Foundation Continues RADM Michael Fellowship

The Foundation accepted two junior Public Health Service officers to the Certificate in Global Health program at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.  They will leverage skills and knowledge gained in the certificate to increase their capability to manage global health programs and respond to international health emergencies.

The RADM Michael Fellowship funds half (approximately $4500) of the 12-credit certificate program.  Three courses are required and one is an elective.  The required courses include:  Foundations of Global Health, Global Health Communication and Promotion, and Global Health Program Planning and Evaluation.  The electives include:  History of Public Health, Global Health Diplomacy, and Social Marketing in Public Health.


Officers in the ranks of LCDR (O4) and below who are COA members.  They must be accepted to the University of Maryland School of Public Health and be able to attend in-person classes.


  1. Cover letter with statement of why you should be considered and how you would use the certificate
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Transcripts
  4. Email application materials to COA staff


The RADM Jerrold M. Michael Fellowship is named for retired Rear Admiral Jerrold M. Michael, who served in the Public Health Service and was Founding Dean of the University of Hawaii School of Public Health.  We thank RADM Michael for his commitment to the continuing education of PHS officers.

Support the RADM Michael Fellowship

If you would like to support continuing education for junior PHS officers, then please donate to the C. Everett Koop Living Legacy Fund.  Thank you!

Foundation Hires New Executive Director

On April 1, 2014, James Tyson Currie began as executive director of the Foundation.  Currie holds a doctoral degree in history from the University of Virginia and is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Dr. Currie was a professor of Political Science/National Security Studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, for 18 years.  More recently, he has worked as legislative director for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the largest trade association representing the recreational boat building industry, with 1500 members; and prior to that as the director of federal relations at the National Association of State Treasurers.  Colonel Currie also worked as a staff member in the U.S. Senate.  He is the author of three books and 25 articles.

Colonel Currie was the unanimous choice of the search committee after an exhaustive review of some fifty applicants for the position. He is one of the few applicants meeting all three of the most important criteria identified by the association and foundation boards: uniformed service experience, demonstrated leadership, and success in managing organizations. He has a rich background of accomplishment and possesses the skills necessary to lead COA and COF to continued success in the years ahead.

Currie said that he is honored by his selection to become the executive director for the association and foundation. “It will be the culmination of my career,” he said. “I am excited about the opportunity to represent the incredible officers of the U.S. Public Health Service--active and retired--and to furthering the goals of the association and the foundation. Jerry Farrell will be an extremely tough act to follow, as he has been everything you would want in an executive director.”

Colonel Currie replaced CAPT Jerry Farrell, USN (Ret.) who served as COA/COF executive director from 2001-2014.  Colonel Currie is COA’s fourth executive director since the association was incorporated in 1951.

Study Released on Value of USPHS Commissioned Corps

The University of Maryland School of Public Health released a study commissioned by the PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation regarding the value of the USPHS Commissioned Corps to the mission of the Department of Health and Human Services and national priorities.  Click here for the short version and click here for the full version of the report called, "The USPHS Commissioned Corps: A Study on Value and Contributions to the DHHS Mission and National and Global Health Priorities and Initiatives."

The study's author, Muhiuddin Haider, PhD, wrote the following regarding the cost of an officer in the Commissioned Corps:

"The effectiveness, efficiency, efficacy, and comprehensive value of the USPHS CC cannot be determined based on cost factors alone, although almost all previous studies of the Corps have relied solely on this single data point.  There exit in the federal workforce too many variables, too many inconsistencies, too many unmeasurable attributes, and too many contraindications to make any meaningful evaluation based on cost alone, much less useful in assessing overall value and contribution to national health and security."

The study's recommendations for the Commissioned Corps include:

  1. Build relationships with the private sector and organizations such as the American Public Health Association to increase innovative training opportunities.
  2. Increase the officers' role in achieving Healthy People 2020 goals.
  3. Increase public health roles of officers to meet the health workforce needs of America and serve at-risk populations.
  4. Increase recognition of leadership and services provided by officers stationed in different agencies and departments.
  5. Increase advocacy for the USPHS CC.
  6. Increase officers role in global health efforts.
  7. Establish strategic objectives for the USPHS CC to improve functioning and collaboration between managing agencies.
  8. Fund the Public Health Sciences Track. 

Make a Gift to the Foundation

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are fully tax-deductible as charitable donations for income tax purposes. Donations are recognized at the annual Public Health Symposium and in the newsletter Frontline.

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2013 USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium

2013 Dependent Scholarship Winners

Six students won funding through the 2013 PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation’s Dependent Scholarship program. Eligible applicants were spouses, children and grandchildren of active duty or retired members of the COF affiliate, the Commissioned Officers Association.

Twelve students, mostly sons and daughters of PHS officers, applied for funding. The Selection Committee, composed of active duty and retired officers, scored each application. The reviewers chose the student with the highest score as this year’s winner of the Ronald Lessing Memorial Scholarship, which comes with a cash prize of $1,000. The award is named in honor of Ronald Lessing, the brother of CAPT Melvin Lessing, USPHS (Ret.).


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