FORT EUSTIS, VA –On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Army Surgeon General awarded the Physician Assistant Recognition Award (TSG-PARA) to a physician assistant at the forefront of medical safety protocols for initial military training and for contributions to a ready, reformed, reorganized, responsive and relevant force.
Over a socially-distanced teleconference, Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command awarded the TSG-PARA to Maj. Sean Donohue, Command Surgeon for the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training (USACIMT). Donohue was honored for his contributions to the U.S. Army’s Office of Legislative Liaison (OCLL) in 2019, and his current role in supporting the health policies for more than 120-thousand trainees at USACIMT.
The Army Surgeon General noted that Donohue’s leadership nominated him for this award four times during his career. “That just goes to show the work that you have done not just for Army medicine, but for the United States Army,” said Dingle. In his comments, he continued to depict how Donohue’s service with OCLL demonstrates his exceptional quality as not just a physician assistant (PA), but as a leader. He praised his efforts to lead synergistic teams everywhere he goes.
The Army Surgeon General’s Office provides personal recognition to a PA who has made a significant contribution to military medicine. The award is intended to encourage exceptional job performance among these health professionals. The program applies to all commands, agencies, installations, activities, and organizations having PAs assigned on a full-time basis and recognizes a single physician assistant a year.
According to the award narrative, Donohue’s efforts increased Congress’ understanding of and support to the healthcare delivery and training challenges experienced by Brigade Combat Teams and geographically-remote healthcare centers like Weed Army Community Hospital at Fort Irwin, CA. At USACIMT, Donohue is deeply engaged in the welfare of Army trainees. He provides counsel to the Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Lonnie G. Hibbard, a role that has become increasingly essential with the threat of COVID-19. Additionally, Donohue’s work mitigates trainee injuries and provides guidance for the new Holistic Health and Welfare Program, H2F. When executed force-wide, this program is expected to significantly lower injury rates and increase Soldier readiness.
Donohue also sees patients at Fort Eustis, treating trainees at the troop medical clinic.
The ceremony was a surprise for Maj. Donohue, who was summoned to the ceremony, unaware he was receiving the award. He was greeted by his spouse, Lexey Donohue, and sons, William, 22, Jack, 17, and Maximus, 15. It was an unorthodox ceremony but indicative of life in a COVID-19 environment, conducted remotely via a DOD teleconferencing system. Joining the Army Surgeon General from remote locations were Col. John E. Balser, Chief, Medical Specialist Corp (SP) Chief and Col. Jeff E. Oliver, Medical Specialist Corp (SP) Deputy Chief and Col. David L. Hamilton, PA Consultant to the Surgeon General, and Lt. Col. Amelia M. Duran-Stanton, Deputy PA Consultant to the Surgeon General. “Sean has been on our radar for a good long while,” said Balser. “I have a lot of trust in him and faith in his capabilities. I expect to see much more of him in the future.”
“Knowing how much we are involved in the current fight, it just humbles me,” said Donohue remarking that receiving the award was bittersweet in the era of COVID-19. “I was reminiscing the other day that disease- not battle injury, is probably one of the things we fight overall, maybe even more than we do combat injury,” said Donohue. “Our whole mantra as PAs of ‘from the line, for the line’ really plays into what we are doing today, as here we are on the home front doing the best for our patients and the best for the nation.” Donohue thanked his family for their support in pursuing his education and a career that brought him to this day.
Donohue is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s physician assistant program. Maj. Donohue currently serves as the Command Surgeon for the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Center for Initial Military Training (CIMT), and was previously a Legislative Liaison (LL) under the Chief of Army Legislative Liaison (OCLL) in the House Liaison Division.