SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
A San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, or SAUSHEC, graduation ceremony was held June 7 at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in downtown San Antonio to honor 228 Army, Air Force, Navy, Public Health and civilian graduates.
This year, 205 physicians from 36 graduate medical education programs and 23 graduates from eight graduate allied healthcare education programs walked the stage.
“At SAUSHEC, it’s our honor and privilege to execute our mission, which is to advance military health and readiness through education of physicians and allied health specialists to bring our nation’s military health system into the future,” said Air Force Col. Mark True, SAUSHEC interim dean.
SAUSHEC is the organization responsible for military graduate medical education and graduate allied health education in San Antonio, with two major training sites at Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston and the 59th Medical Wing at JBSA-Lackland.
“We are proud of you and your accomplishments,” True said. “Your faculty has prepared you well, and you are ready for the challenges ahead of you.”
The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Arthur L. Kellermann, dean of the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University.
“You are embarking on your military health career at a time of challenge and uncertainty, both within the military health system and across the world,” Kellermann said. “While this may be disconcerting, it’s been true for every generation of military healthcare professionals.”
Kellermann highlighted the medical strides made in combat casualty care during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, touting the fact that it was their predecessors who accomplished many of them.
“These individuals, and those who proceeded them, literally changed the form of combat casualty care during OEF and OIF from the point of entry on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan to the definitive care and rehabilitation and ongoing recovery here in the United States,” Kellermann said.
“You have benefited from that history and now you will write the next several chapters in that history as you make your mark on military medicine,” he said. “You have a unique mission, as a military health professional, it’s not enough just to be really skilled at what you do. You will also be expected to be an effective communicator, a problem solver, a team player and a leader. You are different, you are better.”
Kellermann emphasized medicine is a team sport.
“You can’t do it alone,” he said. “In the military health system, ‘one team, one fight’ is more than a slogan, it is our formula for success. The friendships you forged at SAUSHEC will help you get things done and will help you keep going when the going gets tough.”
He also encouraged the graduates to apply for faculty positions within the Uniformed Services University system.
“It will make you a more effective leader,” Kellermann advised. “You will have more and better options if you have an academic track record to put next to your military track record.”
Kellermann concluded saying, “I can’t predict what’s in store for you, the military health system or our nation, but I do know this, whatever comes, the education and training you received in the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium enables you to make a difference for your patients, for your teammates, for the armed forces of the United States and for our country.”
Along with the graduation certificates, six Commander’s Awards for research and five Merit Awards were also presented.
Commander’s Awards for Original Medical Research and Quality Improvement:
Graduate Allied Health: Army Capt. James E. Huang, General Surgery Physician Assistant
Quality Improvement/Patient Safety: Air Force Capt. Scott W. Penney, Pediatrics
Resident Primary Care: Air Force Capt. Joseph E. Marcus, Internal Medicine
Resident Surgical: Air Force Capt. Thomas T. Wood, Orthopaedic Surgery
Animal/Basic Science: Air Force Maj. Timothy A. Soeken, Ophthalmology
Fellow Clinical: Army Maj. Tyson A. Powell, Sleep Medicine
Maj. John Gillespie Award (Intern of Year): Army Capt. Rachel E. Bridwell, Emergency Medicine
Maj. David S. Berry Award (Resident of Year): Air Force Maj. Timothy A. Soeken, Ophthalmology
Col. Donald M. Null Award (Fellow of Year): Air Force Capt. John C. Hunninghake, Pulmonary-Critical Care
Ylda A. Benavides Award (Program Coordinator of Year): Stephanie Diaz, Anesthesiology
Col. John D. Roscelli Award (Program Director of Year): Army Lt. Col. Shane M. Summers, Emergency Medicine