The U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps is an elite team of more than 6,500 full-time, well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals. USPHS falls under the leadership of the Assistant Secretary of Health and the Surgeon General within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Below is a detailed look at the leadership and structure of the Commissioned Corps.
Assistant Secretary for Health
The Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) oversees the USPHS Commissioned Corps, providing it with strategic and policy direction. Under the supervision of the ASH, the Surgeon General of the USPHS provides operational command of the Commissioned Corps. The ASH serves as the primary advisor to the Secretary of HHS on matters involving the Nation’s public health and science. The ASH runs the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and helps coordinate the activities of the USPHS agencies on behalf of the Secretary. Howard Koh, M.D., M.P.H is the Assistant Secretary for Health.
The Surgeon General, through the Office of the Surgeon General, oversees the 6,500-member Commissioned Corps. The Surgeon General is America’s Doctor, responsible for giving Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The Surgeon General is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States Senate for a 4-year term of office. Vice Admiral Regina M. Benjamin is the Surgeon General.
Deputy Surgeon General
The Deputy Surgeon General of the United States serves as the principal assistant and advisor to the Surgeon General regarding the development and implementation of programs, priorities, and initiatives. As Deputy Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak maintains effective relationships and collaborations with executive leadership within the Federal Government and serves as Chief Executive Officer of the 6,500-plus members of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.
Chief of Staff, Office of the Surgeon General
Robert DeMartino, MD, is the Chief of Staff to the Surgeon General and is responsible for the direction and management of the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG), including Science and Communications, System Integration, and Medical Reserve Corps. CAPT DeMartino plans, implements and evaluates management operations of the OSG to ensure that program objectives are met, and he provides advice and recommendations on Commissioned Corps policy and operations to the Surgeon General, the Deputy Surgeon General and the Assistant Secretary for Health. In addition, CAPT DeMartino represents the Surgeon General and Deputy Surgeon General at regional, national, and international health and professional meetings and collaborates and communicates on matters regarding OSG activities with federal agencies.
Director, Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness
RADM Scott Giberson is a U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and the first Director of the Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness (DCCPR) since August 2011. He has operational leadership for a new Corps infrastructure that provides the management of all personnel and readiness systems for over 6,500 Commissioned Corps officers. This includes responsibility and accountability for recruitment, retention, career management, training, readiness, deployment, policy development, comprehensive force management and retirement for the U.S. PHS Commissioned Corps. In addition to his full time responsibilities as Director of DCCPR, effective March 16, 2010, RADM Giberson was also selected by U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, for a four‐year term as the Chief Professional Officer (CPO) for the Pharmacy Category. As CPO, he advises the Office of the Surgeon General and Department of Health and Human Services on operational and professional affairs of over 1100 PHS pharmacists.
Chief Professional Officers
Individual professional categories within the Commissioned Corps are represented by Chief Professional Officers (CPOs). These officers provide leadership and coordination of their professional category for the Office of the Surgeon General and HHS. As CPOs, they offer guidance and advice to the Surgeon General and administrative committees on matters such as recruitment, retention, and career development of officers within their professions. Click on the links below for additional information and a biography of the CPO in your profession.