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CAPT Rebecca Bunnell

Chief Health Services Officer

As Chief Health Services Officer, CAPT Rebecca Bunnell will advise the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention, and career development of health services professionals in the Health Services Officer category.

CAPT Bunnell currently serves as a Senior Advisor in the Learning and Diffusion Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center. The Center pioneers new payment and service delivery models, aiming to enhance health care quality while minimizing costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP beneficiaries. In her role, CAPT Bunnell oversees the development and execution of nationwide quality improvement initiatives within a $1 Billion portfolio, emphasizing areas such as social determinants of health, opioids, rural health, maternal/child health, and emergency care. Since 2014, she has been instrumental in collaborating with health care providers and organizations to elevate patient care standards.

CAPT Bunnell commissioned with USPHS Commissioned Corps in 1998 as an Ensign through the Senior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (SRCOSTEP) while in her final year of physician assistant training. The following year, she transitioned to active duty, focusing on immigrant health care in legacy Division of Immigration Health Services or presently known as U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Health Service Corps.

In 2004, she had transitioned to a Federally Qualified Health Center, providing direct care to adults and children, and established a new school-based health center. Later roles saw her at the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Primary Health Care, where she managed a team responsible for $126 Million in health center grants across southern California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands.

Merging her dedication to underserved communities with emergency preparedness, CAPT Bunnell undertook roles in the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Hospital Preparedness Program and Office of the Surgeon General Office of the Inactive Reserve. Her efforts strengthened hospital capabilities during public health crises and nurtured the potential of the USPHS Commissioned Corps Inactive Reserve Corps Officers.

While serving in multiple assignments CAPT Bunnell has remained committed to the response effort on an individual basis as well as through leading teams in response to public health emergencies ranging from COVID-19 to regional disasters like Hurricane Katrina or the influxes of immigrants at the Southwestern border of the United States, as well as providing medical support for high security events such as the State of the Union and the UN General Assembly.

Throughout her career, CAPT Bunnell has been active in the Health Services Officer category activities to include serving on professional boards and as a senior health services advisor, completing two-terms as a voting member in the Health Services Professional Advisory Committee (HSPAC) culminating in Chair, as well as Chair of the Combined PAC Chairs Group in 2009.

Academically, CAPT Bunnell holds a Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College in Biology and Violin Performance and a Master of Physician Assistant Studies from Chatham College.

On a personal note, CAPT Bunnell cherishes the unwavering support of her husband, David John Bunnell, and their two children, Julian and Jacqueline, throughout her 25 years of service with the USPHS Commissioned Corps.

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