Contributed by LTJG Samantha Spindel and LT Chitra Mahadevan
Insight into the daily life of Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, Director, Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness, Office of the Surgeon General
RADM Giberson’s vision for the Corps: “The Commissioned Corps will be known around the world as flexible, adaptable, dynamic, and responsive to internal and external customers that proudly engage and value the Corps as their primary and unique public health asset to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of the nation – both domestically and abroad.”
What has been your greatest achievement as an admiral?
Instead of achievement, I would say reward, and it would most certainly be the fact that you are given a leadership platform. You now have the opportunity to proactively do something good with it for both the mission and the Corps – and accept the privilege and responsibility that comes with it. When you inspire others, it is more than enough reward and achievement in my book.
What are your primary duties?
My full-time responsibility is Director of Commissioned Corps Operations and Personnel; however my other “full-time” collateral duty is the Chief Professional Officer, Pharmacy.
What is the process like for applying to be the Chief Professional Officer?
It differs among Agencies; however, if you succeed in getting beyond your Agency, the process is long and thorough. That said, it is not something you generally “apply” for, it is something that is sort of earned across a career. When you are eligible, you submit a packet (including written vision/platform) and can be nominated by your agency/Operating Division and then recommended by the board to start the process. Multiple rounds of interviews usually ensue.
Please describe some interesting projects that you have worked on as an admiral.
A collaborative ‘Federal Pharmacist Vision’ and ‘Scope of Practice’ agreed upon among all the federal services including the Department of Defense, Veteran’s Affairs, and the Public Health Service. This agreement is the first time we’ve done that in Pharmacy. I’ve submitted a report to the U.S. Surgeon General on Pharmacy Practice in an attempt at garnering her support to move forward. I have also worked on the project which consolidated four former offices (each with flag-level leadership) into the Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness (DCCPR), and a “Visioning/Future’s Group” project with DoD leadership and colleagues.
What presentations/speeches have you given recently?
Well, quite a few…OBC Graduation Keynote, OBC Pinning Ceremony, Sam Melendy Honorary Lecturer (University of Minnesota), and the Oklahoma Area Indian Health Service Pharmacy Annual Meeting. I am also scheduled for the American Pharmacists Association Plenary in April and the Maryland Pharmacy School Commencement in May.
What do you look for in an Aide-de-Camp?
I look for passion, compassion, and the ability to follow-up and follow through. In addition, the candidate should have genuine pride in our uniformed service and the right motives for being an Aide.
What is your vision of the future of USPHS?
The Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service will be the premier uniformed cadre of choice for all facets of public health. The Commissioned Corps will be known around the world as flexible, adaptable, dynamic, and responsive to internal and external customers that proudly engage and value the Corps as their primary and unique public health asset to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of the nation – both domestically and abroad.
What advice do you have for Junior Officers?
Serve the mission of the PHS, accept the additional responsibility of being an officer, and honor the values and traditions of our uniformed service.
What types of interactions do you have with the Surgeon General, the Assistant Secretary of Health, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services?
I have had the privilege to work with the U.S. Surgeon General closely on the Pharmacy report mentioned above. I’ve worked with the Assistant Secretary for Health on the DCCPR consolidation, the new accountability structure, and the performance improvement process, as well as workforce planning for the Corps.
Please describe any projects in which you have collaborated with other Admirals (or Generals) in the other uniformed services.
Quite a few, but for the most part, being a part of the Chief Professional Officers Board is the most frequent work I’ve had with other Admirals. It is personally a privilege for me to have the opportunity to collaborate and partner with the wonderful leadership in our Corps from all the other Categories and Disciplines. They are good people.
Source: JOAG Journal
Used with permission of the Junior Officer Advisory Group