In the present day, U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers (HHS) launched the next assertion saying america Public Well being Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps’ first official mascot – Lt. Cmdr. Abigail, a educated facility canine who will present therapeutic care to sufferers and Public Well being Service officers.

Lt. Cmdr. Abigail was named after the previous First Woman of america, Abigail Adams, who has a historic connection to the service. The origin and historical past of the USPHS Commissioned Corps hint again to July 16, 1798, when Congress handed an Act, signed by President John Adams, creating the US Marine Hospital Service to guard towards the unfold of illness from sailors getting back from abroad ports and thus started the story of the Public Well being Service.

The idea of the service mascot originated in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Public Well being Service officers deployed to answer the biggest public well being emergency in trendy occasions. The mascot is meant to enhance psychological well-being, improve camaraderie, and help with public well being messaging. When first appointed, the mascot receives an honorary rank within the USPHS Commissioned Corps equal to that of the first handler. This honorary rank won’t embody any wage or retirement advantages.

Lt. Cmdr. Abigail, a Labrador Retriever, is a Warrior Canine Connection canine, who obtained particular coaching to function a facility canine. Lt. Cmdr. Abigail will function a dwelling image of the USPHS Commissioned Corps’ dedication to the larger public and defending the nation’s well being.

“The mascot is a really welcome useful resource for Public Well being Service officers and the communities we serve. As we proceed to see a rise in psychological well being struggles throughout the nation, I hope Lt. Cmdr. Abigail will function a beacon of positivity as she performs her duties.” U.S. Well being and Human Providers Assistant Secretary for Well being, Adm. Rachel Levine

“We’re thrilled to announce that the USPHS Commissioned Corps will now have its personal mascot to help our officers and the communities they serve. Public Well being Service officers work each day to guard the well being and well-being of our communities, and we’re grateful to now have a furry good friend who generally is a supply of happiness and pleasure for them. Lt. Cmdr. Abigail will function a welcome member of the USPHS household.” U.S. Surgeon Basic, Vice Adm. Vivek Murthy

“A mascot serves as a logo of unity and hope for the long run. It’s a rallying level for each our service, and for the communities we serve. We all know animals have psychological and bodily advantages, and our mascot symbolizes our dedication to serving each wants for our communities.” Deputy U.S. Surgeon Basic, Rear Adm. Denise Hinton

“Having Lt. Cmdr. Abigail as our mascot offers the USPHS Commissioned Corps extra alternatives to attach with sufferers and their households in a compassionate means to enhance psychological, bodily, and emotional well-being. We’re proud to have Lt. Cmdr. Abigail serve and deploy with Public Well being Service officers as considered one of America’s Well being Responders to advertise well being and security in our nation.” Director of Commissioned Corps Headquarters, Rear Adm. Richard Schobitz.

The USPHS Commissioned Corps mascot program is made attainable by a memorandum of understanding between the USPHS Commissioned Corps and the PHS Commissioned Officers Basis. The mascot will likely be used for ceremonial functions and accompany our officers as they work to guard the nation’s well being.

The USPHS Commissioned Corps is likely one of the eight uniformed providers and is the one uniformed service devoted to defending the nation’s public well being. Public Well being Service officers serve all through the federal authorities to supply important healthcare providers to underserved and susceptible populations; reply to public well being emergencies or international emergencies; lead public well being applications and coverage growth, and advance innovation science.

For extra info on the USPHS Commissioned Corps and the service mascot, please go to: www.usphs.gov

Concerning the Public Well being Service (PHS) Commissioned Officers Basis

The PHS Commissioned Officers Basis for the Development of Public Well being was established in June 2000 as a not-for-profit group to serve the training and analysis wants of the Commissioned Officers Affiliation of the USPHS.