, KS, and 98th General Hospital in Nuremberg, Germany. Preventive Medicine assignments included the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the Office of the Army Surgeon General, the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (Army Public Health Command), and Headquarters, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, MD. He was appointed the initial Director, Army Preventive Medicine Proponency Office in 2000, and in 2007 he was named as first Director of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center in Silver Spring, MD. He concurrently served as the Consultant to the Army Surgeon General in Preventive Medicine from 2007-11. Military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the "A" designator for proficiency in Army Preventive Medicine, and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for Excellence in Military Medicine. He is board certified in Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, and possesses the Certificate of Knowledge in Tropical Medicine and Travelers' Health from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 2013 he received the William Gorgas Preventive Medicine Award from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.

Professional interests

Infectious disease epidemiology, travel health and tropical medicine, deployment health, and management of research and public health practice.


  • Course Director, PMO 613, Public Health Issues of Disasters in Developing Countries (Spring)
  • Course Director, PMO 1016, Infectious Diseases of Public Health Importance (Winter)

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, American College of Preventive Medicine
  • Member, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
  • Member, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States
  • Member, American Public Health Association
  • Member, Association for Prevention Teaching and Research
  • President, Psi Chapter (USUHS), Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Society

Selected Recent Publications

Otto JL, Holodniy M, DeFraites RF. Public health practice is not research. Am J Public Health. (Published online ahead of print February 13, 2014: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301663).

DeFraites RF. The sword of Damocles-whither the next epidemic? (Chapter 14). In Conflict & catastrophe medicine – a practical guide (3rd, Ed.) Editors: Ryan JM, Buma AH, Beadling C, Mozumder A, and Nott D. Springer-Verlag London, Ltd. 2014

DeFraites RF. The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center: enhancing the Military Health System's public health capabilities. BMC Public Health 11 (Suppl 2): S1, March 2011.

DeFraites RF and Richards EE. Assessing potentially hazardous environmental exposures among military populations: 2010 symposium and workshop summary and conclusions. Military Medicine 176 (7 Suppl): 17-21, July 2011.