CXO FELLOWS: Joseph Ronzio

The CXO Fellows Program regularly features members of the class of 2015-2016. This is a part of that series.

Name: Joseph Ronzio
Title: Special Assistant to the Chief Health Technology Officer
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs

Education info: (school/degree): A. T. Still University / Doctor of Health Sciences, Norwich University / MBA, Norwich University /  Justice Studies and Sociology BA

What’s the best part of your job (other than the people you work with)? On a day to day basis I get to work with equipment that no one has worked with in industry.  In addition I get to find alternate applications for existing equipment.  These tasks and skills are both challenging and stimulating as we work to improve healthcare for all.  I often see direct and personal impact on individual lives and hope to prevent medical harm that has occurred to my family in the past.

What one thing would you like most to achieve next? Bucket list, to-do? I’ve worked hard to never need a bucket list but work to achieve everything as I find out about the opportunity or get a desire.  Because of this I’ve had the great opportunity to skydive and scuba dive in some of the best places in the United States and other countries with some of the most interesting people.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? This is funny because while I went home over the holidays my Great Uncle showed me a note I wrote and signed while I was 5 years old stating that I wanted to work in science.  He gave it to me as a sign of completion since I am doing exactly what I stated when I was younger that I would do, I have a lot more impact in my current role than I ever dreamed I would.  I was only aiming to do research for the sake of knowledge not direct application to improve healthcare and medical practice.

Who was your most-valued mentor? Over my career I’ve had many great mentors but one who has gone tremendously above and beyond is Lewis Oatman.  He is a former Air Force Officer who I met shortly after I commissioned as an Air Force Officer myself.  Over the past ten years he has always been there to talk about ideas and has had similar goals to improve medical practice.

What accomplishment from the past five years are you most proud of? I’ve served in the U. S. Air Force for over a decade (2005 to 2008 Active Duty, 2008 to present as a reservist) and while I’ve supported several aeromedical evacuation missions in that time, the past summer I was deployed to the combat theater.  During this time I supported over 100 missions which transported over 300 wounded warriors to higher levels of needed medical care.  It emphasizes the importance of what I do for the VA and how important the training is I receive as an Air Force reservist to actually be able to be effective in both my careers.

Learn more about the CXO Fellows Program.