USAMMDA Officers Recognized for Professional Excellence
The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity recently announced that two of their medical officers, Army Lt. Col. Matos J. Pizarro and Army Lt. Col. Kara E. Schmid, have received the U.S. Army Medical Department's 9A Proficiency Designator, which recognizes "the highest level of professional achievement within each AMEDD Corps' specialty." Both officers are members of the Medical Service Corps, overseen by the AMEDD.
Since 2016, Schmid has served as project manager for USAMMDA's Neurotrauma and Psychological Health Project Management Office, utilizing a background in research psychology and neuroscience. Pizarro serves as NPH PMO deputy project manager, having been trained in the fields of biochemistry and neuroscience.
As the NPH PMO project manager, Schmid supervises the Laboratory Assay for Traumatic Brain Injury acquisition program, and she has been involved with this critical effort for more than a decade. In 2006, as deputy director of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Combat Casualty Care Research Program, she helped to establish the LATBI Integrated Product Team. During a five-year assignment at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Schmid served as technical product manager for TBI acquisition products, leading the LATBI IPT and supervising the acquisition strategy for the LATBI biomarkers effort.
In his role as deputy project manager of the NPH PMO, Pizarro helps to develop suitably mature materiel products for the treatment and diagnosis of NPH conditions, such as TBI, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidality. He frequently collaborates with biopharmaceutical industries and academic institutions for the development of medical vaccines, drugs, and treatment protocols to protect Soldiers from the debilitating consequences of TBI and PTSD.
Per the MSC Awards and Recognition webpage, "Officers selected for this honor are leaders in their specialty and have made significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in their particular field through extensive publication and active national professional organization membership. These professionals have worked hard and dedicated a significant amount of time to become a distinct asset to the AMEDD, both as an officer and an expert in their field. They are considered eminently qualified to chair a department, division, or service; have attained full professional status; and have obtained national prominence in their field."
Army Lt. Col. Tyra D. Fruge, USAMMDA deputy commander, offered praise and congratulations to both Schmid and Pizarro for their professional accomplishments.
"The 9A Proficiency Designator recognizes officers that have made noteworthy contributions to the advancement of knowledge in their particular field," said Fruge. "They worked very hard to earn this distinction and devoted a significant amount of time, which certainly adds a tremendous amount of value to the AMEDD, the USAMRMC, and USAMMDA. Congratulations on a job well done!"