Womack Army Medical Center physician receives recruiting excellence award
October 21, 2013
Col. (Dr.) Frank Christopher was presented the U. S. Army Recruiting Excellence Medallion at an Oct. 7 ceremony by Col. (Dr.) Steven Brewster, commander, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, N.C., and Maj. Sandra Petty, Officer in Charge of the Raleigh Medical Recruiting Center on behalf of Maj. Gen. Allen Batschelet, commanding general of U. S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC.)
The Medallion is presented for "exceptional contributions to the USAREC Team" and can only be approved by the USAREC Commanding General. Recipients from outside USAREC must be staunch Army advocates who demonstrate and promote the Army Values, speak on behalf of the Army, and use their influence and talents to support the recruiting effort.
Christopher recruited more than 110 officers into the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) throughout his career, without completing formal recruiting training or an assignment to USAREC. As a medical student on a Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) scholarship, he filled in for the Boston area recruiting station officer in charge while she was on maternity leave, and promptly recruited 38 officers into multiple AMEDD branches.
While assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center in the late 1990s, Christopher established a partnership with the 5th AMEDD Recruiting Detachment to develop a speakers' bureau of HPSP graduates to provide both outreach and personal Army success stories to prospective Army professionals across the spectrum of medical specialties.
He presented this concept at national level AMEDD recruiting conferences, and in 2005, the Surgeon General of the Army adopted his program at U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) level as the "peer-to-peer" recruiting program, formally matching HPSP graduates who were residents or junior staff members with recruiting detachments across the MEDCOM -- USAREC enterprises.
Christopher was one of the six Medical Corps officers highlighted in the peer-to-peer recruiting video used by the program, and he served as an instructor at the program's initial training event. As a peer recruiter, Christopher travelled to more than 30 medical schools and pre-medical societies, resulting in more than 25 accessions.
Since 2009, he has matched prospective officers with current HPSP, Interservice Physician Assistant Program, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia Program, Army-Baylor Physical Therapy Program, and other graduates which has led to more than 20 active component and 15 reserve component commissions; Christopher personally commissioned several of these officers.
Christopher also was presented the Legion of Merit for his service from April 2009 to June 2013 as Chief, Department of Emergency Medicine and later Deputy Commander for Clinical Services at Womack.
He also received the Unit Commendation from the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) for establishing a Social Work program within the Emergency Department. USPHS officers within the ED provide Behavioral Health assessment and treatment, grief counseling, and victim advocacy in real time to Womack's most urgent patients.