Local Branch Committee

COA highlighted the importance of Local Branches in its Strategic Plan 2015-2019.  Then-Chair of the COA Board of Directors CAPT Sara Newman wrote, "our branches are the key link to our membership and to local communities. Because the work of the Commissioned Corps impacts locally, we need strong branches to support, advocate and provide opportunities for our officers to better serve at that level. When branches are inactive and/or have low membership, this diminishes the capacity of COA to be effective.  We need strong, active branches that carry the message of COA and demonstrate the impact of our efforts."

The last of four goals in the Strategic Plan is to, "Strengthen the nationwide network of Local Branches."  Within that goal are three objectives: 

a. Provide guidance for branch structure and operations

b. Provide Branches with guidance and information to effectively implement and advance National COA goals

c. Ensure Branches are active and viable


Committee Meetings

Fourth Monday of each month at 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST.  Call 641-715-3200 and passcode 697300#.  The webinar link is https://webinar.cms.hhs.gov/karencms/


Committee Leadership

CAPT Karen Munoz, RN, BSN, MS (Bio) - Chair

CDR Kelly Valente, PharmD (Bio) - Vice-Chair 

CAPT David Lau - Senior Advisor

LCDR Jill Gelviro - Executive Secretariat  (Aurora Borealis Branch)

LCDR Tristian Strait - Data Manager (Heart of America Branch)


Local Branch Leaders Workshop

Hosted during the annual USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium, the Local Branch Leaders Workshop is an orientation for COA Local Branch leadership to learn about best practices for Branch operations with respect to educational programs, community service programs, mentoring programs, officer readiness programs and  networking activities.  Register for the session when you register to attend the USPHS Symposium. 


Committee Expectations of Local Branches


Major Initiatives

  1. Teleconferences for Branch Leadership
  2. Annual Local Branch Leaders Workshop
  3. COA Website resource page for Branch Leadership
  4. Mentoring program for Branch Leadership
  5. Support for Awards Program for COA Branches
  6. Support the US Surgeon General's initiative through implementation at local COA level


Local Branch of the Year Awards

The COA Board of Directors recognizes exceptional accomplishments of a COA Branch at each annual Meeting of the Assembly. Any Branch not recognized at the most recent meeting is eligible for consideration. The Board may elect not to make an award in any given year. Visit the Local Branch of the Year page for more information.