Chung earns prestigious Gold Headed Cane Award
For the second year a member of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research has earned the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium Gold Headed Cane Award. Lt. Col. (Dr.) Kevin Chung, USAISR interim director of the combat casualty care research directorate, was presented with the prestigious award during an awards and graduation ceremony June 5.
The SAUSHEC award was established at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base in 1999 and focuses on four areas of excellence: patient care, education, clinical research and operational medicine. The award is given annually to a Wilford Hall Medical Center faculty member who is selected by his/her peers. The award was expanded to include the faculty at the San Antonio Military Health System and the USAISR Burn Center in 2009.
Chung was at the USAISR since 2005 as a critical care physician at the Burn Center where he served as the medical director of the Burn Intensive Care Unit and task area manager for Clinical Trials in Burns in Trauma prior to his current assignment.
"I'm very grateful to the ISR for setting me up for success," said the 1995 West Point graduate.
Being recognized for his outstanding achievements since earning his doctor of medicine degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine seems to be the norm for Chung. He received the Walter J. Moore Award for the most outstanding graduating resident after completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center and the Alexandra S. Xenakis Award for the overall most outstanding graduating resident. Chung has also been presented the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States Rising Star Award, the Army Surgeon General's Physician Recognition Award, and the William Crosby Superiority in Research Award, among others, since completing a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to become an intensivist.
"I decided to specialize in critical care because I found caring for the sickest patients in the hospital to be very challenging and rewarding at the same time," said Chung.
With deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Chung has cared for the most critically injured Warfighters and earned a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge. He said that he was proud of his personal achievements, but that the team achievements are by far more gratifying. Chung co-invented the Burn Resuscitation Decision Support System that was recognized as one of the Army's top inventions in 2009. Also known as the Burn Navigator, the decision-assist algorithm helps restore the right amount of fluids to burn victims and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013. The BRDSS team earned the Army Medical Department's Quarterly and subsequently the Annual Wolf Pack Award in 2014.
"I am very fortunate to be part of a great team," Chung said.
Chung is also an associate professor for the Department of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and adjunct associate professor for the Department of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He was also appointed to be the critical care consultant to the Army Surgeon General in 2014.
During his time at the USAISR, Chung has authored more than 120 research manuscripts in a peer-reviewed journal, authored five medical book chapters and has been a guest speaker at 65 national lectures. During his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.
"We are all very proud of Dr. Chung's accomplishments during his Army career and his time at this Institute," said Col. (Dr.) Michael Wirt, USAISR Commander. "It is an incredible achievement to be selected and honored by his peers in this manner. Dr. Chung has truly earned every award given to him, and I have no doubts that more are coming his way."
The original golden head cane was carried from 1689 until 1825 by six renowned British doctors who cared for royalty and is now prominently on display at the Royal College of Physicians in London. Medical schools throughout the world present the Gold Headed Cane to recognize outstanding students. The former Director of Professional Services Dr. John Sharp established the tradition in San Antonio to honor faculty members.