Hampton University
PHS Warriors Serving on the Front Lines of the Pandemic
05/04/2020 - #227

HAMPTON, Va. (May 4, 2020) – We are grateful to CDR Christopher Howard, Class of 1996, for providing this information on our Hampton University Public Health Service Warriors that are doing such a magnificent job fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.  God bless everyone engaged in the battle against an unseen enemy.  Stay strong, stay safe, and continue to be the pillar whom America is depending to win the battle.  

On behalf of the United States Public Health Service and its Principal Assistant Secretary for Health, RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams, Class of 1987 and RADM Aisha Mix, Class of 1995 and 1997, highlighted below are of our fellow Hamptonians who have recently served nationally on the front lines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in clinical and administrative roles. 
  • CAPT James LaVelle Dickens, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP, is a 1996 and 2000 graduate of Hampton University School of Nursing. He served during a 30-day deployment as a Medical Liaison Officer assigned to the Department of Defense at Lackland Air Force Base San Antonio, TX. He was assigned in support of the COVID-19 response efforts to assist the initial quarantined passengers (n=450) to the continental U.S. arriving from Wuhan, China, the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess cruise ships.  As the Medical Liaison Officer, CAPT Dickens’s responsibilities included ensuring wrap around services needed by the passengers were delivered by Lackland Air Force Base active duty and civilian personnel. These services included coordination of COVID19+ patient transportation to tertiary medical facilities, religious services, contracted food service, monitoring and addressing security concerns, coordinated all civilian support contract staff base access, ensured quarantined passengers concerns were addressed, and many other actions. 
  • CAPT Edward Poindexter, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC FANNP, is a 1994 and 2001 graduate of Hampton University School of Nursing . He served during a 30-day deployment as a Mid-Level Provider at the 250-bed TCF Field Medical Station in Detroit, Michigan, providing care to 15 COVID-19 positive patients as well as others with multiple chronic medical conditions.
  • CAPT Stacy Barley, MSN, MSHA, BSN, RN is a 1997 graduate of Hampton University School of Nursing. She served as a Medical Officer at JFK Airport in which 1000's of passengers arriving from international travel where screened for COVID-19.  As the Medical Officer screening passengers, CAPT Barley's critical clinical decisions aided in the increased safety of the US by ensuring screened passengers with definitive COVID-19 symptoms were not allowed to continue travel on public transportation prior to being testing.
  • CDR Christopher J. Howard, BSN, RN CMAB is a 1996 graduate of Hampton University School of Nursing. He is currently deployed to Commissioned Corps Headquarters. CDR Howard assisted in the standing up of the first CCHQ Command Call Center in the history of the Public Health Service. As a Rostering Management Officer, CDR Howard was instrumental in facilitating the deployment and support of 3,500 officers responding to COVID-19 patient care nationwide.
  • CDR Anthony Benjamin, MPH, RN is a 1999 graduate of Hampton University School of Nursing. He served a 30-day deployment in clinical and administrative leadership roles at Javits Center New York Medical Station. As the nightshift Chief Nursing Supervisor, CDR Benjamin managed approximately 60+ nursing personnel that provided high quality care to a total of 1000+ COVID positive patients, some with multiple complex comorbidities.  In addition, He also served as a nurse consultant for the Healthcare Evacuation Communication Call Center screening and facilitating patient admissions to relieve NYC hospitals as part of COVID-19 response.
  • CDR Kami Cooper, DNP, RN is a 2003 graduate of Hampton University School of Nursing.  She served as the Chief Nurse Officer for the Yakima, WA Field Medical Hospital. While on her 30-day deployment, CDR Cooper worked closely with our multi-disciplinary team to identify patient flow, staff safety plans, PPE plans, and available community resources. The state was adequately effective in decreasing their infection rates, and therefore the FMS was no longer needed. As a part of Command Staff, she worked with state and local health officials to identify unmet public health needs across the state with respect to long term care facilities and determined where and how support those needs based on officers’ skills and professional expertise. 
  • CDR Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, BSN, RN is a 1998 graduate of Hampton University School of Nursing. She served as the Case Management Team Lead during a 30-day deployment at Travis Air Force Base, CA, February 2020. Her team of 10 officers provided service to approximately 232 repatriates/evacuees from Wuhan, China and Diamond Princess ship.
  • LCDR Devin N. Thomas, DHSc, MPH, CHES is a 2007 graduate of Hampton University Psychology Department and Freddye T. Davy Honors College. LCDR Thomas served as the Deputy Logistics Officer for the 250-bed TCF Field Medical Station in Detroit, Michigan for COVID19 positive patients. In this role, she created standard operating procedures for the medical supply chain and ensured clinical staff had necessary personal protective equipment to safely interact with COVID19 positive patients. She also implemented procedures to improve process efficiency at the TFC facility to ensure continuity of care after USPHS demobilization.



©2021 Hampton University
Hampton, VA 23668 : 757.727.5000