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.
Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc
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. Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc is the Assistant Secretary for Health.
Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A.
Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., was nominated by President Barack Obama in November 2013 and confirmed on December 15, 2014 as the 19th United States Surgeon General. As America’s Doctor, Dr. Murthy is responsible for communicating the best available scientific information to the public regarding ways to improve personal health and the health of the nation. He also oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, comprised of approximately 6,800 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our nation. As a clinician-educator, Dr. Murthy has cared for thousands of patients and trained hundreds of residents and medical students. He regards caring for patients as the greatest privilege of his life.
Deputy Surgeon General (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H.
As the United States Deputy Surgeon General, Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H. advises and supports the Surgeon General regarding operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps and in communicating the best available scientific information to advance the health of the nation. RADM Lushniak was Acting United States Surgeon General from July 17, 2013 until December 18, 2014. During his tenure as Acting Surgeon General, he launched the 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health and the first Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. RADM Lushniak maintains board certifications in dermatology and preventive medicine (occupational). He served as a staff physician in dermatology at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and is adjunct professor of dermatology at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences.
Chief of Staff, Office of the Surgeon General Parag V. Mehta, M.P.A.
Parag Mehta serves as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Surgeon General. In that capacity he oversees operations, communications, external engagement and science and policy for Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy. Prior to joining the Office of the Surgeon General in March of 2015, he directed communications for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a civil rights agency in the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2008, Mehta served on President Barack Obama’s Transition Team as a liaison to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans. He later managed former Governor Gary Locke’s confirmation to become U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Mehta has spent over 15 years working in government, public policy, advocacy and on various political campaigns. He began his career as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Health Resources and Services Administration. He holds degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness RADM Scott F. Giberson
As Director, Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness (DCCPR), Rear Admiral Scott F. Giberson serves as Chief Executive Officer of the 6,700-plus members of the USPHS Commissioned Corps and provides direction and control over the majority of Corps Headquarters, including policy, readiness, and all human resource operations. Currently, RADM Giberson is also the overall Commander, Commissioned Corps’ Ebola Response in West Africa. In both roles, he maintains effective relationships and collaborations with executive leadership within the U.S. Government.
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.