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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

OMS Chief Schmitt Retires

Dr. Schmitt

Dr. James Schmitt

Dr. James Schmitt retired on June 30 after 38 years working with NIH. For 31 years, he has served as medical director of the Occupational Medical Service (OMS). Other positions he has held include staff physician and senior staff physician in OMS.

As medical director, he established operational priorities for OMS and developed, implemented and adjusted work-related medical and counseling services to meet the evolving needs of the NIH workforce.

Schmitt is responsible for establishing the first postexposure chemoprophylaxis program for HIV-1 exposures in the nation. He also developed the first standardized approach for evaluating and treating workers for potential exposures to B virus. Other career highlights include designing the medical portion of the NIH biological surety program and revamping OMS operations to provide support for the NIH community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Upon retirement, Schmitt plans to travel nationally and internationally (when the pandemic subsides), spend time with grandkids and extended family and complete a long list of woodworking projects and consulting. He says he will miss “patient-care responsibilities, daily interactions with the amazing OMS and NIH staff, an incredible variety of clinical and administrative challenges, and being involved in supporting the NIH mission.”

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