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LT Robert Mitchell Todd | Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service Skip to main content

LT Robert Mitchell Todd

July 2022 Officer Spotlight

I leave work each day feeling as though I made a difference and created positive change for my patients.”

Deployed to an Emergency Intake Shelter (EIS) as a COVID-19 Testing Team Lead, LT Robert Mitchell Todd gravitated towards his extensive experience gained throughout the pandemic at his current duty station. LT Todd, a Public Health Service officer with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, is a staff physical therapist at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico. 

On active duty for just over a year, LT Todd has already deployed as one of “America’s Health Responders” multiple times to serve those in need. “The USPHS Commissioned Corps has enabled me to continue serving the same local mission to this community, while also providing opportunities to serve both national and international communities,” said LT Todd when reflecting on his career as a Public Health Service officer.

Working as a civilian physical therapist at his current duty station prior to his commissioning in the USPHS Commissioned Corps, LT Todd was able to transition in place from civil service to an active duty uniformed service member. Serving Navajo Nation to make positive impact through providing care and compassion was a critical component to LT Todd’s decision to becoming a Public Health Service officer. I leave work each day feeling as though I made a difference and created positive change for my patients,” said LT Todd when reflecting on his work. 

LT Todd hit the ground running from the very beginning and quickly started taking on roles with additional responsibility. As a member of the logistics team for a previous deployment, LT Todd was elevated to Team Lead of the PPE burn rate and then again to Section Chief. He was recently awarded the Therapist Professional Advisory Committee Responder of the Year Award. He was also recognized with the Public Health Service Achievement Medal for his efforts while deployed and he also received the Indian Health Service Director’s Award for Navajo Area for his efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

A current resident in the U.S. Military Musculoskeletal Residency Program, LT Todd attends the COL Douglas A Kersey course and works alongside physical therapists from other uniformed services to further understand clinical skillsets in an effort to always strive towards the highest level of evidence-based practices. Prior to becoming a physical therapist, LT Todd was an athletic trainer for the University of Kentucky track and field teams. As rewarding as his previous career was, he has found much more fulfillment in the service he provides now.  LT Todd stressed that whether he is in civilian clothes or in uniform, being a Public Health Service officer has made him view his surroundings and the world differently. He is now constantly trying to think of ways in which he can become more involved at all community levels to improve public access to high level healthcare.  

In his own words, as LT Todd reflected on his time on active duty up to this point, he said, “if the remainder of my Public Health Service  career was even half as fulfilling and exciting as the first year was, then I am sure that I made a difference.” He went on to say that he hopes to continue his education not just in his career field of physical therapy, but also in the public health field. In the future, LT Todd hopes to get even more involved in developing and implementing constructive change throughout communities.

As one of “America’s Health Responders” LT Todd said, being a Public Health Service officer means a great deal to me because it gives me a larger sense of purpose, pride, and honor.

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