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NMCSD Officer Wins Leadership Award

Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Indra Beaufort

Naval Medical Center San Diego

SAN DIEGO (NNS) – The Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS) awarded Cmdr. Paulette Cazares, Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) psychiatrist, the 2017 Female Physician Senior (Navy) Leadership Award at its annual award dinner held in Maryland, recently.

Each year, AMSUS recognizes outstanding federal healthcare individuals through its distinguished awards program. The award is open to individuals who are or have been associated with a federal health agency, or the Department of Veterans Affairs, or individuals of the military medical services of other nations.

“I was at the office late one Friday night checking my emails,” said Cazares. “I expected to see a thank you for submitting the AMSUS application but I saw a ‘congratulations,’” Cazares said. “So I was very excited to get the news, and mostly because of the recognition of the projects that many people have been working on.”

Cazares said that she is grateful that her senior leadership at NMCSD nominated her for the female physician leadership award.

Cazares was nominated for piloting a comprehensive women’s mental health program at NMCSD.

“Right now there is a paradigm shift in the medical community on women’s health,” said Cazares.

She also thanks AMSUS for creating award categories for female physicians.

“As females, we have to work as hard or harder to make it, and the award has an extra impact because it recognizes the behind the scenes work that women do to feel equal,” Cazares said.

“I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had incredible leadership,” said Cazares.

NMCSD personnel Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Tiffany Hintz praised Cazares’ leadership qualities.

“Dr. Cazares is very dedicated and passionate about her work, especially when it comes to women’s health,” said Hintz, who has worked with Cazares for almost four years.

“She is very firm yet fair and if something does not make sense, she would look at different ways to improve the process,” Hintz said.

Cazares was also given a new medical title as the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) chair for women’s health in the clinical community.

Cazares, 41, is originally from New Jersey, and she received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Boston College and a master’s degree in Public Health from Drexel University. She was accepted to F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University (USU) on Christmas Eve of 1999.

“This is something that I can share with other women who are working hard,” said Cazares. “It also recognizes our efforts and shows us how we can improve the medical system and the health of our patients,” said Cazares.

AMSUS is a non-profit member-based educational and professional development association that supports the federal health professional and honors the legacy of federal medicine’s tremendous impact in advancing and improving health for all Americans and international coalition partners.

For more information on Naval Medical Center San Diego, visit www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd, www.facebook.com/nmcsd, or www.twitter.com/NMC_SD

For more news on Naval Medical Center San Diego, visit www.navy.mil/local/sd/

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