PHS Senior Official Visits NIH
Rear Admiral Joan Hunter, director of the Public Health Service Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness, visited NIH recently. She met with PHS flag officers and other senior leaders in the morning and with IC deputy directors during lunch to discuss collaborative efforts.
In the afternoon, she held an all-hands meeting with NIH Commissioned Corps officers to share information from headquarters and to promote an “all-hands-on-deck” leadership philosophy.
Rear Admiral Helena Mishoe of NHLBI, NIH representative to the surgeon general’s policy advisory council, chaired the morning session. It focused on identifying collaborative strategies between NIH and the Office of the Surgeon General to strengthen the corps workforce, particularly in the clinical categories.
Julie Berko, acting director of the NIH Office of Human Resources, provided an update on personnel issues, comparing the Commissioned Corps and Civil Service systems.
Hunter noted, “Working at the lead agency in biomedical research, NIH officers play a key role in advancing the USPHS mission in protecting, promoting and advancing the health and safety of the nation.”
There are 256 Commissioned Corps officers at NIH staffing 23 ICs, with the greatest number at the Clinical Center. The total includes 85 nurses and 77 physicians. Other categories at NIH include health services officer, scientist, pharmacist, veterinarian, environmental health officer, engineer, therapist and dietitian.
In addition to their regular duties, officers play a key role in health emergency responses, which have included the 9/11 terrorist attacks, hurricanes and the West Africa Ebola outbreak.