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U.S. Army Surgeon General visit highlights OHSU-military partnerships

Since 2019, OHSU has trained 42 soldiers who serve as surgeons, nurses, medics and more
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In this photo, OHSU trauma surgeon Philbert Van, M.D., FACS, who also serves as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, left, gives Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, Lt. Gen. Mary K. Izaguirre, D.O., M.P.H., right, and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Sprunger, center, a tour of OHSU Hospital.  They are walking outside the OHSU Emergency Department and into a side entrance into the hospital. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)
OHSU trauma surgeon Philbert Van, M.D., FACS, who also serves as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, left, gives Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, Lt. Gen. Mary K. Izaguirre, D.O., M.P.H., right, and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Sprunger, center, a tour of OHSU Hospital.  (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

A recent visit by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, Lt. Gen. Mary K. Izaguirre, D.O., M.P.H., highlighted Oregon Health & Science University’s long-standing partnership with the military to advance health care for soldiers as well as civilians.

“I could not be more grateful to OHSU and other civilian hospitals for opening their doors to soldiers for training,” said Izaguirre while she met with OHSU leaders during her April 9 visit. “The U.S. Army is committed to this partnership.”

OHSU’s partnership with the Army includes participating in two military health care training programs: Army Military Civilian Trauma Team Training, or AMTC3, and Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training, or SMART. The programs help active-duty soldiers who serve as surgeons, nurses, combat medics and others strengthen skills during times of relative peace by embedding them in civilian hospitals for hands-on training. Since 2019, OHSU has hosted a total of 42 soldiers through these training programs.

Among those who met with the surgeon general during her recent visit were three of the seven soldiers who are currently assigned to OHSU through AMTC3: cardiothoracic surgeon Col. Michael Kilbourne, M.D.; trauma surgeon Maj. Jacob Swann, M.D.; and emergency medicine physician Maj. Adam Burgess, M.D., who recently returned to OHSU after being deployed in the Middle East. Other AMCT3 participants who are currently assigned to OHSU are: trauma surgeon Maj. John Fletcher, M.D.; certified registered nurse anesthetist Lt. Col. Patrick Krum, M.S.N., CRNA; critical care nurse Maj. Karin Cluever, M.S.N., CRNA; and emergency room nurse Capt. Michael Menges, B.S.N., RN.

OHSU leaders who met with Izaquirre include OHSU President Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS; Interim OHSU School of Medicine Dean Nathan Selden, M.D., Ph.D.; and OHSU Department of Surgery Chair Kenneth Azarow, M.D., FACS, FAAP, who is also a retired Army colonel.

Other examples of OHSU’s partnership with the military include the OHSU Donald D. Trunkey Center for Civilian and Combat Casualty Care, which supports collaborative research at OHSU and the Portland VA Health Care System to optimize trauma care on the battlefield as well as for civilians.

OHSU also provides residency and fellowship training for military physicians. The university’s partnership with the military spans as far back as World War I, when the then-University of Oregon Medical School sent a whole hospital to Europe in support of Allied war efforts.

Izaguirre was sworn in as the U.S. Army Medical Command’s 46th commanding general on Jan. 25, 2024, and is also a board-certified family medicine physician.

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