WPHSA, KACH welcomes new commander

July 23rd, 2020 | News, News and Features
Brig. Gen. Paula C. Lodi (right), commanding general, Regional Health Command–Atlantic, passes the MEDDAC West Point flag to Col. Amy L. Jackson signifying the change of command from Col. Brett H. Venable to Jackson, during a Change of Command Ceremony July 10 at Trophy Point. Photo by John Pellino/USMA PAO

By Robert K. Lanier KACH
Public Affairs Officer

West Point’s picturesque Trophy Point registered another historic moment when Col. Amy L. Jackson, a physician assistant (PA), assumed command of the West Point Health Service Area, which includes Keller Army Community Hospital, during a July 10, socially-distanced ceremony that was live-streamed—and remains posted—on the Keller Facebook page.
Jackson is one of only a handful of Specialist Corps Officers to be selected for command, and the first female PA to assume command of an O-6 Level 1 military treatment facility.
“She is ground-breaking in the Army Medical Department,” said Brig. Gen. Paula C. Lodi, commanding general, Regional Health Command–Atlantic, during the change of command ceremony.
Prior to Keller, Jackson completed the U.S. Army War College fellowship at George Washington University with an emphasis on public health. She is currently a candidate for a Doctor of Medical Science for Physician Assistants, with a program concentration in Clinical Medicine, with the University of Lynchburg.
She arrives at West Point with her daughter, Kaitlyn, who is a rising eighth grader at the West Point Middle School.
She assumes command from Col. Brett H. Venable, who is headed to the Office of the (Army) Surgeon General, in Falls Church, Virginia.
“Col. Jackson joins us from the War College fellowship at George Washington University where she studied public health. In a COVID pandemic, I’m not sure how the stars aligned to get a public health fellow at West Point, but I would say we are on track to put the right leader in the right place at the right time,” Lodi said.
Her Army career began as an enlisted member in the U.S. Army Reserve between her junior and senior year of high school. During her five years of enlisted time in the Reserve, she served as a simultaneous membership program cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps programs of Fort Hays State University and Kansas State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Life Sciences from Kansas State University and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps.
Additionally, she earned a Bachelors and Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Her first assignment as an officer was with the 32nd Medical Logistics Battalion, 44th Medical Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where she served as the detachment commander for a Forward Logistical Element in Haiti.
Some of her assignments as a PA include Director for Medical Services, DiLorenzo TRICARE Health Clinic at the Pentagon, Commander of the 188th Medical Battalion and Deputy Commander for Administration of the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Clinic in Belgium.
Jackson has deployed twice as an Army PA: once to Iraq with the 2nd Battalion, 101st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and once to Afghanistan with 801st BSB, 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
“It is my incredible honor to serve the West Point community and the West Point Health Service Area,” Jackson said. “I am humbled to be at the helm of this great organization with such an extraordinary team and mission. I look forward to the journey and subsequent relationships forged with West Point partners to enhance the healthcare of cadets and Army families.”