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Vice Admiral (Retired) Raquel “Rocky” C. Bono

Senior Advisor, National Security & Healthcare

Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono, MD, MBA, FACS is a Senior Advisor to Red Cell’s National Security and Healthcare Practices. Admiral Bono has dedicated almost three decades of distinguished service as a highly regarded Naval Officer. She holds the distinction of being the first female surgeon in the military to achieve the rank of Vice Admiral. Most recently, Bono served as the Chief Health Officer for Viking Cruises, where she implemented a pioneering model for establishing a C-suite office to safely restart the cruise and travel industry while prioritizing public health. Previously, she was appointed by the governor as the Director of Washington State COVID-19 Health System Response Management. Bono also holds positions as a Senior Fellow with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and a Visiting Scholar of the University of Texas Value Institute. In her role as the former CEO and director of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), she led a joint combat support agency that enabled the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to deliver healthcare to combatant commands. Bono oversaw a global healthcare enterprise worth $50 billion, consisting of 50 hospitals and 300 clinics, serving 9.5 million military beneficiaries. She played a pivotal role in the Department of Defense’s deployment of the electronic health record (EHR) system and the development of the largest federated health system with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As a board-certified trauma surgeon, Dr. Bono serves as an inspiration and role model, particularly for female surgeons both within the military and across the country.

Dr. Bono received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin; her Master of Business Administration from Washington State University, Spokane; and her medical degree from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Lubbock. She completed her surgical internship and residency at the Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA and performed a trauma and critical care fellowship at the Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine, Norfolk.

Dr. Bono’s leadership positions in the DoD include: CEO/director, DHA (2015-2019); CEO/director, National Capital Region Medical Directorate (2013-2015); acting commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), National Capital Region (2013); functional champion, MHS GENESIS, the VA and DoD EHR (2014-2015); command surgeon, U.S. Pacific Command (2011-2013); chief of staff, TRICARE, DoD (2008-2010); commanding officer (CEO), Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, FL (2005-2008); executive assistant to the 35th Navy Surgeon General, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (2004-2005); director, medical-surgical services, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD (2003-2004); planning officer for the chief of the medical corps, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (2001-2002); director, restorative care, National Naval Medical Center (1999-2001); surgeon/surgeon intensivist, Naval Medical Center and Sentara Norfolk General Burn Trauma Unit (1991-1999); and head of casualty receiving, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1990-1991). Her honors include: American College of Surgeons Mary Edwards Walker Inspiring Women in Surgery Award (2019); Federal IT Women in Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award (2019); Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executive Leaders (2019); 50 Most Influential Healthcare Physician Executives and Leaders (2018) and 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare (2018); an Executive Mosaic Washington Top 100 Executives (2017, 2018, 2019); the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Most Influential Women in Health Information Technology (2018), and the 2022 World War 11 Dole Leadership Award.

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