I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Army Major General Richard “Tom” Thomas, MD, DDS, as the new president of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

MG Thomas was selected from a large pool of candidates nationwide which was narrowed down to six, and then from a shortlist of three finalists. He was selected by a search committee made up of faculty, staff, Board members, and students, led by the Board of Regents.

MG Thomas was most recently the Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Defense Health Agency Healthcare Operations directorate and is retiring later this month.  He is a well-respected leader and health care professional with impressive academic credentials.  I am confident that his belief in the USU mission and his proven experience in education, leadership, health care, and research will keep the university and its students on its distinctive course. Dr. Thomas is fortunate to be joining a well-rounded senior leadership team at USU made up of outstanding professionals.

When Dr. Rice informed me he would be leaving the presidency, I knew that we had a significant gap to fill. His leadership has made USU the outstanding university it is today. His indefatigable commitment to the University is evident in every part of the institution. I thank Chip for his service, and I am confident that Dr. Thomas’ proven leadership will lead to more great things for USU.

Dr. Thomas was commissioned through the ROTC program at West Virginia University. He graduated from the WVU School of Dentistry and served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps before receiving his medical degree from the WVU School of Medicine in 1994. Dr. Thomas completed his internship at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and residency in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Washington.  Dr. Thomas is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. He is a previous Consultant to The Army Surgeon General in his medical specialty.  His professional affiliations include the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Otolaryngology and various other national and international medical societies.

Dr. Thomas’ military education includes the Army War College, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army Medical Department Officer Advanced and Basic Courses.

Prior to his most recent assignment, Dr. Thomas served as the Commanding General of Western Regional Medical Command; Chief, U.S. Army Medical Corps and Senior Market Executive for TRICARE Puget Sound Multi-Service Market.  Previous duty assignments include Surgeon General, United States Forces-Afghanistan and Senior Medical Advisor, International Security Assistance Forces Joint Command-Afghanistan; Assistant Army Surgeon General (Force Projection), the Pentagon; Commander, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Principal Assistant Deputy (Human Resources), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower & Reserve Affairs), the  Pentagon; Commander, 47th Combat Support Hospital, Fort Lewis, Washington; Division Surgeon, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Assistant Chief, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center; Commander, 53d Medical Team (Head and Neck), Fort Lewis, Washington; Staff Surgeon, Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Washington; Division Dental Surgeon, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Dental Officer, Fort Clayton, Republic of Panama. Operational deployments include Operation Just Cause, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

With tremendous excitement, I would like to personally, and on behalf of the entire USU Board of Regents, welcome Dr. Thomas to USU.

Ronald Blanck, DO

Chair, USU Board of Regents