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JBSA News
NEWS | June 17, 2024

SAUSHEC residents, fellows participate in graduation ceremony

By Lori Newman Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

The San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium celebrated military medical professionals during a graduation ceremony on June 7 at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in downtown San Antonio.

The ceremony honored 250 residents and fellows from 58 diverse physicians and allied health specialty programs.

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 and the 59th Medical Wing, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

"It’s been a long road,” said Dr. Mark True, SAUSHEC dean. “If you count all the way back to kindergarten, your training years total up to 24 to 28 years of education bringing you to this point in your lives.”

True reminded the graduates that they are ready for independent practice.

“You are now the authority for the care you provide to your patients,” he said. “With this authority comes great responsibility, and we know you will rise excellently to this occasion. Our patients deserve the best … that’s you!”

The dean praised the instructors for their efforts. “I would also like to acknowledge that our graduates would not be able to walk across this stage this morning without the tireless efforts of our program directors and our faculty, and also our program coordinators.”

True told the graduates that their instructors would continue to guide and support them as they move forward in their careers. His advice was to “stay connected and never stop learning.”

The keynote speaker at the graduation was Lt. Gen. John Evans Jr., U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) commanding general.

As an Army Special Operations Aviator with a 35-year military career, Evans shared experiences of his personal encounters with military medicine.

Evans shared one example from an Operation Iraqi Freedom mission in which a helicopter pilot with a life-threatening neck injury was stabilized in a logistically constrained pre-hospital environment.

“When he arrived at the combat support hospital, the surgical team had already been operating for more than 24 hours on other recently injured service members,” Evans said. “This tired group of medical professionals did not stop but continued to operate, ultimately saving the pilot’s life.”

Evans stated that this level of commitment is typical of the military medical force and is not seen anywhere else in the world. He went on to say that our military fighting force is able and willing to take increased risks because they know they have a medical team that will always go the extra mile for them.

“This is how graduate medical education training directly increases lethality on the battlefield,” he said.

Evans congratulated the graduates for this milestone in their careers, noting that their contributions to the nation will be exceptional.

Graduate Army Capt. Natasha Antony grew up on the East Coast, mostly in New York City.

“I joined the Army to push myself out of my comfort zone and see parts of the country and world I had never been to before,” she said.

Antony chose to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, admitting that the hours and stress can be exhausting.

“I did my best to maintain a positive attitude knowing that the more hours I put in the better physician I would be,” she said.

“I met some incredibly smart, kind, and inspiring providers and staff including my wife, Emily!” she added. “I’m so proud of the training I have received at BAMC and cannot wait to continue learning at my next post. I’m going to Fort Drum (New York) for a year to practice as a general OBGYN and then will be going to Walter Reed to complete a fellowship in Urogynecology.

Along with the graduation certificates, several awards were presented.

Research Awards:

Commander’s Research Award Graduate Allied Health Education (GAHE):
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brittany A. Hout, General Surgery Physician Assistant – 1st Place

Commander’s Research Award Quality Improvement Patient Safety (QIPS):
Air Force Capt. Adam J. Jackson, Anesthesiology – 3rd Place
Air Force Capt. Collin T. Clay, Sleep Medicine – 2nd Place
Army Capt. Victoria R. Coccoza, Sleep Medicine – 1st Place

Commander’s Research Award for Medical (Resident):
Air Force Maj. Anne E. O’Shea, Surgery – 3rd Place
Air Force Maj. Carter S. Tisdale, Ophthalmology – 2nd Place
Air Force Capt. Alexandra J. Schulte, Ophthalmology – 1st Place

Commander’s Research Award for Surgical (Resident):
Air Force Capt. Cherilyn M. Palochak, Ophthalmology – 3rd place (tie)
Army Maj. Patrick M. McCarthy, Surgery – 3rd Place (tie)
Army Capt. Trevor D. Annis, Ophthalmology – 2nd Place
Air Force Maj. Alexandra M. Adams, Surgery – 1st Place

Commander’s Research Award for Animal/Basic Science:
Air Force Capt. Steven B. Siemieniak, Emergency Medicine – 1st Place

Commander’s Research Award for Clinical (Fellow):
Army Maj. S. Michael Goertzen, Pulmonary-Critical Care – 3rd Place
Army Maj. Joshua M. Boster, Pulmonary-Critical Care – 2nd Place
Army Maj. Jordan E. Powell, Pain Medicine – 1st Place

Housestaff Hall of Fame Resident:
Army Maj. Alexandra M. Adams, Surgery

Housestaff Hall of Fame Fellow:
Army Maj. Joshua M. Boster, Pulmonary Critical Care

Housestaff Hall of Fame Quality Improvement/Patient Safety:
Army Capt. Kaitlyn T. Mullin, Pediatrics

Merit Awards:

Maj. John H. Gillespie Outstanding GME Intern:
Army Force Capt. Alexander H. Jin, Pediatrics

Maj. David S. Berry Outstanding GME Resident:
Army Maj. Alexandra M. Adams, Surgery

Col, Donald M. Null Outstanding GME Fellow:
Army Maj. Joshua M. Boster, Pulmonary-Critical Care

Col. Woodson Scott Jones Outstanding Junior GAHE Trainee:
Air Force Capt. Zachary J. Harwerth, Clinical Psychology Internship

Col. John L. Chitwood Outstanding Senior GAHE Trainee:
Air Force Capt. Jordan M. Ellis, Military Readiness Psychology Fellowship

Ms. Ylda A. Benavides Outstanding Program Coordinator:
Carmen M. Vargas, Internal Medicine

Col. Gail D. Deyle Outstanding GAHE Program Director:
Army Maj. Carly R. Cooper, Occupational Therapy

Col. John D. Roscelli Outstanding GME Program Director:
Army Col. Eric J. Chin, Emergency Medicine