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Military Health System

Military Medical Awards Spotlight Excellence Across the MHS

Image of Army Maj. (Dr.) Jason R. Bingham, chief of general surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, was recently selected to receive the 2021-2022 AMSUS Rising Star Award. Army Maj. (Dr.) Jason R. Bingham, chief of general surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, was recently selected to receive the 2021-2022 AMSUS Rising Star Award. Here, he is pictured performing a damage control surgery on a combat casualty at a far-forward location as part of an austere resuscitative surgical team. (Courtesy Photo)

AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals, along with the Military Health System announced a slate of awards to recognize outstanding achievement among the top health care providers and facilities that serve the military community.

The awards spotlight excellence across a range of fields including operational medicine, research, innovation, training, and management.

"The past two years have placed significant demands and challenges on the Military Health System – from the COVID-19 pandemic support to MHS reform to ensuring the safe and healthy resettlement of our Afghan friends here in the United States. Throughout, our military medical professionals have shined," said Dr. David J. Smith, who is performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.

"The awardees reflect the best of our Military Health System and their accomplishments improve our ability to effectively deliver high-quality health care to our warfighters, retirees and their families. These awardees epitomize the superb talent that we have in the MHS and give me great faith and confidence that we are well equipped to thrive in the years ahead," Smith said.

This year's honorees included:

AMSUS Premier Awards

Rising Star Award: Army Maj. (Dr.) Jason Bingham

Army Maj. (Dr.) Jason Bingham is a general and bariatric surgeon at Madigan Army Medical Center. He also serves as the director of surgical research and associate program director for the General Surgery Residency. Additionally, he is an assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and was previously the chair of the military committee for the Association for Academic Surgery.

Innovator Award: Dr. Ryan Vega

Dr. Ryan Vega is the Diffusion of Excellence lead with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation. Previously, he was at the Richmond VA Medical Center, where he served as chief of quality as well as the liaison for Institutional-House Staff Quality and Safety Initiatives.

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Norman N. Rich

Dr. Norman M. Rich is a former professor and chair emeritus of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences' Department of Surgery. A retired Army colonel and vascular surgeon, Rich was the founder of the USU Department of Surgery. He served as a professor from 1976 to 1999 and then went on to become chairman of the USU. He retired in 2018 after more than 50 years of service to the military and federal government.

AMSUS 2021/2022 Award Winners

Award  Awardee
Andrew Craige Allied Health Professional Award Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Stephen Anthony Smith
Communication Award Dr. Chad Kessler
Dentist Award Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Ryan R. Sheridan
Lewis L. Seaman Enlisted Award for Outstanding Operational Support
  • Senior Enlisted -- Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF) Bradley Leach
  • Junior Enlisted -- Air Force Tech Sgt. Prapaporn Wangsuttisomsri
Management and Administration Award Suzanne Shirley
Nursing Award LaDonna Thomas
Operational Medicine Award Air Force Maj. William T. Griesser
Physician Award Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Ana Elizabeth Markelz
Research & Development Award Dr. Xiankun (Kevin) Zeng
Training and Education Award Air Force Maj. Eric M. Young
William Gorgas Preventive Medicine Award  Army Col. (Dr.) Paul Faestel

2021 Military Health System Leadership Awards

Allied Health Leadership Excellence Awards

Acknowledges and honors military Allied Health professionals in the field at the tactical and operational level. They have demonstrated exemplary leadership along with outstanding clinical or non-clinical skills.

Award Category Awardee 
Senior Provider Category Army Col. Claudia L. Henemyre
Junior Provider Category Navy Lt. Sydney R. Hoover
Senior Non-Provider Category Army Maj. (Dr.) Christopher S. Alferez
Junior Non-Provider Category Navy Lt. Stephanie M. Harris

Federal Nursing Excellence in Leadership Awards Category

Acknowledges and honors military and civilian registered nurses in the field at the tactical/operational level who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and skill resulting in noteworthy clinical or administrative accomplishments.

Award Category  Awardee 
Senior Military Category
  • Army Lt. Col. Renee L. Howell
  • Navy Cmdr. Raymond L. Bonds
  • Air Force Col. Susan F. Dukes
 Junior Military Category
  • Army Capt. Nicole M. De Luca
  • Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dana M. Flieger
  • Air Force Maj. Amy L. Svanberg
 Senior Civilian Category
  • Army Patricia A. Wilhelm
  • Navy Pamela A. Charron-Burnap
  • Air Force Dena R. Barnes-Valentine
  • DHA Valerie A. Noel
Junior Civilian Category Navy Amber S. Ferguson

Female Physician Leadership Award

Recognizes contributions to military medicine and work mentoring others, inspiring young women working in the fields of medicine and science.

Award Category  Awardee 
Senior Category
  • Army Col. Catherine A. Kimball-Eayrs
  • Navy Capt. Charmagne G. Beckett
  • Air Force Col. Valerie J. Castle
  • Public Health Service Capt. Terri L. Cornelison
Junior Category
  • Army Maj. Elizabeth G. Simmons
  • Navy Lt. Cmdr. Loretta L. Stein
  • Air Force Maj. Sabrina L. Silver
  • Public Health Service Lt. Cmdr. Omoye E. Imoisili

Advancement Towards High Reliability in Healthcare Awards

Several facilities won DOD Advancement Towards High Reliability in Healthcare Awards for showing initiative and commitment to the development of systems and processes that will lead the MHS toward a better, safer, nationally recognized health care system. The awards and facilities recognized include:

Continuous Process Improvement

DOD Facility Awarded For
Brooke Army Medical Center  A Process Improvement Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Rapid Responses using Pediatric Early Warning Scores 
Brooke Army Medical Center  A Multidisciplinary Approach to Improvements in Perioperative Antibiotic Prophylaxis
Brooke Army Medical Center / DFCM Quality Improvement Project: Implementation of a PINC Clinic
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Okinawa Enhanced COVID Care Line Triage Process
Naval Medical Center San Diego Clinical Pathway for Pediatric Vascular Access
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit Fallon Supply Systemization to Eliminate Clinic Cancellations
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Portsmouth Standardizing Orthopedic Surgical Combat Trauma KSAs
Naval Hospital - Rota Spain An Overseas Clinical Improvement; Effective and Imperative Use of the COVID Monoclonal Antibody
Army Medical Department Activity-Bavaria Integrating Pharmacy into the Soldier Readiness Process (SRP)
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit Sasebo Process Improvement Cuts Days from Dental Class four to one

Culture of Safety

DOD Facility  Awarded For 
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Okinawa Bringing Opiates of the Streets & Undertaking Excess Scripts (BOOTS & UTES)
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Beaufort Instrument Sterilization Process
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Beaufort Storage and Surveillance of Reusable Medical Equipment (RME)
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Medication Error Reduction In Outpatient Pharmacy
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Program Changes to Resident Call: A Transition from 24-hour Call Shifts to a Night Float System
423rd Medical Squadron Dental Instrument Sterilization Project

Patient Centeredness

DOD Facility  Awarded For 
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Systems-based Strategies Improved Follow-up of Fecal Immunochemical Tests for Colorectal Cancer Screening
Brooke Army Medical Center Fast-Track Radioactive Iodine Ablation Therapy for Graves'' Disease Patients
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit Everett Leveraging No Cost Augmented Reality Glasses Try-On for Improved Patient Experience by Reducing Wait Times and Enhancing Vision Readiness
Brooke Army Medical Center / Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Portsmouth Continuous Remote Patient Monitoring: Patient-Centered, Acute and Chronic Complex Care through Digital Innovation
Eisenhower Army Medical Center Patient-guided Narcotic Prescriptions and Preoperative Pain Management Education to Decrease Excess Opioid Burden
Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit Sasebo Fleet-Centered Appointment Booking Solution Increases Dental Readiness

Leadership Commitment

DOD Facility  Awarded For 
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Implementation of Standardized Patient Care Handoff Communication at a Military Academic Medical Center
U.S. Naval Hospital - Rota Spain An Overseas COVID-19 Vaccination HRO Execution
U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa An Alternative Vaccination Model for COVID-19 #vaxoki
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Last Updated: March 01, 2022
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