Captain Kevin M. McGuinness
U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Chairman Mental Health Functional Group Advisory Committee
This is perhaps the most exciting time in history to be a behavioral health officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. As commissioned officers and behavioral health practitioners, our understanding of our profession is informed not only by our professional education and diverse experience, but also by our experience of each other. "We are a family, strengthened as much by the individuality of our members as our common purpose to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of our Nation," says CAPT McGuinness, chairman of the Commissioned Corps Mental Health Functional Advisory Group.
CAPT McGuinness served with the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force before finding his home in the Commissioned Corps. "I very much enjoyed my early military service. It was satisfying to be part of something substantial. My service in the Commissioned Corps, however, has allowed me to grow professionally and personally in directions that I had not anticipated."
Since joining the Corps, CAPT McGuinness has been assigned exclusively to health professional shortage areas across the Nation. He has served with the Indian Health Service, Division of Immigration Health Services, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and National Health Service Corps. CAPT McGuinness believes that "the field of public mental health is growing and maturing in the Commissioned Corps. Our officers are delivering services in culturally and economically diverse settings. We are learning crucial lessons about the health care needs of our fellow Americans and our capacity to meet those needs. We are, in fact, defining the field of public mental health practice."
CAPT McGuinness has also had interesting and broad experience in the field of disaster and humanitarian response. Since his first deployment to the World Trade Center disaster in 2001, CAPT McGuinness has responded to an airline disaster, the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "One of the most enlightening and rewarding experiences of my career was the opportunity to serve with my fellow officers, our Navy colleagues, and Project Hope civilian volunteers as American health diplomats aboard the USNS Mercy and ashore in Indonesia. Our ability to support the Indonesian people by developing and delivering capacity building psychosocial programs to help more than 50,000 children and families was personally and professionally transforming."
CAPT McGuinness feels passionately about his work in the Corps, "I can think of no other job where I can serve Americans and world citizens in times of peace and war. As a member of a large organization, I can be assigned to a small community clinic, deployed to one of the armed forces, serve as the leader of a highly trained national and international disaster mental health team, publish articles to support and advance the fields of disaster mental health and health diplomacy, and advance the health of the community where one lives and the greatest Nation in the world."
As chairman of the Mental Health Functional Advisory Committee, CAPT McGuinness leads the formative committee of the inaugural Mental Health Functional Group. CAPT McGuinness also leads Disaster Mental Health Team Four, an integral part of the Nation's emergency response plan.
CAPT McGuinness received a bachelor of arts in chemistry from George Washington University, a bachelor of science in physiological psychology from George Mason University, a master of arts and doctor of philosophy in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and a post-doctoral master of science in clinical psychopharmacology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. CAPT McGuinness has also earned a non-bar juris doctor degree with an emphasis in health law.