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Hopkins Grammar School
The Class of 1965

 

 

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Tom Burkhard


Tom's Graduation Photo After graduating from Harvard College, Tom became a physician and specialized in radiology.

Tom writes (1/4/98): I have left Bethesda and am now the Commanding Officer of  Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. It is a 100 bed acute care hospital with 425 civilian and 1000 military personnel. We have branch Medical clinics extending up to Lake Tahoe and over to Yuma, Arizona.  We do about 650,000 outpatient visits per year.  Our patient population is 40,000 Marines and app 60,000 dependents/retirees.  We are trying to make Managed Care work under the Tricare Program. 

In the Spring, 1998 Views from the Hill, Tom Burkhard wrote:

1997 has been another adventure in moving. We packed up and left Be-thesda the first week of January. We had a challenging trip driving two cars (with two pets) across the country fighting ice storms in Louisiana and Texas. The Change of Command at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton took place January 24th and we were pleased to have so many old friends in attendance. I took over a former 600 bed hospital which now has a census of about 65 (managed care at work). There are 1,300 military and civilian employees at seven clinics which are spread over two states and 800 miles. One clinic is in the Arizona desert (Yuma Marine Corps Air Station) and another is 9,000 feet up in the Sierra Mountain range (Marine Cold Weather Training Center, Bridgeport, CA).

The diversity of Command (i.e., personnel problems) keeps me hopping along with Inspector General and JCAHO inspections coming early in I998. Upon arriving at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton we were assigned to Colonels’ housing, which meant four bedrooms crammed into 1,650 square feet of space. About the time all the boxes were unpacked a new Brigadier General decided not to live on base, so we were offered his General Officer’s quarters.

In May we packed up again and moved into a fifty-year-old, tile roofed, ranch style house situated on 3 acres of land with a view all the way to the San Jacinto mountains. I have enough room to drive golf balls next to the house. It is a virtual wildlife preserve with hawks, horned owls, roadrunners, quail, coyote, deer, bobcats, and even a mountain lion (which we fortunately have not seen yet). There are 23 endangered species living on the base. We really love living here. The Marines are a great group of people to work for and we have had the privilege of having dinner with Generals Shalikashvile, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Sue resumed her job as Laboratory School Super visor at Miramar Community College in August, a 42 mile each way commute. Without traffic it is a fifty-minute trip but has taken her up to 2 hours when it rains! So much for the laid-back California lifestyle. Jenifer is in her final year of a Master’s in Architecture at UCLA. Kate is in her junior year at San Diego State University. She declared Communications as her major but is now talking about looking into law school. Our orders at Camp Pendleton are supposed to last until January 2000. If there truly is a year 2000 computer problem, we may be here forever! That will leave plenty of time for all of you to pay us a visit.”

2004 NEWS

HGS '65 was honored to have Admiral Tom Burkhard honored as Distinguished Alumnus for 2004 at a celebration on campus May 7-8!

Click here to read the text of the address he delivered on that occasion.

Admiral Thomas Burkhardt

1/1/04
Admiral Burkhard is currently Commander of Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, the Navy’s largest medical center. A native of Trumbull, CT, Tom played soccer, basketball and baseball at Hopkins and served as sports editor of the Panagraph. Retired Hopkins history teacher Karl Crawford recalls Tom as a quiet leader even then. "He simply had commander quality about him," says Karl. Tom credits Hopkins as the place that made it possible for him to attend Harvard College and to earn the ROTC scholarship that sent him on his Naval career. "It certainly gave me the educational basis for everything I’ve done," he says. After graduating cum laude from Harvard in 1969, Tom was commissioned an Ensign in the Line Navy and was assigned to a coastal minesweeper, USS Whippoorwill MSC-207, home ported in Sasebo, Japan. He performed coastal patrols in South Vietnam aboard the Whippoorwill. At the end of hostilities, Tom was part of Operation Endsweep, which cleared mines from North Vietnamese waters, enabling U.S. prisoners of war to return home. In fact, he visited downtown Haiphong one week after the peace treaty was signed while attending negotiations about the minesweeping.

Tom went on to attend medical school at the University of Connecticut, from which he graduated in 1977. He then completed an internship and a diagnostic radiology residency at Naval Regional Medical Center in San Diego, where he was awarded the Outstanding Senior Resident Award. He selected his medical specialty, he says, because it requires a broad knowledge of medicine, from orthopedics to obstetrics to critical care, and allows one to participate in patient care throughout the medical center. Tom chose to make the military his career because he was able to combine "two of the most honorable professions"—the military and medicine. "Wearing the cloth of the nation as part of its defense and practicing the healing arts is a combination that can’t be beaten," he says. In addition, military medicine "allows one never to have to ask somebody how sick they can afford to be" since all the medical expenses for military patients are paid for by the government. Finally, military medicine allows him to practice all over the world, experiencing different cultures and "diseases that the average physician never dreamed of."

 

Tom Burkhard in front of Baldwin Hall

Tom at HGS in 2004

Since 1981 Tom has served in numerous positions for the Navy, most recently as Deputy Commander at Naval Medical Center in San Diego and National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland; Commander of Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton; and Fleet Medical Officer for Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe in London. At Portsmouth he is responsible for a 286-bed acute care tertiary medical center with 5,500 employees. In addition, Tom has received numerous military awards and is the coauthor of 15 radiology peer reviewed articles. He and his wife, Susan, a native of Litchfield, have two grown daughters.
This note is from News and Views, Winter 2006/2007 Tom Delaney and his wife visited recently with Tom and his wife, Sue, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Navy sure treats flag officers well. A picture of these old Navy guys should be in the class website.

Tom participated in our virtual 55th Reunion. He is now retired.

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