Augusta, Ga. – Vice Admiral Matthew L. Nathan, the 37th Surgeon General of the Navy and a 1981 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University, is the 2012 speaker for his alma mater’s Hooding Ceremony at 2 p.m., May 10 at Augusta’s Bell Auditorium.
Nathan will discuss “Navy Medicine: Caring for Today’s Military Personnel and Their Families Around the World.”
Nathan became Navy Surgeon General and Chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in November 2011. He previously served as the Navy’s Component Commander to the largest military medical integration and construction project in history: combining Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. to form the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He served as Commander of the consolidated facility as well as Navy Medicine for the National Capital Area before being named surgeon general.
“Dr. Nathan exemplifies the best of our graduates: a natural leader who has orchestrated significant change to improve life,” said Dr. Peter Buckley, MCG Dean. “Our armed forces deserve no less and we are proud that Surgeon General Nathan will join our Class of 2012 as its members embark on their futures with the symbolic presentation of the classic academic hood for medicine.” The classic Kelly green hood with silver, red, gold, black and blue accents is part of the graduation regalia.
Nathan is a 1977 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He completed internal medicine training at the University of South Florida before being named Internal Medicine Department Head of the Naval Hospital in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Two years later he transferred to the Naval Hospital in Groton, Conn., to lead the Medical Mobilization Amphibious Surgical Support Team. Nathan next transferred to the Naval Medical Center San Diego as Head of the Division of Internal Medicine with additional responsibilities to the Marine Corp’s 1st Marine Division, headquartered at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Later he served as Acting Department Head of the Naval Hospital in Beaufort, S.C., and worked with the Naval Clinics Command in London to forge military relationships with Eastern European countries of the former Soviet Union. Nathan was the fleet surgeon and Commander for the Seventh Fleet USS Blue Ridge, out of Yokosuka, Japan, before being named Deputy Commander of the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va. In 2004, he became Commanding Officer of the Naval Hospital of Pensacola as well as 12 clinics in four states where he oversaw Navy medical relief efforts following hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Katrina. His command received the TRICARE/Department of Defense award for highest patient satisfaction in a medium-sized facility despite the devastating weather-related damage to the area and to the facilities.
He was named Fleet Surgeon of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., in June 2006 and returned to Portsmouth in 2007 as Commander.
Nathan is a member of the Advisory Board of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and the faculty at National Naval Medical Center, both in Bethesda. While in Pensacola, he received the American Hospital Association’s 2005 Federal Health Care Executive Award for Excellence for distinguished service through leadership, innovation and contributions to the mission of the federal health care system in addition to Department of Defense honor. His military honors include the Distinguished Service Medal, five Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals and Navy Commendation and Achievement Medals. Nathan earned a master of science degree from Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, in Washington, D.C. in 1999.