Dale C. Smith, PhD
Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Letterman Award
The NMCWM presented the 11th Annual Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award to two incredible individuals. COL Robert Mabry, MD, MC, USA and COL Jonathan M. Kissane, MSC, USA (Ret) were presented with the distinguished award on October 11, 2018, at the historic Gettysburg Hotel in Gettysburg, PA.
The keynote speaker for this year’s event was Dale C. Smith, PhD, Professor and Director, Military Medicine and History at the Uniformed Services University. He is the renowned author of numerous publications on medical history. He is a recipient of the Laurance D. Redway Award for Excellence in Medical Writing and the USU University Medal for his commitment to the academic life of the university and by the medical students. Dr. Smith spoke on Letterman’s personal triumphs and struggles during his work to transform battlefield medicine.
COL Mabry served as a Special Forces 18-D medic and was the recipient of a Silver Star for his actions during the battle of Mogadishu. His experiences motivated him to go to medical school and become an emergency care physician. As an Army doctor he contributed to the development of the Combat Application Tourniquet, brought about landmark changes in the Army’s Combat Lifesaver Program, and has been in the forefront of advancing the understanding and treatment of combat airway injuries. COL Mabry currently serves as the Command Surgeon for the Joint Special Operations Command.
COL Kissane served as a career Army Medical Service Corps officer and is currently a senior medical logistics consultant to the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. He has been recognized as the singular greatest driver of innovation in medical logistics. COL Kissane’s knowledge and appreciation of the limitations on forward medical elements led him to devise creative and highly effective solutions for medical resupply by division and brigade level medics and medical units.
“The caliber of nominees continues to amaze us,’” explains NMCWM Executive Director David Price, “COL Mabry and COL Kissane carry on the Letterman tradition in entirely different yet essential ways. One on the combat medical care side and the other on the medical logistics side. Letterman knew that one cannot succeed without the other. These two gentlemen represent the best in military medicine and carry on the tradition of Major Jonathan Letterman whose innovations shape military and civilian medicine today.”
The Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award is meant to honor individuals, military units or entities, companies, organizations or project groups who are leaders in innovative efforts in medical care. These innovations carry over into civilian life, contributing to the advancement of medical processes and improved patient outcomes and quality of life for all.
The Letterman Award is a natural outcome of the mission and current programming of the NMCWM. Since 2004, the NMCWM has developed an ever-expanding series of training programs and research projects designed to aid medical and emergency management professionals in their daily tasks. By learning from the innovations of the past and understanding their relevance and application to current and future medicine, we can eliminate the repetition of mistakes and help to accelerate new processes and techniques.