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Retired Vice Admiral's work to promote diversity never stops | Mission SA

San Antonio native Raquel Bono has led a historic career. She’s a surgeon, Vice Admiral and her accomplishments are too many to name.

SAN ANTONIO — Navy Vice Admiral (Ret.) Raquel Bono, the former director of the Defense Health Agency, stopped by San Antonio to speak to medical students and the public. She spoke with KENS 5 about her life and her career.

Bono has spent more than 3 decades serving in the military and forwarding change in medicine. She's been an advocate for women and diversity through a number of leadership positions. KENS 5 asked her what she believed was her biggest accomplishment. 

"I'm most proud of my family and myself. I have always been very focused on being able to serve our country. I'm very proud from that standpoint, from my family's standpoint. My father has always been keen that each of us would be able to serve something larger than ourselves," she said.

Before she retired, she served as the head of the Defense Health Agency. Under her command, she helped consolidate military hospitals that are now managed by DHA. She addressed the concerns about the transition that's expected to be completed by 2020.

"I think there's always a concern with something that's unfamiliar, but I think for our patients, if I can talk about our patients first, I think what they'll start to see is more consistency in how they get their care," she said. "And then, our operational forces because so much of what the Defense Health Agency is doing to this day and moving forward is always in support of the readiness operational troops, what they'll see is more consistency."

Thursday, Bono visited UT Health San Antonio's Military Health Institute to meet medical students. She shared her experiences in the Navy and spent time with them to discuss their challenges. She then attended the institute's Distinguished Lecture to speak on topics related to the health system and leadership. 

In addition to her career, the vice admiral shared more about her visit to San Antonio. "It's wonderful. My parents live here. I grew up here. It's so familiar, yet as I drive around, I get to see all the changes that have happened here," she said. "At some point, I'm hoping to find a way here where I'm actually home for good."


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