By Jeff Troth, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity -- Fort Carson PAO

FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Two Evans Army Community Hospital health care practitioners were recognized for their career accomplishments during the AMSUS (The Society of Federal Health Professionals) annual meeting at National Harbor near Washington, D.C., Dec. 1.

Col. Irene Rosen was selected as the top senior female physician in the Military Health System and presented the 2016 MHS Female Physician Leadership Award. Registered Nurse Lydia Kreighbaum was recognized as the Junior Army category winner of the 2016 MHS Federal Civilian Nursing Excellence in Leadership Award.

"I was very honored to be nominated for this award and the fact that I was selected was very unexpected and humbling," said Rosen, who graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1987, and from 1995 to 1999 attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She currently serves as the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity -- Fort Carson deputy commanding officer and chief medical officer.

"It was an extreme honor and I did not expect to win it at all," said Kreighbaum, who has been a nurse for the Army for eight years, the past seven at Evans' Pain Clinic. "When I got the email stating that I had won I was speechless."

Unlike most awards people win, these weren't just for a single year or a single accomplishment. It included not only what they are currently doing to improve health care, but also what they have done.

Rosen's award nomination-up included her time at Fort Belvoir's Family Medicine Residency program, where she taught and mentored many future family physicians. The packet also talked about her part in creating the Warrior Transition Care clinic at Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McCord. It also mentions her time as the Deputy Surgeon for US Forces-Afghanistan,
where she worked in transferring authority of Kabul Role III hospital from French to US authority.

"I couldn't be where I am today if I hadn't done these jobs and many others," Rosen said. "They all really build upon each other over the course of a career. I have been really lucky to have had a great progression of jobs that has gotten me to where I am now."

"Part of the submission was what I have done during my career as a nurse, both at work and in the community," said Kreighbaum. "This included my time as a co-ambassador for the patient caring touch system and my participation on nurse practice councils."

While at the Pain Clinic, Kreighbaum developed and directed an intensive outpatient program designed to improve function and quality of life by reducing opioid use. The program has had over 200 graduates who have decreased their utilization of opioids by more than 50 percent.

"This recognition by the Military Health System for Lydia and me is a credit to the great team we have at Evans," said Rosen. "And because of our team we are able to accomplish outstanding results for our patients."