Epifanio (Epi) Elizondo, PhD, PA-C, Assistant Surgeon General and Rear Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service, recently spoke to University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) students as part of National Public Health Week.
Dr. Elizondo offered information on public health careers and his personal experience based on moving from the military into the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He explained various Public Health Service opportunities available throughout the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other non-HHS federal agencies and programs, which include areas ranging from disease control and prevention to biomedical research; regulation of food, drugs, and medical devices; mental health and drug abuse; health care delivery; and international health.
Dr. Elizondo serves as the senior federal public health official and scientist for his region, which covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. He performs essential functions for the HHS in three major areas: disease prevention, all hazards preparedness and agency-wide coordination.
He serves as Region D Senior Health Official for Pandemic Influenza. During the Rita Hurricane Response, he served as Area Deputy Commander of the Secretary’s Emergency Response Team (SERT), and later served as Area SERT Commander during the Katrina Hurricane Response in Baton Rouge.
His honors include the U.S. Public Health Service Meritorious Service Medal; Bureau of Prisons Meritorious Service Medal; U.S. Navy Reserve Meritorious Service Medal; U.S. Public Health Service Commendation Medal; U.S. Army and Air Force Commendation Medals; HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service; U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Career Enhancement; and the Bureau of Prisons Assistant Director’s Award for Health Services.