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    NAMRU-D Executive Officer gives WSU med school commencement

    NAMRU-D Executive Officer gives WSU med school commencement

    Courtesy Photo | Capt. Juliann Althoff, Naval Medical Research Unit - Dayton Executive Officer,...... read more read more



    Story by Zachary Wilson 

    Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton

    DAYTON, Ohio -- Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton’s Executive Officer delivered the commencement address to over 120 members receiving medical degrees as graduates of Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine recently at the Nutter Center.

    Capt. Juliann Althoff, Ohio native and graduate of the Boonshoft School of Medicine (class of 1995), shared her experiences as a medical officer stationed around the world and encouraged the students to understand that the medical field has many opportunities available for dedicated and compassionate physicians can make a difference.

    “When I was in your seat, I never would have predicted the journey that I’ve had, or that I would one day have the incredible honor of being invited back here to talk to a graduating class,” she noted. “The one thing that impressed me the most -- It was true when I was a student, and is still true today -- are the amazing people who come together to make the Boonshoft School of Medicine such a unique and welcoming environment for people like us to learn and grow,” she said. The 27-year Navy veteran noted that experiences to learn and develop as medical doctors may present themselves in unforeseen circumstances so the newly-minted MDs should “find their niche, get out of your comfort zone, and be open to opportunities, sometimes making your own.”

    “Whether you choose to see patients, or focus in other fields, such as academia, research, administration, consulting, your medical degree will always be part of you, a critical part of how you see the world and how you solve problems,” she told the students during her address. “These are all important jobs and necessary contributions. Medicine is always changing, we need diversity in thought, in ideas, in innovation, in representation, and I urge you to find your niche.”

    Althoff was asked to give the commencement based on her unique experiences as a Navy medical doctor as well as her unique history as an alum of the school.
    “(Being asked to give the commencement) is quite an honor,” said Capt. Walter W. Dalitsch III, NAMRU-D Commanding Officer. However, both the NAMRU-D CO and XO noted the fact the U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Vivek Murthy was the school’s first choice. “Not bad to play second fiddle to the nation’s SG!” the CO joked. Althoff graciously acknowledged the runner-up status as well, noting in her speech “I can’t think of a better person to be a close second to, so thank you for this generous invitation!”

    Althoff’s career of 27 years featured 13 duty stations, six years overseas, a six month deployment on USS NIMITZ as a flight surgeon and primary care provider and as one of the first women assigned to a deployed Naval Air Wing. She was a flight surgeon for HMX-1, the Presidential Helicopter Squadron, supporting numerous state-side and overseas presidential missions. . Board certified in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, she stood up a new Preventive Medicine/Public Health unit in Rota, Spain in 2013, where her team deployed to countries throughout Africa and Europe on a daily basis in support of the fleet and joint operations. Additionally, she was part of several impactful humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, and helped coordinate the U.S. response to the 2011 Great Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear emergency, to help ensure the health and safety of nearly 70,000 DoD beneficiaries that lived within 100 miles of the Fukoshima reactor and , bringing a public health response to a low-level nuclear emergency for the first time. She helped developed policies to keep deployed forces safe in austere environments and made recommendations on vaccine and malaria chemoprophylaxis. Finally, Althoff served in numerous staff positions, serving on headquarters staff, working on high level medical policy. As director of a Federal Advisory Committee, the Defense Health Board, she worked with a group of civilian experts, including former presidents of the American Medical Association, directors of healthcare systems, and esteemed specialists in advising the DoD in policy impact areas.
    Now, as executive officer for NAMRU-D, Althoff is responsible as the second-in-command to optimize the readiness, performance, and survivability of operational forces through environmental health effects, toxicology and aerospace medical research and development. She has been with the Command since April 2021, helping guide the unit through the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping critical research studies and programs on line.

    “This school well-prepared me for my journey, and I am grateful to be able to be part of its future,” she said. “Thank you for helping me become the physician I am today!”



    Date Taken: 06.01.2022
    Date Posted: 06.03.2022 14:24
    Story ID: 422132
    Location: DAYTON, OH, US

    Web Views: 175
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