CDR Jamie Kamon
August 2023 Officer Spotlight
“To CDR Kamon, being a Public Health Service officer is a way of life. It is looking beyond yourself and sacrificing for the greater good to impart positivity in the world. It is a commitment to serve with integrity no matter the situation or circumstance..”
CDR Jamie Kamon currently serves in a supervisory role at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Office of Emergency Operations (OEO), Office of Emergency Management. OEO coordinates intra- and inter-agency activities related to crisis management and emergency preparedness and response. OEO ensures that the FDA maintains agency structure to respond rapidly and effectively to all hazards.
As a supervisor, CDR Kamon leads a multidisciplinary team that responds to disasters —both natural and manmade — directly impacting FDA-regulated products and public health. Recent notable impacts affecting public health were the FDA’s responses to the East Palestine Ohio Train derailment, infant formula supply shortage, COVID-19, and ongoing Hurricane preparedness.
Prior to CDR Kamon’s commissioning, she was the owner and operator of an outpatient physical therapy clinic specializing in Orthopedics and Women’s Health. CDR Kamon was introduced to the USPHS Commissioned Corps through friends and acquaintances who had accepted the call to serve. As a physical therapist, she was able to help on an individual level; however, she always had the desire to make a greater impact. Witnessing her Public Health Service officer friends deploy and serve the underserved ignited her excitement to be a part of something larger than herself.
In 2014, CDR Kamon began her U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps career as a compliance officer in the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, ensuring the safety and effectiveness of general hospital devices used by the American public. CDR Kamon utilized her clinical knowledge as a physical therapist to review premarketing applications for physical medicine and neurological devices.
CDR Kamon identified a need for proactive efforts to ensure continued access to critical products. She teamed up with a medical officer, and they proposed and launched the first ever Medical Device Shortages program. She provided specialized expertise in the development of the Medical Device Shortages program which led to her selection for a unique FDA COVID-19 Response deployment and eventual move into an Agency-level emergency management role.
CDR Kamon’s work at the FDA has taken her career full circle. She began her career with direct patient care, opened her own outpatient clinic, and then at the FDA ensured the safety and effectiveness of the devices she used on her patients. During her response to the empty sterile container shortage, resulting from devastating hurricanes, she helped identify alternatives for hospitals and clinics around the nation needing these widely used medical products. Additionally, her compliance work assisted in a recall of malfunctioning atomizers that were being used off label to reverse opioid overdose, which impacted a highly vulnerable population.
Among CDR Kamon’s most notable deployments were her first deployment in 2014 and her most recent deployment in response to the pandemic. In 2014, she had the honor of deploying as part of the Administration Team for the USPHS Commissioned Corps Ebola Response. During this deployment, she welcomed and reacclimated Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU) team three’s return from Liberia and coordinated the safe departure of MMU team four. In 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic while the world was shutting down, CDR Kamon accepted the call, like many others, to respond to the Public Health Emergency. At the request of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, FDA created the first-ever incident and product specific 24/7 call center. CDR Kamon served as the incident commander and oversaw a team that provided technical and regulatory expertise to COVID-19 specific device manufacturers. The call center transformed into an emergency lifeline for responding to inquiries from both the industry and members of the public.
In addition to the call center, CDR Kamon led a specialized team who responded to high-profile inquiries from the White House, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response. This team also assisted in the coordination of the transport of essential In Vitro Diagnostic COVID-19 testing products from the primary manufacturer in Italy via a Department of Defense military aircraft transport. CDR Kamon assisted state and federal liaisons in procuring FDA- authorized personal protective equipment to protect health care responders across the U.S.
To CDR Kamon, being a Public Health Service officer is a way of life. It is looking beyond yourself and sacrificing for the greater good to impart positivity in the world. It is a commitment to serve with integrity no matter the situation or circumstance. She strives to instill this in her children who hold our future.