Captain Christian Rathke, U.S. Public Health Service, MMSc, AP, PA-C
CAPT Christian Rathke MMSc, AP, PA-C was commissioned in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) in 2011 after seven years in the U.S. Navy. CAPT Rathke earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA and a Master of Medical Science with a concentration in Physician Assistant Studies from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT.
He began his medical career as a National Health Service Corps scholar with his first assignment being Site Director of a new Community Health Center in Fredonia, AZ. He was later elected President of the town’s Chamber of Commerce during that assignment. As the town’s only full time “Doc,” he treated all aspects of health for his patients and served as the primary consultant to the Mayor for Public Health concerns in the town. He then practiced medicine for five years at Pensacola Naval Hospital in Florida, specialized in cardiology. CAPT Rathke is also a Naval Aerospace Physiologist, Dive Medical Officer, and an accomplished educator training over 3,000 pilots and aircrew, the Blue Angels, and NASA Astronauts in all aspects of human performance in high-risk operational environments. As a subject matter expert in flight physiology and hypoxia, he served as an instructor for the U.S. Navy Flight Surgeon program and a collaborative researcher and instructor for the Army Air Warrior Program. Through the USPHS, he has been trained in public health crisis management and has been deployed with the US Public Health Service to respond to public health emergencies. As a USPHS Officer, his three assignments have all been with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) practicing occupational medicine serving NOAA’s 16 ships, nine aircraft, and over 400 divers. He currently serves NOAA’s 12,000 employees as the Director, Office of Health Services with five medical programs in his portfolio, including Aviation Medicine, Behavioral Health, Dive Medicine, Marine Medicine, and NOAA Corps Medical Affairs.
CAPT Rathke has received many awards, including the Department of Commerce Gold Medal, NOAA Corps Meritorious Service Medal, NOAA Administrator’s Award, PHS Outstanding Service Medal, PHS Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the Humanitarian Service Medal.