The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is a center of excellence for military and public health education and research. USU's programs are unique, as are our dedicated faculty, staff and students.
The university benefits tremendously from its extraordinary alumni who return to teach, conduct research and guide others in clinical care. These devoted professionals bring a wealth of experience gained in military treatment facilities throughout the U.S. and around the world, as well as in combat, on ships, in airborne intensive care units, amid natural disasters and among a multitude of cultures.
Since USU's F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine graduated its first class in 1980, the school has awarded Doctor of Medicine degrees to more than 4,200 graduates who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service. Among them: Col. Joseph B. Anderson, USAF, MC ('90), is the Commander of the 30th Medical Group at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. A family physician who is also board certified in aerospace medicine, Col. Anderson has just been selected to serve as the next Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) Surgeon in Kabul. He will join USU ('93) graduate, LTC Mark McGrail, MC, USA, a family physician, who is currently serving as the Combined Joint Task Force-101 Surgeon in Bagram, Afghanistan. More than 1,400 miles to the west, BG Joseph Caravalho, MC, USA ('83), oversees all Army medical assets in Iraq as the Multinational Corps-Iraq/Multinational Force-Iraq Surgeon. CDR Scott Rineer, MC, USNR ('90), is the Marine Corps Forces Central Command Surgeon, responsible for the medical assets supporting the Marines throughout the Middle East.
Captain Mary Porvaznik is a family physician serving in the U.S. Public Health Service who has worked with the Navajo Indian population in the Indian Health Service providing full spectrum care to this underserved reservation for 12 years, including initiating outreach services to teens, women's health programs and Indian patients in nursing homes, as well as developing educational programs for physicians assigned to isolated reservation facilities. She has now returned to USU as a PHS Senior Advisor and as a teacher and mentor to the medical students.
Her Public Health Service colleague, Captain Michael Wilcox, is a general surgeon who has worked on a number of Native American reservations over his career providing much needed surgical services to underserved Indian populations as well. However, last year he deployed with the U.S. Navy on the USS Pelilieu with the Pacific Partnership Team providing humanitarian surgical services to underserved populations in the South Pacific, underscoring not only the ability of USU graduates to work in a joint service environment, but also the emphasis on humanitarian assistance missions that is built into the USU curriculum.
The school also has awarded nearly 1,100 degrees in the biomedical sciences to individuals who advance the science that underlies our ability to treat and protect against infectious diseases and other maladies affecting humankind. For example, Dr. Nicole Achee, who earned her Ph.D. in USU's Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, is collaborating with scientists from the U.S. and other countries on an innovative research project to prevent dengue in Thailand and Peru, supported by a $3.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Thomas Geisbert, a 2003 Ph.D. graduate in Pathology, is now the associate director of Boston University's National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, which will house Biosafety Level 2, 3, and 4 facilities to study the world's most virulent pathogens.
The USU Graduate School of Nursing has conferred more than 360 master's degrees since its founding in 1993 and nine doctorates since opening its Ph.D. program in 2003. These men and women serve in uniformed and federal services at home and abroad. They also work with the school's faculty to conduct research. GSN nurse anesthesia program alumnus, CDR Bradley Hartgerink, NC, USN ('98) is currently the Special Assistant for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Relief for the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C. Most recently, he deployed in 2007 on the hospital ship USNS Comfort for a four-month humanitarian mission to South America as the head of Department of Surgery.
Besides our world-class educational programs, USU is dedicated to innovative research in military medicine and nursing as well as public health. Our research programs, devoted to preventive medicine, infectious disease, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, are relevant both locally and globally.
USU's Board of Regents is appointed by the Secretary of Defense. They are prominent leaders the Department, government, in health care, education and/or research from throughout the country. Members include: the Chair, former Army Surgeon General Ronald Blanck, D.O., who was president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth prior to his current position as vice chairman and partner of Martin, Blanck & Associates; the Honorable Otis Brawley, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Cancer Society; the Honorable Sheila Burke, RN, MPA, Senior Policy Analyst at Baker Donelson and former Undersecretary at the Smithsonian; General (Ret) Ronald Griffith, former Chief of Staff of the Army; Michael Johns, M.D., former Chancellor of Emory University; Haile Debas, M.D., Executive Director of Global Health Sciences at the University of California at San Francisco; Kenneth Moritsugu, M.D., Vice President of Global Strategic Affairs for LifeScan, Inc., and former acting Surgeon General of the United States; and Gail Wilensky, Ph.D., economist and Senior Fellow at Project HOPE and former administrator of Health Care Financing Administration.
Ex-Officio members of the Board include: Jonathan Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs; Lt. General Patricia Horoho, Surgeon General of the U.S. Army; Vice Admiral Matthew Nathan, Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy; Lt. General Thomas Travis, Surgeon General of the U.S. Air Force; and Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, Acting Surgeon General of the United States.
Their experience, knowledge and ideas will allow USU to broaden its already significant contributions to military medicine and public health, helping to create a stronger, more effective military and federal health system serving the nation and the world.