Honoring the Heroes of Military Medicine

Gary Pettit
United States

On May 9, 2019 top researchers and practitioners of military medicine will come together to honor the 2019 Heroes of Military Medicine. Hosted by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF), this event recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions in advancing medicine for our nation’s warfighters, veterans and civilians. The Chairman Sponsor for the 2019 Heroes of Military Medicine dinner is Health Net Federal Services.

This year’s awardees are listed below:

  • The Hero of Military Medicine Ambassador Award is presented to Mr. Ronald A. Katz, President, The Katz Family Foundation, for his enduring support of crucial medical research and care through the creation and work of UCLA Operation Mend.
  • The Hero of Military Medicine Civilian Honoree is Mrs. Ellyn Dunford for her remarkable work supporting military families during service member deployment and for her efforts to raise awareness of the issues facing spouses and families of deployed service members.
  • The Heroes of Military Medicine Honorees are:
    • Army: Lieutenant Colonel Stephen M. DeLellis
    • Air Force: Lieutenant Colonel (Doctor) Brian Joseph Gavitt
    • Navy: Commander Erin M. Simmons (posthumous)

“HJF has been advancing military medicine for more than 35 years, and in that time many great American patriots have stepped forward to make significant contributions to the field,” said HJF President and CEO Joseph Caravalho, Jr., M.D. “This year’s honorees have contributed to military medicine in a variety of ways. From research that benefits warfighters to supporting the loved ones of deployed service members, these exceptional men and women represent the very best of those committed to serve our Nation’s defenders of freedom.”

Each year, three of the five awards presented at the HMM are given to military medical professionals from the Army, Navy and Air Force, with nominations for the three awards coming from the Offices of the Surgeon General for each Service. In addition, individual awards are presented for the Hero of Military Medicine Ambassador and Civilian Awards.

More information about each of this year’s award recipients can be found at

About HJF

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) is a global nonprofit organization with the mission to advance military medicine. HJF’s scientific, administrative and program operations services empower investigators, clinicians, and medical researchers around the world to make medical discoveries in all areas of medicine. With more than 35 years of experience, HJF serves as a trusted and responsive link between the military medical community, federal and private partners, and the millions of warfighters, veterans, and civilians who benefit from military medicine. For more information, visit