The PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health is partnering with Christopher Productions, LLC to produce a documentary on the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). It will cover the history and role of the USPHS, highlighting aspects of the USPHS Commissioned Corps to help educate viewers about the role that the officers play in the FUTURE health of our nation, and the world.

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Intro to the Film from the Producer

Who works on the front lines of public health?

While everyone is familiar with the six United States Armed Forces, (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Space Force), many are unaware that the U.S. government has eight uniformed services to include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. The USPHS Commissioned Corps is the only uniformed service in the world dedicated to public health – and serves as the unique public health force of our federal government.

Officers are deployed under the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) with a mission to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of our Nation.”

Although often “invisible,” the USPHS Commissioned Corps touches lives of Americans every day, including the development of strategies to address clean air and water, fight disease, conduct research, support national health security, monitor drug safety, and care for patients in underserved communities across the nation and throughout the world. The USPHS Commissioned Corps includes both a Regular Corps, on full-time active duty, and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of a national emergency.

PHS Commissioned Officers FoundationCorps officers serve in one of the following eleven professional categories: Dentist, Dietitian, Engineer, Environmental Health Officer, Health Services Officer, Nurse, Pharmacist, Physician, Scientist, Therapist, Veterinarian. They are assigned to nine U.S. Departments and over twenty federal government agencies, resulting in a broad and diverse public health network reaching across government to more than 800 duty stations worldwide.

The USPHS Commissioned Corps has responded successfully to every public health crisis when called upon by the U.S. government, including some of the most visible in history such as Ebola and COVID-19. Corps Officers have deployed to terrorist events, natural disasters, humanitarian assistance events, epidemics, pandemics, and other public health crises. Yet, this unique service continues its struggle to gain the visibility it has earned and support in its mission from our government. Changing administrations and lack of understanding of this unique uniformed service with leadership and public health expertise are continual threats to their service and ongoing mission.

The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is positioned to remain a relevant and enduring force in public health and will continue to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of our nation. We are asking your support in this education campaign through the creation of this PBS documentary, along with other video elements for use on social media and in presentations.

Update from the Producer

COF Hosted Chris Schueler and RADM (Ret) Pam Schweitzer on June 23to discuss the documentary project. There were over 100 attendees. COF will periodically host the producer on a Zoom call to update members of the documentary’s progress. Stand by for future dates.

Meet The Producer

Christopher Productions (CP), LLC has created over 100 television programs in the past 25 years that have garnered 26 Emmy® Awards that have been broadcast throughout the country and around the world. Focusing on educational and social issues, CP has over two decades of experience in cultural and social documentaries all geared to create “Television to Touch the Heart.” CP documentaries have raised public awareness and also impacted public policy nationally and internationally. Clients have included the United Nations, the National Institute of Mental Health, PBS, the CBS Foundation, as well as television networks and governments worldwide.

CP work has attracted world class talent. CP has partnered with Glenn Close, Bryan Cranston, Sam Donaldson, Montel Williams, Ali MacGraw and others.