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LaVan to Lead Navy Flight Surgeons

May 30, 2019

LaVan to Lead Navy Flight Surgeons

CAPT Joseph T. LaVan is the incoming President of the Society of U.S. Naval Flight Surgeons.

   A native of Baltimore, MD, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Miami. He graduated from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine in 1992 with an M.D. and completed an internship in Family Medicine at Naval Hospital Bremerton and subsequently served as a General Medical Officer in Adak, AK. Aer completing Flight Surgery training, he was stationed with Marine Air Group 26 and assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, and then to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC. While assigned to HMM-264 he deployed in support of Operation Joint Endeavor and Operation Assured Response and was selected as the Second Marine Aircraft Wing’s Flight Surgeon of the Year in 1995.
   CAPT LaVan completed his Family Medicine Residency at Naval Hospital Jacksonville and was board certified in 1999. After graduation, he was assigned to Naval Hospital Naples, Italy, where he served as the Department Head for Family Practice. He also served as the Triage Officer of the Hospital’s Surgical Response Team and was instrumental in the creation of, and served as, the Team Leader of the newly formed Primary Care Response Team. In July 2002, he transferred to Naval Hospital Keflavik, serving as the Director of Outpatient Services while driving the creation of the CBR Incident Medical Response Team for NAS Keflavik. From 2004 to 2006, he completed the Fellowship in Family Practice Faculty Development at Madigan Army Medical Center, earning his M.P.H. degree from the University of Washington. He was assigned to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune where he served as the Director of Medical Services and a member of the faculty of the Family Medicine Residency. He helped develop the Wounded Warrior Hope and Care Center for the USMC Wounded Warrior Battalion–East. In 2008 he attended the Residency in Aerospace Medicine and was assigned as the Senior Medical Officer on the USS George Washington (CVN-73) in Yokosuka, Japan. During this time, he helped coordinate the Battle Force–Seventh Fleet contributions to Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. Navy response to the massive earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear catastrophe that hit Japan in 2011.
   In 2012, CAPT LaVan was selected as the Director of the Combined Army/Navy Residency in Aerospace Medicine, guiding the residency through a variety of changes in program structure, training requirements, and community needs until 2016. He was next selected as Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute where he has been instrumental in the expanding role of NAMI in both officer and enlisted aeromedical and operational medicine training, modernization of Naval Aeromedical standards and aviation aptitude testing, the aeromedical response for and research into environmental physiological events in tactical naval aviation and has supported deployment of the new Department of Defense Electronic Health Record as Chair of the Triservice Workflow Advisory Group–Medicine. He is board certified in Aerospace Medicine, Family Medicine, and Occupational Medicine. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), the Army Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.