Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Scientist Professional Advisory Committee

Scientist Responder of the Year Award

The Scientist Responder of the Year Award was established in 2007 by the Chief Scientist Officer, U.S. Public Health Service, to recognize a Scientist Officer’s impact on emergency preparedness, disaster response, and contributions to local, national, or international public health threats. The award has been presented annually since 2008 to a Scientist Officer for his/her accomplishments during the previous fiscal year.

Call for Nominations

Nominations typically occur in early Fall (typically due by end of October) for accomplishments during the most recent fiscal year (1 Oct through 30 Sep). The awardee will be selected by the following January and typically competes for the Commissioned Corps Responder of the Year Award. In addition, the Scientist Officer selected for this distinguished award will be awarded a plaque at the USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium during the Scientist Officer Category Day Luncheon.

Criteria upon which this award is based include:

  • One time impact on public health preparedness and response.
  • Career contributions to emergency preparedness and/or disaster response.
  • Nominee’s role in deployments and the impact thereof.
  • Training and education applicable to preparedness and response.
  • Publications and presentations in the public arena related to preparedness and response.
  • The nominee’s willingness to give credit to the USPHS for deployment activities (i.e., wearing the uniform while deployed, crediting the USPHS in presentations and publications).
  • Application of the nominee’s scientific background to the response.
  • Other factors as deemed appropriate by the SciPAC, which is the recommending body, and the Chief Scientist Officer, who serves as the selecting official.

Award Recipients 2008–Present

Biographies of past Scientist Responder of the Year award recipients can be viewed by clicking on the officer’s name in the table below.

Officer Agency   Year 
LCDR David Thompson IHS 2008
CDR Sara Newman NPS 2009
CDR Ross Spears CDC 2010
CDR Margo Riggs CDC 2011
LT Joanna Gaines CDC 2012
CDR Aaron T Fleischauer CDC 2013
CDR Anthony Tranchita DOD 2014
CDR James L. Kenney FDA 2015
LCDR Jason Wilken CDC 2016
LCDR Leigh Ann Miller CDC 2017
LCDR Rebecca Levine CDC 2018
CDR Sara J. Vagi CDC 2019
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
DOD: Department of Defense
IHS: Indian Health Service
NPS: National Park Service
FDA: Food and Drug Administration

Page Last Modified on 5/22/2019

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