Thursday, October 6, 2011

VADM Donald F. Hagen, Surgeon General (1991-1995)

Donald F. Hagen joined the Navy in 1964. He then served in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon with the Marines, aboard the hospital ship USS Repose, and as a surgeon in the Mekong Delta. Following a series of shore assignments at naval hospitals, Dr. Hagen became Commander of the National Naval Medical Center. As Surgeon General, his experience in operational medicine enabled the Medical Department to meet unprecedented demands for operational medical support for peacekeeping, humanitarian missions, and disaster relief. Navy medical personnel were deployed to Zagreb, Croatia, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort in support of Haitian migrants. VADM Hagen was instrumental in the implementation of advanced telemedicine throughout Navy medicine, and was an outspoken advocate of health promotion and disease prevention.

4 comments:

  1. This man was the best Commander I had ever served under. He was so instrumental in helping me achieve my Navy goals, that he demanded that I received orders to the duty station of my choice after Desert Shield/Storm so I could advance my medical expertise and help the Marines I served with skill. I ultimately hold him in high regard for how he ran NNMC and personally took an interest in my career. No other CO or DO ever did that again. Thank you, Admiral Hagen!

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  2. I totally agree. He was a great commander at Bethesda! I remember him visiting us in the ICU and just being a hands on leader. I'm honored to have his signature on my promotion to HM3 papers!

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  3. I served with ADM Hagen as the senior ward corpsman when he was a senior LT on Ward 5B, a thoracic, vascular, and dental surgical ward at NRMC Portsmouth, VA in 1972-73. He was an outstanding physician, a superb teacher, and genuinely cared about his patients and his staff. I remember one day when he cornered me on the ward and strongly suggested I apply for in-service medical school. He repeatedly showed a personal interest in my career in Navy medicine, for which I was humbled and flattered. As it turned out, I ended up in the Medical Service Corps. He and Dr. Ben Aaron (my Ward Medical Officer) were the finest Navy physicians I ever had the honor of serving with. I was not surprised at ADM Hagen's selection for SG; he and ADM Jim Zimble, whom he succeeded, were two of the Navy's finest Surgeons General ever.

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  4. I served with ADM Hagan 76-78 on the surgical ward NRMC Yokosuka Japan. Outstanding physician and leader and partially responsible for my decision to make the Navy a career. He never forgot a name or face, I ran into him again in the mid 80's at NAVHOSP Camp Pendleton and remembered me. He also signed my Chief's selection. Great guy!

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