News

Foundation Hires New Executive Director

The Foundation is pleased to announce James Tyson Currie as executive director.  Currie holds a doctoral degree in history from the University of Virginia and is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Dr. Currie was a professor of Political Science/National Security Studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, for 18 years.  More recently, he has worked as legislative director for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the largest trade association representing the recreational boat building industry, with 1500 members; and prior to that as the director of federal relations at the National Association of State Treasurers.  Colonel Currie also worked as a staff member in the U.S. Senate.  He is the author of three books and 25 articles.

Colonel Currie was the unanimous choice of the search committee after an exhaustive review of some fifty applicants for the position. He is one of the few applicants meeting all three of the most important criteria identified by the association and foundation boards: uniformed service experience, demonstrated leadership, and success in managing organizations. He has a rich background of accomplishment and possesses the skills necessary to lead COA and COF to continued success in the years ahead.

Currie said that he is honored by his selection to become the executive director for the association and foundation. “It will be the culmination of my career,” he said. “I am excited about the opportunity to represent the incredible officers of the U.S. Public Health Service--active and retired--and to furthering the goals of the association and the foundation. Jerry Farrell will be an extremely tough act to follow, as he has been everything you would want in an executive director.”

Colonel Currie will replace Farrell who has served as COA/COF executive director since 2001. Colonel Currie will begin work on 1 April. He is COA’s fourth executive director since the association was incorporated in 1951.

Foundation Seeks Nominations for the 2014 Carruth Wagner and Mabel May Wagner Awards

The PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation is seeking Nominations for the 2014 Carruth Wagner and Mabel May Wagner Awards. Deadline for submission of Nominations: March 21, 2014. For further details and criteria, click on the link here.

Study Released on Value of USPHS Commissioned Corps

The University of Maryland School of Public Health released a study commissioned by the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation regarding the value of the USPHS Commissioned Corps to the mission of the Department of Health and Human Services and national priorities.  Click here for the short version and click here for the full version of the report called, "The USPHS Commissioned Corps: A Study on Value and Contributions to the DHHS Mission and National and Global Health Priorities and Initiatives."

The study's author, Muhiuddin Haider, PhD, wrote the following regarding the cost of an officer in the Commissioned Corps:

"The effectiveness, efficiency, efficacy, and comprehensive value of the USPHS CC cannot be determined based on cost factors alone, although almost all previous studies of the Corps have relied solely on this single data point.  There exit in the federal workforce too many variables, too many inconsistencies, too many unmeasurable attributes, and too many contraindications to make any meaningful evaluation based on cost alone, much less useful in assessing overall value and contribution to national health and security."

The study's recommendations for the Commissioned Corps include:

  1. Build relationships with the private sector and organizations such as the American Public Health Association to increase innovative training opportunities.
  2. Increase the officers' role in achieving Healthy People 2020 goals.
  3. Increase public health roles of officers to meet the health workforce needs of America and serve at-risk populations.
  4. Increase recognition of leadership and services provided by officers stationed in different agencies and departments.
  5. Increase advocacy for the USPHS CC.
  6. Increase officers role in global health efforts.
  7. Establish strategic objectives for the USPHS CC to improve functioning and collaboration between managing agencies.
  8. Fund the Public Health Sciences Track. 

Make a Gift to the Foundation

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations to the foundation are fully tax-deductible as charitable donations for income tax purposes. Donations to the foundation are recognized at the annual Public Health Symposium, in the Commissioned Officers Association newsletter (Frontline) and in the most recent annual report.

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Events

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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