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Forrest  Faison

Forrest Faison

38th Surgeon General of the United States Navy


From humble beginnings in a blue collar town outside Cleveland, putting himself through college to become a minister, ultimately becoming a physician, Vice Admiral Forrest Faison rose to serve as the 38th Surgeon General of the United States Navy. Read More >

As the Navy and Marine Corps’ “top doc” and a close advisor to senior government, allied, and coalition leaders, he led the global Navy and Marine Corps health system, providing care to over 2.6 million service members and their families by a team of over 67,000 on every continent, every Navy ship and Marine unit.

He has held command at every level, including a combat hospital during Operation Iraqi Freedom. With significant experience in crisis response and management, he led Navy medical response to the Haiti earthquake, The Ebola crisis in western Africa, the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan, the Zika outbreak in central America and the southern United States, and the global SARS epidemic.

After his military service, he chose to return to his hometown and lead efforts to tackle health disparities for underserved urban minority communities in Ohio. A trusted advisor to local, state, and Federal officials on COVID response, he led the COVID response for all public universities in Ohio and support for the Northeast Ohio Federal Mass Vaccination Center, the largest in the country.

He is a published author and frequent speaker on leadership, global healthcare, Wounded Warrior care, and his experiences in crisis response from his military service. From his leadership experiences after military service, he is a frequent speaker on the future of healthcare, digital medicine and virtual care, the challenges of social disparities, urban health, and lessons from COVID for future pandemics. He is the current President and CEO of NextGenMed and a current board member and advisor to numerous national and international companies, health systems, and charities. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

First, Do No Harm

Speech Topics

From Classroom to Combat: A Life of Leadership Where & When it Counts

Key leadership lessons for leaders in a changing world from a 39 year worldwide military leadership career involving leadership in a combat theater, humanitarian assistance and disaster response to several natural disasters, ultimately leading the global multi-billion dollar Navy healthcare enterprise supporting our military forces worldwide during unprecedented changes in both healthcare delivery and world events.

The Only Constant is Change: Healthcare in the Future

Tectonic forces of change are shaping American healthcare in the future, including the impacts of the COVID pandemic on the healthcare industry, increasing reliance on medical data and information technologies, explosive growth in emerging medical technologies and advances, increasing social and health disparities, unsustainable cost growth, the challenges of implementing value-based care, and the impact of competition and convenience care as healthcare itself becomes a competitive commodity. How it all comes together to improve care is discussed. Faison also speaks specifically about any one of these topics individually for audiences that desire a deeper dive into any specific area.

Community Health & Why it Matters to Your Bottom Line

Healthy economies are built on healthy communities. It is no surprise that the top five healthiest U.S. cities are also the top five leading post-pandemic economic recovery, attracting the most investors, new business, and population growth. Faison discusses the causes, implications, and potential solutions to the increasing social and health disparities in healthcare and many American communities despite the Affordable Care Act as well as the impact to our nation and communities if not addressed. As a result, what leaders, elected officials, and communities do today is of paramount importance to achieving and sustaining healthy communities and, from that, healthy economies.

The COVID Response: What Did We Learn for the Next Time?

Pandemics have been with us since antiquity. COVID-19 will not be the last. Arguably, pandemics will become more frequent as global travel, climate change, migration patterns, and other factors increase the ease with which pandemics spread. Key lessons, findings, and opportunities from extensive pandemic response leadership responsibilities and experiences during COVID and other global epidemics/pandemics which are applicable to the next pandemic and preparing now are discussed, addressing key lessons and how leaders can prepare for the next one now.

In Harm’s Way: Leadership Lessons from a Combat Hospital

The United States had the highest combat survival in history during conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Service members who would have died in any previous conflict were routinely saved with their entire lives ahead of them. Leadership lessons from caring for those in harm’s way, both Wounded Warriors and medical staff, have significant applicability today outside the military for organizational leaders.