The Department of Defense announced today that the Secretary of Defense has awarded the Outstanding Public Service Medal to the members of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB) for selfless contributions to the improvement of defense operations and processes for the period Jan. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2002. The Outstanding Public Service Medal is the second highest award given by the Secretary to private citizens for superior accomplishments and contributions that merit special recognition.
During this period, the AFEB board members made recommendations on 31 emergent and complex health policy issues, an increase of 100 percent over the previous two-year period. The board's increased participation during this period was the largest increase for any two-year period in its more than 60-year history. Among the many recommendations by this board's members are a series of changes that removed barriers in the officer accession process and eliminating needless screening practices, which are projected to save the department more than $6 million annually. From other program reviews, AFEB recommendations have been incorporated into defense directives, assisted in the approval of anthrax and smallpox vaccines, antibiotics and therapeutics, and low-level phased array radio frequency energy emission systems used by the department.
In a Wednesday, May 21 award ceremony at Ft. Detrick, Md., Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said that he was deeply appreciative for the board's "individual personal and professional integrity, support and selfless dedication for the health and welfare of our service members. The board's recommendations also help provide independent credibility to our military medical programs." Winkenwerder also noted that these civilian members, who come from numerous professional, academic and scientific organizations throughout the country, spend approximately 240 hours of uncompensated, consultant time per recommendation. The value to the department for this voluntary time, motivated only by patriotism, good citizenship and a sense of public responsibility has an estimated value of nearly $4 million.
Created in January 1941, AFEB members have contributed to numerous, significant advances in the prevention and control of diseases and injuries among military men and women, which also have advanced medical science and health for the entire nation. The members of the board have been strong advocates for America's armed forces, providing a unique voice that also has contributed to immeasurably to public understanding of the need for medical research and preventative medicine programs for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who serve the nation.
Members of the AFEB are nominated by the Department of Defense and appointed by the President for a two-year term, with an option for reappointment for an addition two years. The current members of the AFEB are:
- Linda L. Alexander, Ph.D.
- David Atkins, M.D.
- S. William Berg II, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
- Douglas Campbell, M.D., M.P.H
- Barnett L. Cline, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
- Jean Lois Forster, Ph.D., M.P.H.
- Pierce Gardner, M.D.
- John R. Herbold, D.V.M., M.P.H., Ph.D.
- Stephen M. Ostroff, M.D.
- Kevin Patrick, M.D., M.S.
- Dennis Shanahan, M.D., M.P.H.
- Robert E. Shope, M.D.
- Gregory A. Poland, M.D.
- Gregory C. Gray, M.D., M.P.H.
- John Glen Morris Jr., M.D., M.P.H.&T.M.
- Grace K Lemasters, Ph.D.
- Leon S. Malmud, M.D., B.S.E.E.
- Jacqueline Cattani, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A.
- Julian Haywood, M.D.
- Carol W. Runyan, M.P.H., Ph.D.
- Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., M.Sc., D.I.H.
- William L. Moore Jr., M.D.
- Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, M.D., D.C.M.T.
Further information regarding the Department of Defense force health protection program can be found at http://www.ha.osd.mil/fhpr/.