Col. Vivian T. Hutson has broken new ground several times during her career as an Army dietitian, so it seems fitting that the Department of Defense honored her with one of its first "Female Trailblazer" awards.
She is among 14 military women composing the first group selected for this award, which recognizes women in the military with significant accomplishments in their fields.
"I am very privileged, as an Army officer, to be part of an organization that places a high priority on developing its members to take on greater responsibility. The Army has given me some great challenges over the years, and I am glad to have learned something from each of them. If I have blazed a trail, it was from day-to-day decisions about what needed to be done, and not because of any grand strategy," she said.
Hutson is deputy commander of administration (DCA) at Munson Army Health Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She is the first officer of the Army Medical Specialist Corps (dietitians, therapists and physician assistants) to serve as DCA of an Army medical treatment facility on other than an interim basis.
She also was the first dietitian to serve as a senior health policy analyst in the TRICARE policy division of the Army's Office of The Surgeon General. She followed that assignment with a fellowship in the preparedness and response office of the Department of Health and Human Services, the first dietitian in that office.
She has completed an administrative residency with PacifiCare, a major health management organization, and a Training With Industry fellowship with the American Dietetic Association, as well as various assignments in hospital nutrition care departments.
A native of Hong Kong, China, Hutson immigrated to the United States at age 16. She has master's degrees in management and human resources development, and in health-care administration. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.