News>AF Surgeon General lauds military medicine, SAUSHEC medical graduates
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas Travis delivers opening remarks during the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium graduation ceremony June 7 at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in San Antonio. Seated, from left to right, are Air Force Maj. Gen. Byron Hepburn, commander of the 59th Medical Wing and director of the San Antonio Military Health System, Army Col. Kyle Campbell, Brooke Army Medical Center commander, and Woodson Scott Jones, Dean of SAUSHEC. SAUSHEC is one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the nation with more than 35 programs and 600 residents in training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Richard McFadden)
A joint color guard made up of members from the various military services presents the colors during the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium graduation ceremony June 7 at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in San Antonio. SAUSHEC is one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the nation with more than 35 programs and 600 residents in training (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma)
6/12/2013 - SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Calling their accomplishment another chapter in a long history of success for military medicine in San Antonio, the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General honored more than 250 physicians and allied health care graduates during the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium awards and graduation ceremony June 7 at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in downtown San Antonio.
"It's one of the greatest achievements for any medical professional," said Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Travis, who served as keynote speaker for the event, and is also a command flight surgeon. "San Antonio has a long tradition of producing outstanding military medical professionals and leaders. Many of us are products of that tradition. Graduates, today you become part of that tradition."
One of the largest graduate medical education programs in the nation, the SAUSHEC is a respected institution with over 35 programs and more than 600 residents in training. Its residents are among the nation's top-rated in board certification. The SAUSHEC is responsible for all military graduate medical education in San Antonio with two major training sites at the San Antonio Military Health System's two flagship medical treatment facilities - Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, and San Antonio Military Medical Center at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
SAUSHEC also maintains a close partnership with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and other medical partners.
The annual ceremony marks the culmination of years of postgraduate training for Air Force, Army, Navy, civilian physicians, and related allied health care providers. Many remain here to provide health care services to the more than 230,000 Department of Defense beneficiaries who visit military medical treatment facilities in the area.
"For many, the graduation is a culmination of anywhere from 20 to 28 years of formal education. The training each graduate receives directly results in ensuring high-quality patient care at military treatment facilities," said SAUSHEC Manager Richard Boggs.
"These graduates are now specialty trained and have a deeper fundamental knowledge in medicine," said Boggs. "We hire our graduates, so these individuals will train those behind them."
The training of inter-service medical professionals is not new to military medicine in San Antonio, according to Maj. Gen. Byron C. Hepburn, 59th Medical Wing commander and SAMHS director.
"You've learned a lot here in San Antonio, and a key part of that has been teamwork - teamwork across all the disciplines, across all the military services," said Hepburn, who also served as host for the event.
"Medicine is a team sport - physicians, technicians, allied health professionals, and don't forget our enlisted force, our professional civilians and mission partners. They are all a key part of mission success," he said.
"We are standing on a record of combat-proven effectiveness. We're a joint medical team that has shown the significance of great medical care," said Travis. "SAMHS, with the 59th Medical Wing and BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center), is an outstanding example of how this joint team works together to provide great health care and tremendous training."
"I've been in the Air Force 37 years, and at no time in my career have I seen a time when military medicine was considered more of an operational capability for this nation than it is right now," he added. "We have to be proud of that."