RVU Hosts Military Appreciation Ceremony


RVU hosted its 8th Annual Military Appreciation Ceremony on Thursday, October 4th. The ceremony honored and celebrated the military servicepeople in the RVU community, including future military physicians and honored guests.

The evening began with the Posting of Colors, a traditional flag ceremony conducted by RVU Color Guard members Bryan Eldreth (OMS-II, Navy), Karen Norling (OMS-II, Navy), and Sarah Szybist (OMS-II, Army). After the guests were seated, Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO of RVU and retired Rear admiral, welcomed guests and recognized both 180237_083military personnel and community emergency responders in the audience. Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP dist., Dean of RVUCOM and veteran, spoke of the enormous impact military medicine and physicians have had on healthcare delivery services and honored those who care for our troops.

In support and recognition for prisoners of war and those missing in action, Anthony LaPorta, MD, FACS, Professor of Clinical Surgery and Course Director of the Military Track at RVU, narrated the Missing Man/POW Remembrance Ceremony. Members of the Color Guard approached a candlelit table which had been set with four place settings. Representing each branch of the military – Marines, Army, Air Force, and Navy, respectively – each student placed their hats upon the empty plates, symbolizing those who are no longer with us. Guests also learned about the significance of the other items on the table, such as the white tablecloth that symbolizes the purity of a soldier’s purpose and the single rose set as a reminder of the soldier’s sacrifice and the love of their family and loved ones.

Before the keynote address, Dr. Told introduced and honored each of the military dignitaries with a special RVU plaque. Keynote speaker Kit Lavell, Executive Vice President of Strategic Operations, Inc. (STOPS) and former Naval Aviator, gave a history of the founding of the company and how it has grown to be one of the greatest Hyper-Realistic™ training support organizations in the country. Training at the STOPS facility incorporates battlefield special effects, Re-Locatable Habitat Units (RHU), and a simulated Emergency Room and two simulated Operation Rooms. “[The scenarios] are so realistic,” said Mr. Lavell, “that you willingly suspend your disbelief”. By creating immersive training environments and simulations that go beyond military tactics, techniques and procedures, military physicians are better prepared for real world conditions. For 16 years, STOPS has provided training for RVU military students through the use of the Cut Suit®, and to over 800,000 servicepeople. 

Dr. LaPorta was then presented with the Order of Military Excellence by Dr. Adams for his commitment to RVU’s military students and innovation in healthcare education. The ceremony concluded with a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Garrett Smith, OMS-II. A cocktail reception followed with a musical performance by South Metro Fire Pipes and Drums.

The Southern Utah campus hosted it’s 2nd Annual Military Appreciation Ceremony on Friday, October 12th. Ginamarie Foglia, DO, MPH, FACP, Professor of Primary Care Medicine and Director of the Military Track at RVUCOM-SU, was the keynote speaker. Event highlights included a special presentation by Dr. Adams and Dr. LaPorta. The ceremony concluded with a Presentation of Coins followed by refreshments and a reception.

To see photos from the event, visit RVU’s Facebook page at https://bit.ly/2pHWiOI. You can see video footage from the event at https://bit.ly/2EsvFYi.

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