2013 USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium a Success

Over 1,000 people attended the 2013 USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium, the 48th annual event for USPHS Commissioned Corps officers and their civilian counterparts from across the country.  By all accounts, the symposium was a big hit.

One junior officer wrote, "This year I had the privilege of being the recipient of the Junior Officer Scholarship for the 2013 USPHS symposium.  I was called to active duty in February 2013 and this provided me with an excellent opportunity to meet and learn from senior officers.  My experience was positive and I plan to be a regular attendee of future symposiums."  Donate to the Koop Living Legacy Fund to support the professional development of junior officers.

Of the officers who attended, approximately 75% paid out of pocket because of lack of government funding.  This demonstrates the need for mission-supporting conferences which provide no-frills training and build esprit-de-corps for the men and women in uniform.

Highlights of the symposium included a dynamite Anchor & Caduceus Dinner with 17th Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who provided the C. Everett Koop Memorial Lecture.  VADM Michael Cowan, USN (Retired), presented Dr. Carmona with the AMSUS Lifetime Achievement Award.  Ben Shelly, President of the Navajo Nation, greeted the crowd as the first elected leader of a sovereign nation to have attended the USPHS Symposium.  He mentioned his commitment to pushing for smoke-free workplaces in casinos.

The Commissioned Officers Association (COA) announced a new member benefit of $7500 scholarships for COA members who seek the MPH@GW.  Officers can earn a completely online and accredited Master of Public Health degree from the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services.  Click here for more information.

Drs. Joycelyn Elders, David Satcher, and Richard Carmona, the 15th, 16th, and 17th Surgeons General, respectively, sat on a panel discussing the legacy of Dr. C. Everett Koop and how his work relates to health priorities today.  Their comments were insightful and articulate.  The gathering was a rare occasion for former Surgeons General.

The majority of the symposium was devoted to bridging gaps between Federal, state, local, and tribal health organizations to advance the National Prevention Strategy.  Dr. Alan Hinman, a retired rear admiral of the Commissioned Corps, summarizes some of the most important contributors to our progress in preventive care in the United States.  Scores of other officers and civilian professionals shared topics ranging from homelessness to telemedicine, diabetes self-management for American Indians, and response to the 2012 pertussis outbreak in Washington State.

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2013 USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium

2013 Dependent Scholarship Winners

Six students won funding through the 2013 PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation’s Dependent Scholarship program. Eligible applicants were spouses, children and grandchildren of active duty or retired members of the COF affiliate, the Commissioned Officers Association.

Twelve students, mostly sons and daughters of PHS officers, applied for funding. The Selection Committee, composed of active duty and retired officers, scored each application. The reviewers chose the student with the highest score as this year’s winner of the Ronald Lessing Memorial Scholarship, which comes with a cash prize of $1,000. The award is named in honor of Ronald Lessing, the brother of CAPT Melvin Lessing, USPHS (Ret.).


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