Positive Health and Wellness Division
Election 2018


Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, PhD, MD, retired from the Army in February of 2012, having served over 33 years. She has a unique perspective, having served over 3 years as the first Director of the U.S. Army’s novel Comprehensive Soldier Fitness initiative. Recently renamed Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, this strategy represents the model for universal implementation of physical and psychological health promotion within the Department of Defense. She previously served as the Assistant Surgeon General for Force Projection, responsible for the policies and procedures to prepare Soldiers and units for deployment, and commanded the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the evacuation hub for Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Europe from 2003-2005. During this assignment, she commissioned development of the Joint Patient Tracking Application which allowed accurate, real time tracking of patients from 33 countries and all US military and civilian services. She also pioneered use of the Nova Lung during critical care air transport. Dr Cornum has a unique perspective on military medicine and the importance of psychological as well as physical fitness; in 1991 she was shot down and captured by Iraqi forces during the last days of Desert Storm. She survived the wreck, a gunshot wound, two broken arms, and a week in captivity before being repatriated.

Doctor Cornum has written or co-authored one book, seven book chapters, and numerous scientific articles. She has sat on numerous committees and advisory boards, including the Secretary’s POW Advisory Committee for the VA, the External Advisory Board for the Millennium Cohort Study, and is a Professor of Military and Operational Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr Cornum is Board certified in Urology, a Fellow in both the American College of Surgeons and the Aerospace Medical Association, and is a member of the International Positive Psychlogy Association, and the American Society of Nutrition.


Statement of Purpose: 

Having demonstrated in the US Army that it is possible to improve psychological health in a large population, I am committed to increasing the overall physical and psychological health of the general population of the USA and the entire international community. This requires an emphasis on reaching the majority of the population with evidence based, positive training of cognitive skills. While most effective in young people, this is of course most effective NOT when they are not in some crisis, but while they are in their usual state of health and activity. Then will they internalize the skills, incorporate them into their daily lives, and then be better positioned to actually use these skills when they are faced with significant challenges. Since we in the IPPA know this is possible, it seems that it is a civic obligation to do what we can to disseminate these skills into our respective communities and cultures. I hope to be able to increase the rate of dissemination of positive psychology skills, and to increase the general understanding of the importance of this endeavor, if elected to this position.