Office of the Provost


C. Forrest Faison III, M.D.

Forrest Faison III, M.DC. Forrest Faison III, M.D., was appointed interim provost in April 2021. As the chief academic officer of the University, Dr. Faison oversees all academic affairs and manages the financial resources required to carry academic priorities forward.

A native of native of Norfolk, Virginia and Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Faison earned a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a doctorate in medicine and surgery from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He completed residency training in pediatrics at Naval Hospital San Diego and fellowship training in neurodevelopmental pediatrics at the University of Washington.

NEWS: NEOMED appoints Forrest Faison as provost

The retired vice admiral served as the 38th Surgeon General of the Navy until 2019. As Surgeon General [Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO)], he was responsible for the entire Navy and Marine Corps global healthcare system and all medical care to the Navy, Marine Corps, and eligible beneficiaries, leading a worldwide team of 67,000 caring for 2.6 million patients in 128 worldwide medical centers, hospitals, clinics, and two 1,000-bed hospital ships with an annual operating budget of $9.6 billion and a global medical research enterprise with annual research expenditures of $3 billion.

He also led a global medical education enterprise of over 140 graduate education programs training over 1,000 physicians and over 5,000 nurses, paraprofessionals, and medical technicians annually. He is an internationally recognized and published author and speaker on healthcare innovation and health information technologies, virtual care, emerging trends and the future of healthcare.

Faison was most recently the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation and Chief of Health Strategy (CMO) at Cleveland State University, a large internationally renowned public urban research university with an enrollment of 17,000 and the anchor public university for NE Ohio. Faison led the university’s pandemic response, achieving the lowest infection rate among all U.S. urban universities with no outbreaks or deaths. He was appointed to lead pandemic response coordination for all state public universities and colleges, the only such coordinated effort in the nation.

A trusted advisor to local, state, and Federal authorities, after leaving active service he continued to be frequently consulted by the Secretary of the Navy about Navy’s pandemic response. He led support efforts for the Ohio Federal Mass Vaccination Center, among the largest in the nation and hailed by Federal authorities as the model for emulation. For his leadership, he was awarded the Ohio Commendation Medal by the Governor.  He helped successfully negotiate a $565M partnership between the university, the State of Ohio, the Cleveland Clinic Health System, University Hospital Health System, MetroHealth hospitals, and Case Western Reserve University to develop new technologies, disease surveillance systems, treatments, and workforce development programs for future pandemic responses, a first for the state and nation.    His new “Pathway to Practice” program to prepare disadvantaged minority students for medical school is a recognized best practice to increase diversity in medicine.

Before his service as Navy Surgeon General, Faison also served as Deputy Surgeon General (Chief Operating Officer) and, before that, as Commander (CEO and CMO), Navy Medicine West and Naval Medical Center San Diego where he was responsible for medical care and support operations for U.S Navy and Marine forces and over 850,000 beneficiaries throughout the Pacific and Asia. He coordinated Navy’s medical support to the Government of Japan for the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami as well as relief efforts to the earthquake in Haiti. He also served as Deputy Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, for Current and Future Healthcare Operations; Commanding Officer (CEO), Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton; Commanding Officer, U.S. Expeditionary Medical Facility (OIF combat hospital); and Commander, U.S. Medical Task Force, Kuwait. In that role, Faison led a large multi-service task force and was responsible for all combat support and healthcare operations in Kuwait, Qatar, and Southern Iraq, including all medical logistics support throughout the middle east.  Faison’s other assignments include Director of DoD Telemedicine and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Navy Medicine healthcare system. He is a recognized expert on the use of telemedicine and data analytics to improve healthcare access and outcomes.

Faison serves on corporate, academic, and philanthropic boards for healthcare, health education, and community health. He also provides consulting services to several healthcare organizations. He is board certified and an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Distinguished Professor of Military Medicine at the Uniformed Services University. He has several publications on neurodevelopmental outcomes of premature infants as well as publications and book chapters on Wounded Warrior care, telemedicine and health informatics, virtual healthcare, and implementing value-based care.  He is a senior member of the American Association for Physician Leadership, guest lecturer at the Harvard Business School and a member of the teaching faculty for the Wake Forest Master’s in Healthcare Leadership program.   In addition to unit and campaign awards, Faison’s personal awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (three awards), Legion of Merit (six awards); Meritorious Service Medal (three awards); Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.  For an innovative partnership with San Diego county to improve chronic illness care services and coordination, he was awarded the California Medical Community’s Lighthouse Award for visionary leadership and healthcare innovation, a first for DoD.  The Government of Japan awarded him the Japanese Commendation Medal for his support of Japanese medical education and his leadership during the Fukushima response.

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A state-by-state list of the licensures fulfilled by NEOMED academic degrees.

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Interim Provost Faison addresses graduates at our 2022 Commencement.

Interim Provost Faison was the guest at our November 2022 installment of our VITALS Speaker Series, during which he discussed the care of veterans.

Office of the Provost