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Interns, Residents and Fellows Graduate from “Crown Jewel” of Graduate Medical Education

By Vivian Mason


More than 230 interns, residents, and fellows received graduation certificates from more than 73 medical, dental, pharmacy, allied health, and other postgraduate healthcare training programs during the National Capital Consortium (NCC) virtual graduation ceremony June 18. 

An infographic stating that more than 230 interns, residents, and fellows from the Navy, Army, Air Force and their civilian counterparts graduated from various specialties in the National Capital Consortium (NCC) Graduate Medical Education (GME) program.
More than 230 interns, residents, and fellows from the Navy, Army, Air Force
and their civilian counterparts graduated from various specialties in the
National Capital Consortium (NCC) Graduate Medical Education (GME)
program. (Image Credit: Sofia Echelmeyer, USU)
The NCC was established in 1995 and is administered by the Uniformed Services University (USU). The consortium is composed of four military medical organizations within the National Capital Region:  USU, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC); Fort Belvoir Community Hospital; and the 316th Medical Group, Joint Base Andrews. The NCC is the largest sponsor of graduate medical education (GME) for the Military Health System, educating healthcare professionals who care for active duty military service members and all eligible beneficiaries. 

The graduates, who represented the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Public Health Service, completed from one to seven years of training, depending on their program. According to National Capital Region medical directorate officials, there are more than 1,200 faculty members involved in the NCC training programs.   

“I can assure you that the training you have received will prepare you for the future. You’re ready to serve our nation at home and when deployed around the world,” Navy Capt. (Dr.) Eric Elster, dean of USU’s School of Medicine, a former NCC graduate, told the graduates in his opening remarks. 

“Your hard work, hours of study, compassionate care for our patients, passion for your chosen
profession, and personal experience have led you to this great day. Thank you for your service and for a job well done,” said WRNMMC director Army Col. (Dr.) Andrew Barr.

From left to right, LTG Ronald J. Place, Director of the Defense Health Agency, CAPT Eric Elster, Dean of USU's School of Medicine, and COL Andrew Barr, Director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, all spoke at the NCC graduation ceremony. (Photo Credit: Place and Barr courtesy of U.S. Army, Elster courtesy of USU)
From left to right, LTG Ronald J. Place, Director of the Defense Health Agency, CAPT Eric Elster, Dean of USU's School of Medicine, and COL Andrew
Barr, Director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, all spoke at the NCC graduation ceremony. (Photo Credit: Place and Barr courtesy of
U.S. Army, Elster courtesy of USU)

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, presented the graduation address. 

“Today is more than a ceremony. I hope that you’re feeling prepared for what comes next. We need you now more than ever. …The country needs your talents. In fact, the world needs your talents. …You are among the most prepared people on the planet to operate in this complex environment. …The skills you’ve honed are needed, not just now but into the future. You’ll need to apply that disciplined approach…to safeguard our unparalleled military system of care so we can respond to today’s urgent needs and address tomorrow’s challenges,” Place said. 

Last academic year the NCC had a 98% board certification pass rate for first-time board takers, said Dr. Jerri Curtis, designated institutional official of the NCC, and associate dean for GME at USU. In addition, she says, “Our two-year clinical training program, ‘Social Work Fellowship in Child and Family Practice,’ just received accreditation. It’s the first program of its type in the entire United States to have done so.  The NCC is the crown jewel of Graduate Medical Education for the Military Health System.”

 


2021 NCC ANNUAL AWARD WINNERS

WRNMMC Outstanding Intern Award 

LT Herman Pfaeffle, MC, USN, Internal Medicine

Lieutenant Neil Holland Award 

CPT Mathias Williams, MC, USA, Internal Medicine

WRNMMC Outstanding Faculty Award 

LTC Jennifer Hepps, MC, USA, Program Director, Transitional Year

General Graves B. Erskine Award 

Resident: CPT Donald Fredericks, Jr., MC, USA, Orthopaedic Surgery 

Fellow: LCDR Laura Gilbert, MC, USN, Infectious Disease


Major General Lewis A. Mologne Award 

LCDR William Rainey Johnson, MC, USN, Internal Medicine

Vice Admiral James A. Zimble Award 

LTC Rhiana Saunders, MC, USA, Obstetrics and Gynecology 


WRNMMC Staff Physician Teacher of the Year 

LCDR Mary Andrews, MC, USN, Internal Medicine

Lieutenant General Claire L. Chennault Award 

COL Dawn Torres, MC, USA, Gastroenterology 

MAJ Steve Hong, MC, USA, Otolaryngology 

Dr. Michelle Hornbaker-Park, Psychiatry 


Lieutenant General Claire L. Chennault Award for Outstanding Psychiatry Faculty 

Dr. Michelle Hornbaker-Park

Graduate Medical Education Mentor Award 

Dr. Susan Dunlow, Chief, OB/GYN Ambulatory Services

Innovative Curriculum Award Internal Medicine 

LTC Rohul Amin, MC, USA, Program Director, Psychiatry Residency 


WRNMMC Faculty Leader in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Dr. Erika Walker, Internal Medicine

Program Administrator of the Year Award 

Ms. Keisha A. White

Bailey K. Ashford Laboratory Research Award 

CPT Sean Slaven, MC, USA 

Bailey K. Ashford Clinical Research Award 

LT Ashley Hafer, MC, USN

Robert A. Phillips Award 

Resident Clinical Study: Capt Steven Gibson, USAF, MC 

Fellow Clinical Study: CPT Abhimanyu Chandel, MC, USA 

Resident Laboratory Study: LT Benjamin Hoyt, MC, USN 

Fellow Laboratory Study: Maj Sarah M. Reynolds, USAF, MC