Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu- “Donation and Transplantation – Everyone’s Opportunity, Everyone’s Responsibility”

Recorded On: 06/08/2018

During the 57th EBAA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu, delivered the keynote presentation,“Donation and Transplantation – Everyone’s Opportunity, Everyone’s Responsibility.” Learn more about Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu's experience with eye, tissue, and organ donation after both his wife and daughter were killed in separate automobile accidents, and what donation and the gifts of sight and life mean to him. 

Kenneth Moritsugu, MD, MPH, FACPM

Dr. Kenneth P. Moritsugu lost his wife, Donna Lee Jones Moritsugu, in an automobile crash in 1992, and his daughter Vikki Lianne in a separate automobile crash in 1996.  Both were organ and tissue donors.  He has been intimately involved with organ and tissue donation and transplantation ever since.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Regional Transplant Community; and in 2007, the International Organ Donation Congress named him the first International Ambassador for Organ and Tissue Donation.  He has spoken extensively both internationally and domestically on this subject. In January of 2016, he was instrumental in organizing a plenary panel of former Surgeons General of the United States for the mid-winter meeting of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), addressing “Transforming the Lnadscape of Organ Access and Transplantation: Surgeons General Perspectives.”  Most recently, he was a keynote speaker at the White House Summit on Organ Donation, in June 2016.  In January 2017, he was named an Honorary Member of ASTS.

Rear Admiral Kenneth Moritsugu was the Acting Surgeon General of the United States, in 2002 and again from July 2006 until his retirement from the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) in September 2007.  As Acting Surgeon General, he served as the nation’s top doctor, communicating the best available science and information to the American people to help protect, promote, and advance their health and safety.  In this position, he was the operational commander of the 6,500 Commissioned Corps health personnel of the USPHS.

As of October 1, 1998, he served as the Deputy Surgeon General of the United States.  A career officer in the Commissioned Corps of the USPHS for 37 years, Admiral Moritsugu held the title of Assistant Surgeon General since 1988, beginning with the tenure of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

He is currently the Principal at First Samurai Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in health consultations, “putting the patient at the center of what we do.”

Dr. Moritsugu was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.  After attending Chaminade College, he received his Baccalaureate Degree with Honors in Classical Languages from the University of Hawaii in 1967, a Medical Doctor degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in 1971, and a Master of Public Health in Health Administration and Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975.

Dr. Moritsugu is Board Certified in Preventive Medicine; holds Fellowships in the American College of Preventive Medicine, the Royal Society of Public Health, the Royal Society of Medicine, and the National Academy of Public Administration; and is a Certified Correctional Health Professional.

Over his public career, RADM Moritsugu served in many diverse assignments in uniform, including Staff Medical Officer at the USPHS Hospital Outpatient Department in San Francisco; Medical Officer on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney (Ocean Station Bravo); Director of the National Health Service Corps; and Assistant Bureau Director and the Medical Director of the U.S. Department of Justice's Federal Bureau of Prisons, in addition to Deputy Surgeon General.

Admiral Moritsugu has received numerous honors and awards, including the Surgeon General's Medallion with two gold stars, twelve honorary degrees, and Distinguished Service Medals from the USPHS, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Also an educator, Dr. Moritsugu is an Adjunct Professor of Global Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Dr. Moritsugu resides in Great Falls, VA with his wife, Lisa R. Kory.  He has two daughters, Erika Lizabeth Moritsugu, an attorney in Washington, DC; and Emily Renee Moritsugu.

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