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Dear Promoted Atlanta-Area PHS Officers:

Congratulations on your achievement! The Atlanta Commissioned Officers Association (ACOA) invites you and your guests to save-the-date for the 2018 USPHS Atlanta Area Promotion Ceremony to be held on Monday, August 20, 2018 at 1 pm at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Harkin Global Communications Center, Building 19, 1600 Clifton Rd NE Atlanta, GA 30329.

We look forward to making this a multi-agency esprit-de-corps event! Further details for VIP/senior officials and promoted officers will be forthcoming. Please note that regardless of your promotion effective date, if you received a competitive temporary grade promotion during the 2018 cycle, you will be invited to participate!

The uniform of the day for promoted officers will be Summer Whites.

A reception for family members and guests will be held immediately following the ceremony.


LCDR Erika Odom

ACOA President, 2017-18

ACOA 2017-18 Lunch and Learn Series

PHS Uniform Wear

Learn all you need to know about PHS uniforms, including where to purchase maternity uniforms, used uniforms, ODUs etc. 

Presented by LT Michael (Shayne) Gallaway 

Office of Non-communicable Diseases, Injury and Environmental Health (ONDIEH)

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)


Date: Thursday August 23, 2018

Time: 12:00 pm-1:30 pm ET 

Location: Century Center, Building 2500, Room 1200

(2500 Century Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30345)

Teleconference information:

Skype link: Join the Skype Meeting

Join by phone: (770) 488-3600 or (855) 644-0229; Conference ID: 7935616

*Lunch will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis for those who do not RSVP by the deadline.*

Please RSVP to CDR Naomi Tepper ( and LCDR Esra Toussaint-Barrett ( by Thursday August 16, 2018 

Be sure to check out the ACOA webpage for the latest update on ACOA events, uniform information and new PHS pride items.

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The Commissioned Officers Association (COA) is a voluntary professional organization of Commissioned Officers of the US Public Health Service. The Atlanta COA mission is to advance the PHS by uniting, serving and advocating for the approximately 1,000 Atlanta-based Commissioned Officers.

US Strength Lifting Federation’s Fall Open, September 29, 2018

Dear Officers,

The PHS Athletics team is inviting officers to join a group to compete in a powerlifting competition in Atlanta, GA: Details are as follows:

Event Leader: CDR Loren Rodgers;

What: This is the Atlanta location of the US Strengthlifting Federation’s Fall open. This is similar to other powerlifting meets, but the contested lifts are the squat, standing strict press, and deadlift. The full announcement is here:

Where: Atlanta Barbell, 185 Sams Street, Decatur, GA. 30030.

When: Saturday, September 29, 2018. 10am to 3pm.

Cost: Event fee: $85. A membership in the US Strengthlifting Federation is required ($25 for one year; Note that a weightlifting or wrestling singlet must be worn; see rules for optional equipment.

How to sign up: Event sign-up is: There is no specific deadline, but the event will likely fill up prior to the meet.

Who: This is an excellent first meet for any lifter from the most advanced, down to a novice who has been training long enough to be able to execute the basic barbell movements. Officers who live near Atlanta may have an opportunity to get together to do a group form check.

Additional resources:

Rules: Meet rules are found here: Note that the rules differ than those typically used in a powerlifting competition (less interaction with judges, and you weigh at the end of the meet, rather than the beginning).

Advice for preparing:

Dear Fellow USPHS Epidemiologist,

Please register for the Inaugural USPHS Epidemiology Forum taking place at the CDC on Friday, October 26, 2018. This FREE event and open to anyone (USPHS officers and civilians) who is interested in epidemiology. The call for abstracts will be distributed in July.

Register at 

For additional information, contact: LCDR LauraVonnahme, or LCDR Oliver Ou,

USPHS Epidemiology Forum Oct 2018.docx

Abstract submission and instructions: Deadline 8/17/18


ACOA Professional Development Committee



Lunch and Learn Slides 2018-04 awards.pptx


Give a Life Program 


The Atlanta Commissioned Officers Association proudly supports the "Give-a-Life" program.  This Corps-wide campaign provides a life giving opportunity for everyone. 


The first ACOA event in support of the "Give-a-Life" program is encouraging Officers, family members and friends to make a commitment to be an organ donor by signing an organ donor card.


Organ and tissue transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure and changes the lives of many others.  Possible donations include heart, lung, liver, kidneys, pancreas, small bowel, corneas, ligaments, and bone.  The need continues to vastly outnumber supply.  The latest statistics show there are 111,736 patients waiting for organ transplants (with many more needing tissue or corneal transplants).  Over 60,000 of those patients are described as multi-cultural and 1,785 as pediatric patients.  Over 28,663 transplants occurred in 2010.  However, there were still over 111,000 people on waiting lists. 


As members of the world's foremost public health institution, we are confident that many of you have already individually taken the steps needed to be a donor however, there are undoubtedly many others who have not - usually for a reason as simple as an absence of opportunity.  But the COA, ACOA, and partners would like to take this campaign a bit further.  We recommend that every officer sign a donor card as well as talk to his or her family members and neighbors to recruit them to make a similar commitment.


Where do you get a donor card?  A card and a brief survey can be found at  The last page of the document has a printable version of a donor card that you and your friends and family can use.  That same card can be copied and used in community-wide registration drives.  The signed card should then be permanently carried in the donor's wallet or purse.


As an enthusiastic partner in the "Give-a-Life" campaign we thank you for your support and commitment to the first ACOA event of the "Give-a-Life" campaign, the organ donor card.




Free Pass to National Parks & Recreation Areas 

Did you know you can get a free pass to many of our country’s national parks and recreational areas?


The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series



This program provides officers and their dependents a free pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. A pass covers entrance and standard amenity fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 years or younger are admitted free.

See: Free Annual Pass for U.S. Military and Their Dependents
 For active duty U.S. military personnel and their dependents with proper identification (CAC Card or DD Form 1173)


Disclaimer:  There may be a problem at some locations and obtaining the pass may not work for PHS officers 



For Official Use Only - Not for Public Release


Dear Fellow Officers:


I want to thank all of you for the incredibly warm welcome at this year’s USPHS Scientific & Training Symposium, and for your continued dedication to the mission of our service. It was a pleasure to meet so many officers from around the country and hear of the work you do each day to preserve and protect the health of our nation. 

AsI detailed in my speech at the Symposium and my email to the Commissioned Corpson June 1, 2018, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been developing a comprehensive set of proposals to reorganize the U.S. government. Yesterday,OMB released these proposals for further consideration and assessment.  As expected, one of the proposals relates to the Commissioned Corps. It specifically suggests transforming the Commissioned Corps into “a leaner and more efficient organization” through a series of management improvements, including reducing the size of the Corps and building up a Reserve Corps for response in public health emergencies. 

We remain steadfast in our commitment to develop a modern vision for the Commissioned Corps that is aligned with today’s regional, national, and global challenges that I highlighted upon my arrival to the Department. The comprehensive assessment of the Corps is underway with the goal of measuring the substantial value of our officers to the federal government and providing insight on how to best maximize and evolve a contemporary workforce. In addition, we are proceeding with legislative processes to reauthorize the Reserve Corps, and have proposed funding of the Reserve Corps and training for the Regular Corps in the FY20 budget. 

The Commissioned Corps has very strong support among HHS Leadership, and all of us are working closely with OMB on an appropriate strategy that values the Corps and assures the public health and biosecurity of our nation. My commitment to you is that I will do everything I can, every day, and in every way, to honor our service, and to leave our Corps much stronger, more stable, and more capable than we have been in decades.   

I, along with the Surgeon General, Chief Professional Officers, Flag Officers, and Agency Liaisons will keep you updated on any significant developments. Again, thank you for your service and your work to better the health and prosperity of our nation.


BrettP. Giroir, MD


AssistantSecretary for Health and Senior Advisor for Mental Health and Opioid Policy


For Official Use Only - Not for Public Release


If you have information of interest to commissioned officers please contact a member of the ACOA Executive Committee.

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