Foundation Executive Director CAPT Gerard Farrell, USN (Ret) announced his intention to step down in the spring of 2014. The Foundation's trustees seek applicants for the position of Executive Director.
Publicly announcing his decision on the 12th anniversary of his employment with COA and COF, Farrell stated that "Serving as COA/COF executive director has been a privilege and honor. And I want to thank the COA and COF boards for the opportunity to serve as the enterprise executive director for the last twelve years. Much has been accomplished and I am proud of that record; but much remains to be done. I am confident that my successor will be able to help propel the PHS Commissioned Corps to achieve its full potential in ensuring both the nation's public health security as well as global health security."
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:
Lightning struck...twice! The Estate of Captain Robert Lathrop sent a second bequest of $620,000 to the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation, making the total donation $1.24 million.
Captain Robert Lathrop spent much of his adult life traveling around to the most remote and difficult to access areas of Alaska with his wife, “Petey,” providing dental care for Alaska Natives. Beginning his service in Alaska with the Territorial Department of Health in 1948 in the ship M/V Hygiene, CAPT Lathrop worked variously in Point Hope, Barrow, and Kotzebue where he joined the PHS Commissioned Corps in 1963 and also immediately became a member of the Commissioned Officers Association, soon after becoming a Life Member of COA. When the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation was established in 2000, Captain Lathrop became a regular donor.
The Corps brought Captain Lathrop to the lower 48 where he served as the Aberdeen Area Dental Officer and at Indian Health Service headquarters until his retirement from active service in 1975. Upon retirement, Bob and Petey returned to Kotzebue and from there travelled around the world, eventually settling in Anchorage in 1988. His beloved Petey pre-deceased him and Captain Lathrop passed away on June 8, 2011 at Marlow Manor Assisted Living in Anchorage. He was 87 years old.
Shortly after Captain Lathrop’s death, COF received notice from his estate that Bob had included the Foundation in his will. On May 18, 2012, COF received the first check in the amount of $620,000 from Captain Lathrop’s estate, the largest gift in the Foundation’s twelve year history. The second check for $620,000 was received in October of 2013. The Foundation is deeply indebted to and profoundly humbled by Captain Lathrop’s bequest.
The PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation honored Captain Robert Lathrop with posthumous induction into the John Adams Society. Follow Captain Lathrop's lead and include the Foundation in your estate planning. Contact Foundation staff for more information.
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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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.).Read more...