Public Health Service Academy of PAs

Dec. 12, 2014

By Lt. Benjamin Olmedo, USPHS, PA-C

The Public Health Service Academy of PAs (PHSAPA) renders services to the medical profession and the public, while advocating for the unique needs of their constituent PAs. The PHSAPA is the AAPA  constituent organization for active duty and retired PAs of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), Coast Guard and many civil service PAs employed within the federal government.

For more than 200 years, the officers of the USPHS Commissioned Corps have been a critical component of the world’s largest public health program, instituting our mission as the nation’s frontline in protecting, promoting and advancing the health and safety of the United States. More than 6,500 uniformed service public health professionals fulfill the USPHS mission through the daily provision of healthcare, disease prevention, deployments to natural and man-made disasters, national policy development and implementation, and advancing public health science. PAs have been an integral part of this mission for more than 40 years.

Currently, more than 170 PAs serve with the USPHS, executing this mission in more than 21 federal agencies, as well as state and local health departments. The majority of PAs provide direct healthcare services to underserved, marginalized and disadvantaged populations in multiple federal agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Indian Health Service. PAs are also actively involved in homeland defense through the Coast Guard, federal disaster response and mitigating international healthcare crises.

Lt. Benjamin Olmedo, USPHS, PA-C, is president-elect of the Public Health Service Academy of Physician Assistants. Learn more about the organization at the PHSAPA website.


1) LT Zarychta W, RAD Milner M, CDR Hunter-Buskey R. PAs in the U.S. Public Health Service. ADVANCE for NPs and PAs. May 2008; 16(5):52. Accessed August 5, 2014.

2) About Us: History, Leadership, Mission & Core Values. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, website. Updated March 30, 2012. Accessed August 7, 2014.

3) Haider M. The USPHS Commissioned Corps: A Study on Value and Contributions to DHHS Mission and National and Global Health Priorities and Initiatives. School of Public Health, University of Maryland & PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health; May 2013.


Primary/Corresponding Author:
LT Benjamin Olmedo
President-Elect PHSAPA
Indian Health Service – Alaska Area
Life House Community Health Center
Southcentral Foundation

LCDR Michelle Gielski
President PHSAPA
Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Prisons
FMC Rochester, MN

LCDR Jeremy Parmley
Immediate Past President PHSAPA
Indian Health Service – Albuquerque Area
Albuquerque Indian Health Clinic
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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