COL Robert Heath has over 30 years of service in the U.S. Army, including two years in the South Carolina Army National Guard, while attending the University of South Carolina.
He entered active duty as a special operations medic with the 75th Ranger Regiment, participating in the combat airborne assault of Panama during Operation Just Cause. COL Heath attended the U.S. Army Physician Assistant Program as a Staff Sergeant, graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and then commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Specialist Corps. He also holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska.
COL Heath is currently the Director, Military Health System Governance and Defense Health Agency (DHA) Liaison Officer for the Army at the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) in Falls Church, Virginia. He most recently served as the Battalion Commander of Public Health Activity- Fort Gordon.
COL Heath completed resident Senior Service College in 2015 as an Army War College Fellow at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the Defense Strategy Course, AMEDD Executive Skills and Basic Healthcare Administration Courses, Division Surgeon Course, and Joint Medical Planners Course.
COL Heath’s operational medical experience as a Physician Assistant includes assignments with the 101st Airborne Division, Joint Task Force – Bravo (Honduras), Ranger Training Brigade, and 173rd Airborne Brigade. He was additionally assigned as an Orthopaedic PA at Womack Army Medical Center. COL Heath served as the Deputy Surgeon for Clinical Operations and Senior PA for the 82nd Airborne Division and XVIII Airborne Corps and served as the Task Force Bragg III Command Surgeon and Corps Surgeon (Rear) to the Senior Commander Fort Bragg. He later served as the Officer in Charge of Roscoe Robinson Health Clinic at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; one of the Army’s largest multi-specialty outpatient clinics.
COL Heath is a recipient of the “A” Proficiency Designator, the highest recognition for professional excellence in the Army Medical Department, and the Order of Military Medical Merit. He has earned the Ranger tab, Combat Medic Badge (Second Award), Expert Field Medical Badge, Master Rated Parachutist Badge, and Air Assault Badge. Additionally, he has completed the JFK Special Warfare Center and School’s Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE), Army Flight Surgeon, and Navy Diving Medical Officer (DMO) courses. His individual awards include the Air Medal with “V” Device for Valor in addition to numerous Army, Joint and Foreign awards, Campaign and Service Medals.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by LTC Amelia Duran-Stanton, MAJ Patrick Walsh, and COL Robert Heath and was submitted to the Society in September 2017 and updated January 2018. Photographs are courtesy of COL Heath.
Disclaimer: The authors’ views do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.