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Recruiter Journal
Col. (Dr.) Daniel Donovan, neurosurgeon, 1984th U.S. Army Hospital Pacific, center, stands with recruiters Staff Sgt.  Kelly McWhirter, left, and Sgt. 1st Class Scott Hollenbeck, center leader, Honolulu Medical Recruiting Center, 6th Medical Recruiting Battalion, Medical Recruiting Brigade, after he commissioned as a colonel in the Army Reserve on Feb. 17.  (Photo courtesy of Col. (Dr.) Daniel Donovan) .
MRB commissions first neurosurgeon this year

Medical Recruiting Brigade
April 10, 2017

FORT KNOX, Ky. - The Medical Recruiting Brigade commissioned its first neurosurgeon this year during a ceremony at The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, Feb. 17.

Dr. Daniel Donovan, who commissioned as a colonel in the Army Reserve, is just the sixth neurosurgeon to join the Army ranks since 2008.

"I can speak first-hand about the life-saving capability our Army neurosurgeons bring to combat from my time serving at a combat support hospital with the one of the first neurosurgery teams to arrive in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 - they bring an absolutely amazing, world-class capability to the battlefield," said Col. Heather Kness, MRB commander.

Donovan is no stranger to the military, as he previously served on active duty and left in 2005 after 14 years of service. In fact, Donovan began his medical career with the U.S. Army, having attended the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, using the U.S. Army medical scholarship, the Health Professions Scholarship Program.

In his fourth year of medical school, Donovan worked with the neurosurgery residents in training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and was offered a position in the residency program. He completed training in 1998 and then spent time working at both the William Beaumont Army Medical Center on Fort Bliss, Texas, and Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

While working at Tripler in 2003, Donovan was deployed to Kuwait where he was assigned to a combat support hospital.

"I missed the camaraderie of the military medical teams," Donovan said. "I missed being part of something bigger. I enjoyed serving at the combat support hospital. That is medicine cut to the bone."

Donovan has lived in Honolulu for 18 years, and because he calls it home, he said he didn't want to leave. He wanted to return to the military, so the Army Reserve was a perfect option for him to stay in Hawaii and still have the opportunity to serve.

Donovan now is assigned to the 1984th Army Medical Hospital, Pacific, and he is able to continue his civilian work as a member of a private neurosurgery practice group in Honolulu and as a partner in a non-profit organization that provides medical care to patients in Mongolia.

"Dr. Donovan will undoubtedly be an essential part of the Army Medicine Team, and I'm proud of my Hawaii-based recruiters - Staff Sgt. Kelly McWhirter and Sgt. 1st Class Scott Hollenbeck - for helping him fulfill his dream to come back to the Army," Kness said. "I hope Dr. Donovan's commitment to returning to military service inspires other healthcare professionals to serve in the Army in support of our nation."


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