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Alumni Newsmakers

Delivering Care on Land and Sea

Rear Adm. Donald R. Gintzig

Courtesy United States Navy

Rear Adm. Donald R. Gintzig oversees the delivery of health care on fixed and floating facilities, on battlefields and under the sea. As deputy chief of Navy Medicine, he is responsible for the Navy's medical operations worldwide.

With a bachelor's and master's in business, as well as a fellowship in health care administration from GW, Mr. Gintzig, BBA '79, MBA '81, spent a lot of time at GW as a student. But his experience on campus began long before that.

"I grew up around GW," says Mr. Gintzig, whose father, Leon Gintzig, founded the university's health care administration master's program and was also a professor and associate dean. Mr. Gintzig's older brother and sister also attended GW.

"GW was clearly at the top of my list as a result of what I had experienced over my lifetime," Mr. Gintzig says. "GW offers one of the few educational environments that is both integrated and a part of one of the world's most influential cities."

He experienced that environment firsthand while working at GW Hospital as a student. He was working in the cashier's office when former U.S. President Ronald Reagan was brought in after being shot during the historic assassination attempt at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

Since that early experience working at a hospital, his career in health care has taken him all over the world. His many decorations include the Legion of Merit, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.

As deputy chief of medical operations, he helps shape bureau policy and coordinates medical support activities to Navy and Marine Corps operational forces. Mr. Gintzig is also leading the Navy's electronic medical records effort, one of the country's largest pushes to shift to a paperless patient medical record system.

Despite his father's role in health care administration at GW, Mr. Gintzig says he didn't know until after finishing his MBA that the field was right for him too.

"Really, health care offered the most reward for me."