The Director of the U.S. Navy’s Medical Corps received the Chinese Hospital Medical Staff 39th Annual Award during a ceremony in San Francisco, Oct. 26.
The award recognizes achievements in medicine at a level of national or international significance, and either contributions to the health of, or inspiration to, the Asian American community.
Rear Adm. Colin G. Chinn, director, Medical Resources Plans and Policy division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the 10th chief of the Navy’s Medical Corps, was selected for the honor by Chinese Hospital Medical staff for his body of work in Navy Medicine.
“Rear Adm. Chinn was selected because his achievements reflect a long dedication to service and his work has influence on an international scale,” said Dr. Mai-Sie Chan, chair of the Continuing Medical Education Committee, Chinese Hospital.
Chinn is a native of San Francisco, a fourth generation Chinese-American, and one of the highest ranking Asian-Americans in the U.S. Navy.
“This is a tremendous and unexpected honor to be selected for this award,” said Chinn. “If you look back at their previous recipients there are Nobel laureate, leaders in medical academia, world renowned researchers and me, a naval officer and physician.”
Chinn’s interest and passion for medicine developed early on after seeing an open heart surgery during a sixth-grade field trip to the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.
With an interest in helping and care for people, and coming from a family with a history of naval service, made selecting the Navy’s Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) an easy decision for the admiral.
“Through our proactive and reactive support and response during humanitarian assistance or natural disaster relief missions, Navy Medicine is America’s and the world’s 9-1-1 force,” said Chinn.
Chinn participated in the Navy’s Global Health engagement efforts in his roles supporting Marine Forces Pacific and with Operation Tomodachi, the joint U.S.-Japan military relief effort following the earthquake in Japan.
“The Chinese hospital helps to foster recognition and awareness towards solving unique medical problems faced by the underserved population of San Francisco,” said Chinn. “This very similar to what our Global Health engagement programs do around the world.”
Chinn will have the opportunity to discuss and showcase Navy Medicine’s worldwide efforts and role in the Maritime strategy, the capabilities in expeditionary care, research and development, humanitarian assistance/disaster response missions and why the U.S. Navy is a global force for good.
Chinn has served in various assignments throughout the Navy including positions at Naval Hospital Oakland; Naval Medical Center San Diego; Naval Hospital Corpus Christi, Texas; Naval Hospital Lemoore, Calf.; and, as the commanding officer of Naval Hospital, Oak Harbor, Wash. He also served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific and as the Navy surgeon general specialty leader for Fleet Marine Forces.
Chinn received his commission as an ensign in the Medical Service Corps in 1981. He attended the Medical College of Virginia through the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program and earned a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1985.
Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.
By Joshua Wick, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs