Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Health Services Officer Professional Advisory Committee

History of the Health Services Category

The Health Services category was established in 1959 to meet the staffing requirements of a changing PHS. At the time, officers who were trained in a single discipline, e.g. physicians in the medical category and nurses in the nurse category staffed most of the PHS categories. Health professionals whose qualifications distinguished them from the existing PHS categories were needed.

The first two social workers were commissioned in the PHS in 1950, and assumed key leadership positions in the NIH. In 1966, the first optometrist was commissioned and assigned to the Indian Health Service. Podiatry was added as a Corps specialty in 1978 with the commissioning of a National Health Service Corps podiatrist. The latest additions to the Health Services category include computer scientists and physician assistants in 1989. Medical technologists and dental hygienists were added in 1991. In 2001 the computer science discipline was expanded to include information technology.

The Health Services category continues to grow and change to fulfill new health leadership roles. Many new health disciplines have emerged since the category was formed in 1959. Today, HSOs perform a variety of functions including direct clinical practice, program development, health planning and administration, and research. The category has grown from a small nucleus of a few officers to its present level of about 800 active duty officers. The HSO motto: "Strength Through Diversity" attests to the wide range of skills and experience possessed by this multi-disciplinary team of officers and to their pride and commitment to serving in the Commissioned Corps.


HSOs who have served as CPOs:

Name Term
CAPT Jeanean Willis Marsh 2016-Present 
RADM Epi Elizondo 2010-2016
RADM Michael Milner 2006-2010
CAPT Linda Morris Brown 2002-2006
CAPT Nina Dozoretz (Acting) 2001-2002
CAPT Vivian Chen 1999-2001
CAPT Robert G. Falter 1995-1999
CAPT Evan R. Arrindell 1991-1995
CAPT Joseph Garcia, Jr. 1989-1991
CAPT Carl G. Leukefeld 1984-1989
RADM Karst J. Besteman 1979-1984
CAPT Kenneth D. Howard 1978-1979

HSOs who have served as HS Category Chairs:

Name Term
CAPT Josef Rivero 2017-Present
CAPT Josef Rivero 2016-2017
CDR Bobby Rasulnia 2015-2016
CDR Stacey Evans 2014-2015
CDR Todd Alspach 2013-2014
CDR Ali Danner 2012-2013
CDR Karen Sicard 2011-2012
CAPT Sheila Merriweather 2010-2011
CDR George Durgin 2009-2010
LCDR Rebecca Bunnell 2008-2009
CDR Brad Austin 2007-2008
CDR John Cardarelli 2006-2007
CAPT Jose Belardo 2005-2006
CAPT Sylvia Tetzlaff 2004-2005
CDR Jane Martin-Heppel 2003-2004
CAPT Frances Gipson 2002-2003
CAPT Nina Dozoretz 2001-2002
CAPT Vivian Chen 2000-2001
CDR Lola Staples 1999-2000
LCDR Doreen Melling 1998-1999

Page Last Modified on 1/18/2018

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