Tthe Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service (COA) is dedicated to improving and protecting the public health of the United States by advocating for the Commissioned Corps and its officers.
Recent COA achievements include:
COA Congratulates New Engineer and Nurse Chief Professional Officers
12/03/2013 - The Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, has announced the appointment of Rear Admiral Randall J.F. Gardner as PHS Chief Engineer and Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams as the new PHS Chief Nurse Officer. Both RADM Gardner and RADM Trent-Adams are COA members.
RADM Gardner replaces RADM Sven Rodenbeck who retired earlier this year. RADM Trent-Adams replaces RADM Kerry Nesseler.
RADM Gardner is assigned as Senior Engineer Consultant in the Office of Environmental Heath and Engineering (OEHE), and Acting Deputy Director OEHE, Indian Health Service. Previously, RADM Gardner has served in the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and HHS Office of the Assitant Secretary for Health's Regional office in Dallas, TX.
RADM Trent-Adams is assigned as Deputy Associate Administrator in the HIV/AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration. Prior to joining the PHS Commissioned Corps in 1992, RADM Trent-Adams was a nurse officer in the U.S. Army. She also served as a cancer research nurse at the University of Maryland Medical Center and completed two internships in the U.S. Senate where she focused on health, defense, and veterans issues.
MPH@GW - Master of Public Health Online
12/02/2013 - The MPH@GW is a completely online Master of Public Health degree offered by the George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services. It offers flexibility for PHS officers whose schedules may not allow for attending an in-person MPH program. An MPH may be the boost needed for competitive promotions. COA members who sign up will receive a $7500 scholarship.
11/25/2013 - COA affiliate the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation held a Capitol Hill briefing on November 21. Hosted by Senator Kay Hagan (NC), the briefing "Value of the PHS Commissioned Corps for American Health and Security" brought together Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, Mike Hayden of MOAA, Professor Muhiuddin Haider of the University of Maryland, and freelance journalist David Tobenkin. Below is a press release for the briefing.
11/14/2013 - Late this afternoon, the White House announced that President Obama will nominate Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, 36, as the 19th Surgeon General. Dr. Murthy is the Co-Founder and President of Doctors for America, formerly Doctors for Obama, a position he has held since 2009. Doctors for America is fully funded project of the Center for American Progress. Dr. Murthy is also a Hospitalist Attending Physician and Instructor in Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School, a position he has held since 2006. In 2011, Dr. Murthy was appointed to serve as a Member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. Dr. Murthy has been the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of TrialNetworks, formerly known as Epernicus, since 2007. Dr. Murthy co-founded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organization focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, where he served as President from 1995 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Murthy received a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management, and an M.D. from Yale School of Medicine.
11/14/2013 - On Wednesday, 13 November, COA executive director Jerry Farrell gave testimony before the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC)convened in Rosslyn, VA. The MCRMC was established by the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act and appointed by the president charged with recommending actions to improve compensation and benefits for the uniformed services. The Commission's report is due in May 2014.
The Commission is examining all aspects of uniformed service compensation and benefits including base pay, special pays, cost of living increases, housing allowances, retirement pay, commissaries and exchanges, healthcare, and other programs such as the GI Bill.
COA's testimony responded specifically to one line in the president's instructions to the Commission to "examine differences between the armed services and the other uniformed services." There are only two "other uniformed services", the two smallest of the seven, the NOAA and PHS Commissioned Corps. The Association's concern is that the president's instruction could be interpreted as an invitation to segregate PHS and NOAA Commissioned Corps compensation and benefits from the five armed services. PHS Commissioned Corps compensation has been aligned with the other services since 1911.
Farrell's testimony suggested that rather than differences, the Commission should focus on the similarities between the PHS Commissioned Corps and the other uniformed services. Farrell cited the long history of PHS Commissioned Corps interoperability with the military, PHS deployability, and the fact that public health remains the most fundamental component of national security.
11/11/2013 - Rear Admiral James Steele, USPHS (Ret.), the "Father of Veterinary Public Health" and the first Public Health Service Chief Veterinary Officer, passed away yesterday in Houston, TX. Admiral Steele was 100 years old.
Admiral Steele joined the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps as a sanitarian (there were no provisions for veterinarians in the Corps at the time)in 1943, became the first director of the PHS Office of Veterinary Public Health in 1946, and was one of the first staff of the new Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. At Admiral Steele's insistence, Veterinary Officers were soon enrolled in the Epidemic Intellgence Service (EIS) at CDC.
Admiral Steele was promoted to Assitant Surgeon General in 1968 and retired from the Commissioned Corps in 1971. He went on to teach at the University of Texas School of Public Health where he continued his groundbreaking work in the field of zoonotic public health that earned him the title of "Father of Veterinary Public Health."
Admiral Steele joined the Commissioned Officers Association in 1945 and remained a Life Member until his death. His membership passes to his surviving spouse, Brigitte. Funeral arrangments are pending.
TRICARE Dental Benefits
12/14/2012 - Good News!! PHS active duty family members are eligible for TRICARE dental benefits through Metlife.
For more information, please go to: www.metlife.com/tricare
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