By Sharon D. AyalaApril 17, 2009
FORT LEWIS, Wash. - Major General Patricia Horoho, commanding general, Western Regional Medical Command and Madigan Army Medical Center, was recognized April 7 as the recipient of the 2009 USO military Woman of the Year award.
Horoho, who attended the event with family and friends, was honored at the USO of Metropolitan New York Annual Luncheon held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. USO Metropolitan New York executives, Stephen J. Scheffer, chairman of the board of directors, and Brian C. Whiting, president and chief executive officer, presented the award to Horoho following an introduction by her husband, Ray.
During her remarks, Horoho, who is also the chief of the Army Nurse Corps, said that the contributions of women are invaluable and essential parts of this nation's history.
"Women all across this country are making a positive impact on our society," she said. "Whether they are caring for their children or elderly parents, serving in volunteer organizations, working in industry or serving in our military, their contributions strengthen the fabric of our nation."
The Woman of the Year award is presented annually to one military and one civilian honoree for their personal and professional accomplishments.
Time Inc. executive vice president, Stephanie George, was also recognized as the second recipient of the award.
The event was attended by hundreds of individuals. The host of CNN's American Morning show Kiran Chetry served as the emcee for the event, and a clip from the ceremony was aired on the April 7 show.
Military Leadership awards were also presented during the luncheon to five female service members who embody the USO's mission and values. Junior-enlisted candidates for this award are nominated by their leaders and peers, but only one from each service is selected.
As the head nurse of the emergency department at Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, N.C., on March 23, 1994, Horoho organized triage and care when an airplane crashed into a group of soldiers on the Green Ramp of Pope Air Force Base, killing 24 and injuring more than 100. She also was one of the first medical personnel to respond during the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, setting up first aid care and triage for the wounded.
She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a Master of Science degree as a clinical trauma nurse specialist from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a Master of Science degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Honors she has received include being named a University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate in 2007, being among 15 nurses honored as "nurse heroes" by the American Red Cross and Nursing Spectrum in 2002, and being selected as one of the top 100 nurses in North Carolina in 1993.
The USO was founded Feb. 4, 1941 in Times Square, New York, in response to a request from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide morale and recreation services to the nation's men and women in uniform.
Sharon D. Ayala is the Madigan Army Medical Center public affairs officer.