- Speech by
Janet Woodcock, M.D.
It is a pleasure to be with you today to recognize the promotion of 122 officers in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service assigned to the FDA.
This year’s celebration is even more special than usual, because we were not able to hold the ceremony last year. So, this year’s ceremony includes the Promotion Cycle from both 2020 and 2021, and we are proud to honor all of the honorees and celebrate their achievements.
I’m also pleased to virtually welcome the friends and families of the officers being honored today. While we can’t be together in person, I know each of you will be celebrating wherever you are.
This ceremony is not only an opportunity to bestow these honors upon the individual recipients, but also it allows us to formally underscore the U.S. Public Health Service’s values of Leadership, Service, Integrity and Excellence, and the commitment and dedication of the Commissioned Corps to the mission of the FDA and public health.
The relationship between PHS and FDA is a long and productive one. It has evolved into essential collaboration, exemplifying our shared commitment to protecting and promoting the public health and making both organizations stronger.
We are very proud to have more than 1100 Commissioned Corps officers working in all of the FDA’s centers. Commissioned Corps officers fill virtually every type of position at the FDA, from scientific review and research to essential managerial support.
Corps officers often step up to take on challenges that are inherent to many of our positions, especially with implementation of the Prescription, Generic, and Biosimilar Drug User Fees Acts, PDUFA, GDUFA, and BSUFA.
With all 11 professional categories of the PHS represented at the FDA, these officers are a critical asset of all we do to fulfill our important public health mission. They bring with them unique qualifications that enable them to fill many different scientific, regulatory, and investigative roles at the FDA.
Your years of training, both in school and on-the-job, and your leadership, flexibility, and commitment to protecting and promoting the public health, mean that you bring not just strong public health experience, but important professional perspective to your work..
During today’s ceremony, you will hear about many of the important contributions that your FDA colleagues have made. Their promotions today acknowledge those contributions, a clear signal that they are ready to assume a higher level of responsibility and better fulfill the FDA and Commissioned Corps missions.
Given the virtual nature of today’s ceremony, and the fact that we did not hold last year’s, I want to especially highlight the essential and special role played by PHS at FDA during times of national public health emergency.
Whether it is responding to the current pandemic, or a natural disaster, or crises such as the Ebola or Zika outbreaks, PHS is there – on the front lines, making a difference.
The contributions and sacrifices made by our FDA Commissioned Corps officers have been especially significant since the onset of COVID-19.
You have deployed multiple times to meet the urgent health needs of our nation during this public health emergency, while still ensuring your programmatic work continues, and taking care of your own families.
So today, we celebrate not only your years of hard work, but also your relentless selfless dedication and service to protecting, promoting, and advancing the health and safety of our Nation. This ceremony, and your promotions, accentuate the Corps’ future expectations of you.
Thank you, and congratulations to all the officers being promoted and to their families, friends, and mentors who play a critical role in supporting all you’ve done to date, and for your accomplishments still to come.