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Duty at Department of Defense
S. Ward Casscells III, M.D., left, on leave from his duties at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, has begun serving as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. With him on the day of his confirmation hearing are Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Senator John Cornyn. In this position, Casscells is responsible for overall leadership of the Military Health System, serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for all Department of Defense (DoD) health policies and programs, and oversees all DoD health resources.
“It is an honor to be asked to care for our active, reserve and retired military and their families – especially now – when we have so many wounded and disabled, and have struggled to provide the best care,” Casscells said. During pre-confirmation testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, he promised he would bring a patient’s perspective to the job. Casscells is taking a leave of absence as vice president for biotechnology and the John Edward Tyson Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center and as associate director for cardiology research in the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital.
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