“Emergency Care for America's Heroes”

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Christine DeForest, DO, FACEP

Commander Christine A. DeForest

Commander DeForest was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005. She attended medical school via the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, earning a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine in May 2009.

Her professional medical career began at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth where she completed an Internship in General Surgery. She continued further training as a Flight Surgeon and attended the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, Pensacola FL from July 2010 until February 2011. After graduation, she was attached to Electronic Attack Squadron 138 (VAQ-138) Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA. She deployed with VAQ-138 to Al Asad AB, Iraq from March 2011 to December 2011 in support of Operation New Dawn. On return from deployment, she assumed responsibility for three aviation squadrons while serving as a Flight Surgeon at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, WA. From March of 2013 until September of 2013 she deployed again with VAQ- 138, this time to Al Udeid AB, Qatar and Bagram AB, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. CDR DeForest received the 2013 Captain “Doc” Mattson Flight Surgeon of the Year award for the Electronic Attack Wing U.S. Pacific Fleet. She received Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals from VAQ-138 and VAQ-133.

CDR DeForest successfully completed Emergency Medicine residency at Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA in 2017. She presented her research findings in En Route Care at the Military Health Services Research Symposium Junior Investigator Competition in August 2016. She received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for her contribution to research during Residency. She graduated from residency July 2017 then transferred to Navy Medicine and Readiness Training Command Camp Lejeune, NC. She achieved board certification from the American Board of Emergency Medicine in May 2018.

CDR DeForest served as the Department Head of the Emergency Department and Transfer Center at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune from March 2020 to June 2021 during which time she managed a 9 million dollar budget and led over 120 Active Duty and civilian personnel through the COVID pandemic. She successfully led the departments through a Joint Commission survey. She increased Inter-Facility Transport Team personnel to achieve 24/7 Critical care transfer capabilities and meet state certification requirements for the first time since the program was established in 2018. As member of the Trauma Performance Improvement Patient Safety committee she ensured quality and safety assurance through the comprehensive review of over 1,000 cases annually. Prior to her selection as Department Head she filled several key positions in the command and Emergency Department. She served as Senior Medical Officer for the Emergency Medicine Department responsible for the credential requirements and professional development of thirty-four clinicians. She served as the department’s Graduate Medical Education Coordinator responsible for the training and clerkship administration of over fifty medical students and residents annually.

As the Chair of the Medical Center’s Code Blue Committee, she managed the code blue response team, rapid response team, and skill performance drills with training and introduction of a modified code response at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa Forward Resuscitative Surgical System from October 2018 to April 2019 as the sole Emergency Medicine physician responsible for the Shock Trauma Platoon readiness plan, and Forward Resuscitative Surgery System Blood Officer ensuring Whole Blood transfusion capability during African Lion 2019 exercise in support of 200 coalition participants. She has earned the Fleet Marine Force Warfare Insignia, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program tan belt, Navy Executive Medicine Additional Qualification Designation, and completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase-1. She received the Navy Commendation Medal for her significant contribution to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Camp Lejeune.
CDR DeForest transferred to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command San Diego, CA in July 2021. She rapidly integrated herself into the medical center and training program with selected as an Assistant Program Director for the Emergency Medicine Residency program. Additionally, she serves as the residency’s Simulation Director responsible for the high-fidelity training curriculum equipping residents and Physician Assistant Emergency Medicine Fellows with skills as resuscitation team leaders, and ensuring procedural competency in alignment with the Knowledge Skills and Abilities necessary to be a ready medical force. She obtained the Just Culture certification in October 2021. She has been invested in the Emergency Medicine Residency’s Morbidity and Mortality curriculum and the Champion of a multi-departmental Process Improvement Project. She deployed as the sole Emergency Medicine physician mobilized with two COVID medical response teams. She served as the Senior Medical Officer of Medical Response Team Bravo deployed to a community hospital in Spokane, WA from October to November 2021. She deployed again from January to March 2022 with Large Medical Team Alpha to support a community in St. Louis, MO and supervised two Physician Assistants as a small augmentation element to support the overwhelmed Emergency Department. She remains operationally engaged, serving as a Subject Matter Expert I support of a Role 2 Light Maneuver Team training exercise conducted at the Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute in March 2022. In April 2022 she was selected as Councillor and Board Member serving the Government Services Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

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