Promotions Lauded for NIH Commissioned Corps Officers
The 14th annual NIH Public Health Service Commissioned Corps promotion ceremony was held on July 15 at Natcher Conference Center. Each year, NIH acknowledges the accomplishments of Commissioned Corps officers, who continue to carry out the PHS mission to protect, promote and advance the health and safety of our nation. This year, 28 officers were promoted.
Additionally, newly retired officers, new calls to active duty officers and a Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program student were recognized.
As promotions were announced, each officer had family and friends accompany them to the stage to assist with the official changing of the promotion boards. In several instances, board placement was done by a parent or relative who is a retired officer, creating a lasting legacy of service to our nation.
Radm. Helena Mishoe, NIH representative to the Surgeon General’s policy advisory council and NHLBI associate director for research training and diversity, gave opening remarks and presided over the ceremony. She emphasized that Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is working hard to turn the tide of prescription drug abuse that has reached epidemic levels in this country, affecting every community, with more than 40 people in America dying every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. She said the Office of the Surgeon General sees this as a public health crisis and has launched the “Turn the Tide Prescription Tour” to address the issue.
“We need every community’s help to address this as we work collaboratively to save families and lives,” Mishoe said. “How we address this crisis and treat those with prescription drug addictions is a reflection of who we are as a nation.”
PHS leadership and guests in attendance at the ceremony included Radm. Susan Orsega of NIH, chief professional officer for the nurse category; Radm. Teri Clark of NIH, representing the veterinary category; Capt. Martin Sanders of the HHS Program Support Center, chief professional officer for the scientist category; Capt. Jeanean Willis Marsh of the Health Resources and Services Administration, chief professional officer for the health services officer category; Capt. Madeline Michael of NIH, chief professional officer for the dietitian category; Radm. Deborah Wilson of NIH’s Office of Research Services; and Radm. Richard Childs of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The following officers were promoted: Medical Officers—promoted to Capt.: Maria Lindenberg; promoted to Cmdr: Margaret Brewinski-Isaacs; Nurse Officers—promoted to Capt.: Margaret Bevans, Linda Ellison-Dejewski, Lea Latham, Leorey Saligan; promoted to Cmdr.: Nam Hoang; promoted to Lt. Cmdr.: Sarah Benzo, Tyhis Coates, Anne Fejka, Janel Parham, Leslie Poudrier, Gail Tarlton, Krystal West; promoted to Lt.: Jodi Blake; Engineer Officers—promoted to Cmdr.: Leo Angelo Gumapas; Scientist Officers—promoted to Cmdr.: Eric Zhou; promoted to Lt. Cmdr.: Xinzhi Zhang; Environmental Health Officers—promoted to Cmdr.: John McLamb; Veterinary Officers—promoted to Capt.: Lauren Davidson; Pharmacy Officers—promoted to Lt. Cmdr.: Jun Lee; Dietitian Officers—promoted to Lt. Cmdr.: Kelly Ratteree; Health Services Officers—promoted to Capt.: Martin Ruiz-Beltran; promoted to Lt. Cmdr.: Richard Johnson, Tameika Kastner, Margaret Kemp, Sarah Lee, Megan Morgan.—Helen Cox, Kristen Cole