The Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal honors PHSCC members who perform at an exceptional level, typically entailing significant advancements or contributions to a health program making a large impact on the nation’s health. The award may also be granted for individuals acts of heroism protecting life or property. It is the most prestigious award granted by the PHSCC.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) is the United States Public Health Service’s federal uniformed branch of service and falls under the aegis of the Department of Health and Human Services, led by the Surgeon General. The PHSCC traces its roots back to the establishment of the Marine Hospital Fund in 1798, which provided for the care of merchant sailors. Currently, the PHSCC is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. The PHSCC grants certain awards to its members to acknowledge meritorious service or accomplishments.
The medal features the PHSCC emblem encircled by an inscription reading “PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” The ribbon is maroon and is bisected by a vertical golden yellow stripe; it also features a thin white stripe and a thin dark blue stripe on each edge.