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SAUSHEC continues tradition of excellence

By Daniel J. Calderón | Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs | June 24, 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —

The 2020 San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, or SAUSHEC, graduation ceremony was originally scheduled for June 5; however, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduation and awards ceremonies were postponed and changed to reflect the safety protocols now in place.

Nearly 300 students completed their curriculum and would have walked the stage this year. However, the SAUSHEC leadership, in coordination with Brooke Army Medical Center, the 59th Medical Wing, and the Defense Health Agency, was able to build a graduation ceremony video for play at smaller individual in-person residency program ceremonies, so family members and friends could hear from senior leaders and enjoy the day along with the students.

In the ceremony video, Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, Defense Health Agency director, took time to congratulate and encourage the graduates from his work location in Washington, D.C.

“The Army, the Air Force, the Navy – they need your talents,” Place told the graduates. “The country needs your talents. In fact, the world needs your talents. The paradigm has shifted. The conditions are different from when you began your residencies.

“Many of you are about to embark on your first solo assignment – practitioners in your new specialty,” he added. “And if that’s not enough of an adjustment, you’re assuming these new responsibilities in an unfamiliar world where the health of all of our citizens has an impact, on the economy, on national security, on the delivery of – and access to – healthcare for other conditions and diseases.”

Place reminded the graduates they will be on the front line of ensuring medical readiness for the military around the world, and their leadership and medical training has made them “the most prepared on the planet to operate in this complex environment.” He said the skills they have honed throughout their military careers and during their residency period are critical in an array of arenas.

Retired Air Force Col. Mark True, the SAUSHEC Dean, said he is proud of the graduating students.

“This year’s graduates are ready to face the challenges ahead of them,” True said. “Their program leaders and faculty have ensured this. Unique this year is how the nation will continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which will require out-of-the-box thinking as the way we conduct healthcare has changed as a result.  One bright spot about recent events is that we have collectively advanced telehealth capability, such that both, providers and patients, are more comfortable with this mode of care, and our graduates are prepared.”

The graduates are broken down into two basic categories: Graduate Medical Education and Graduate-level Allied Health Education. They consist of Army, Navy, Air Force and civilian residents. For GME, the numbers were Air Force, 139; Army, 87; Navy, 2. For GAHE, there were 30 Army, 23 Air Force and two civilians.

On June 19, SAUSHEC held an outdoor awards ceremony at the Freedom Park Amphitheater at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, honoring the following graduates and faculty members:

Research Awards

Scholarship in Action
Maj. Andrew M. Hersh, Pulmonary Critical Care, 1st Quarter
Lt. Col. Matthew A. Borgman, Pediatric Intensive Care, 2nd Quarter
Lt. Col. Kevin S. Akers, Infectious Disease, 3rd Quarter
Matthew W. Reid, Ph.D., Defense Veterans Brain Injury Center, 4th Quarter

House Staff Hall of Fame
Resident: Capt. Grant A. Justin, Ophthalmology
Resident: Capt. Donovan S. Reed, Ophthalmology
Fellow: Maj. Kathryn J. Lago, Infectious Disease

Commanders’ Awards for Original Medical Research and Quality Improvement
Allied Health – Maj. Amy M. Moore, Emergency Medicine PA
Quality Improvement Patient Safety – Maj. Lisa M. Angotti, Surgery Critical Care
Resident Primary Care – 1st place – Capt. Joshua M. Boster, Internal Medicine
2nd place – Lt. Cmdr. Stephen M. Hughes, Internal Medicine
3rd place – Capt. Hannah L. Gale, Pediatrics
Resident Surgical – 1st place – Maj. Tommy A. Brown II, General Surgery
2nd place – Maj. Kaitlin M. Peace, General Surgery
3rd place – Capt. Marshall D. Hill, Ophthalmology
Animal/Basic Science – 1st place – Maj. Christopher J. Corkins, General Surgery
2nd place - Capt. Amy M. Reed, Urology
3rd place – Capt. Donovan S. Reed, Ophthalmology
Fellow Clinical – 1st place – Maj. Brittanie I. Neaves, Allergy/Immunology
2nd place – Maj. Kathryn J. Lago, Infectious Disease
3rd place – Maj. Joshua C. Anchan, Neonatology

Faculty, Trainee and Program Awards

Professionalism Award
Retired Col. Anthony J. Johnson, Ophthalmology

Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Award
Lt. Col. Sarah N. Bowe, Otolaryngology

Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton, Jr. Award
Graduate Medical Education Faculty Award

Maj. Brit J. Long, Emergency Medicine

Col. Gerald Wayne Talcott Award
Graduate Allied Health Education Faculty Award

Lt. Col. (P) Enrique V. Smith-Forbes, Occupational Therapy

Col. Woodson Scott Jones Award
Graduate Allied Health Education Trainee Award

Maj. John A. Blue Star, Clinical Health Psychology Fellowship

Col. Gail D. Deyle Award
Graduate Allied Health Education Program Director Award

Maj. Bryan B. Pickens, Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy


Maj. John H. Gillespie Award
Graduate Medical Education Intern Award

Capt. John P. Marinelli, Otolaryngology

Maj. David S. Berry Award
Graduate Medical Education Resident Award

Capt. Donovan S. Reed, Ophthalmology

Col. Donald M. Null Award
Graduate Medical Education Fellow Award

Maj. John L. Kiley, Infectious Disease

Ylda A. Benavides Award
SAUSHEC Program Coordinator Award

Tracy L. Gruber, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Col. John D. Roscelli Award
Graduate Medical Education Program Director Award

Lt. Col. Larissa F. Weir, Obstetrics-Gynecology

Gold Headed Cane 2020 Award
Col. Jason F. Okulicz, Infectious Disease

According to SAUSHEC leadership, the Gold Headed Cane symbolizes the best academic medicine has to offer in the three arenas that are its focus:  patient care, teaching and clinical research. 

The original cane was carried from 1689 until l825 by six distinguished British physicians who cared for royalty:  Dr. John Radcliffe, Dr. Richard Meade, Dr. Anthony Askew, Dr. William Pitcairn, Dr. David Pitcairn and Dr. Mathew Baillie.  It is now prominently displayed in the Royal College of Physicians, London, England.

SAUSHEC’s mission is to “advance military health and readiness through education of physicians and allied health specialists to lead our nation’s Military Health System into the future.” It is one of two Department of Defense graduate health education consortia. It is the second-largest DOD GME platform for military doctors and the Air Force’s largest.  It is also the largest DOD GAHE platform.

SAUSHEC hosts 37 GME specialty programs and 22 GAHE programs. The training programs are located primarily at BAMC and at the 59th Medical Wing’s Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.