Meet Our Dentists

When you join the Commissioned Corps, you become part of a dedicated team of professionals who work to improve the health of individuals, communities, and the Nation.

Meet some of the dental officers in the Commissioned Corps below.

  • Captain Jose Rodriguez

  • Commander Philip Woods

  • Commander Phillip Woods
    Dentist, Bureau of Prisons

    Getting inmates the dental care they need
    Inmates serving their sentences at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a Federal prison in San Diego, CA, can be certain of one thing: CDR Woods will be sure they get the dental care they need. A dentist assigned to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), CDR Woods is one of only a few board-certified periodontists in the Commissioned Corps. He is also the current national periodontal consultant to BOP. Inmates at the MCC and throughout the system of 116 U.S. Federal prisons often present with complex dental problems resulting from decades of neglect, crystal meth abuse, and limited access to care. “My service in the Commissioned Corps is a gift that gives back to the giver,” says CDR Woods. “I have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many who do not otherwise have access to health care, and, as a former Surgeon General said, ‘There is no health without oral health.’”

  • Captain Stanley Gordon
    Dentist, U.S. Coast Guard/Department of Defense

    Never too far from the storm
    As Hurricane Frances headed toward West Palm Beach in 2004, CDR Gordon and his crew hopped in their rented cars and chased the hurricane to South Florida. Arriving at midnight, they wasted no time getting to work, serving hurt and homeless hurricane victims and relieving the local medical personnel who had just worked 48 hours straight. To this day, CDR Gordon is "never too far from the storm" as a senior dental officer for the Coast Guard and the Department of Defense located in Miami. CDR Gordon, 50, has served in the Commissioned Corps for more than 15 years and says it's the only job he has truly loved.

  • Captain Scott Trapp
    Dentist, Indian Health Service

    Serving the underserved
    LCDR Trapp, Chief Dental Officer at the Indian Health Service Fort Totten Health Center, sees a dual role for himself in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. First, it is about providing care to populations not regularly served by the private sector; and second, it is about having the opportunity to serve his country in times of crisis. He says he is proud that he has been able to serve in both capacities. LCDR Trapp cares for underserved populations through his current assignment in Fort Totem, ND, where he works with some 10,000 American Indians at the Spirit Lake Health Center. He fulfilled his mission of serving the Nation during a crisis through his deployment to the Gulf region in response to Hurricane Katrina. "I am honored by the opportunity to provide care through my service in the Corps."

  • Lieutenant Commander Jane Bleuel
    Dentist, Indian Health Service

    Tackling a high rate of dental decay
    As a Commissioned Corps dentist serving in a remote area, LT Bleuel has experienced a significant series of small victories through her service to her community. She serves in a community with one of the highest rates of dental decay in the country. "I absolutely love my uniformed service," says LT Bleuel. She not only wears her uniform proudly but also takes pride in helping to keep the public safe and healthy by providing regular health care for thousands of people.

  • Captain Mary Runner
    Dentist, Food and Drug Administration

    Approving new dental devices
    As a Commissioned Corps dentist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CAPT Runner is involved in reviewing and approving new devices that improve the way oral health professionals practice. For example, her branch of the FDA approved the first use of lasers for dental procedures, as well as the use of tissue-engineered bone-filling materials for periodontal disease. "The FDA encourages all of its dental officers to continue clinical practice," CAPT Runner explains. "When I practiced at the National Naval Medical Center in the Oral Facial Pain Clinic, I expanded my understanding of facial pain issues and treatment protocols. Exposure to new ways of thinking about facial pain enables me to ask the appropriate questions about new devices we review."

  • Captain Steven Johnson
    Dentist, Health Resources and Services Administration

    Serving where the need is greatest
    As a dental officer serving at a community health center in Missoula, MT, CDR Johnson's primary responsibility is to provide dental care to patients in an underserved area, many of whom are unemployed, uninsured, homeless, and who may suffer from multiple medical problems. "The populations we serve would not otherwise be seeking or receiving the dental care that we provide," says CDR Johnson. He also serves as a Ready Responder with the National Health Service Corps, through which he participated in the Commissioned Corps' response to Hurricane Katrina, providing emergency care to victims at a mobile dental facility. CDR Johnson summarizes his service in the Corps simply: "I love what I do."