August 4, 2022

LTC (Ret) Christopher Colombo, MD Named 2021 Researcher of the Year

Researcher of the Year


TACOMA, Wash. – Critical care military physician and telemedicine researcher LTC (Ret.) Christopher Colombo, MD, FACP, FCCM was selected by The Geneva Foundation’s (Geneva) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) as the 2021 Researcher of the Year in recognition of his impactful solutions to emerging threats and emergency response efforts.

“The Researcher of the Year award is given to an outstanding researcher who exemplifies Geneva’s mission of advancing military medicine through research, development, and education,” said SAB Chair Kent Kester, MD, COL (Ret.) US Army. “The impact of Dr. Colombo’s research accomplishments are highly relevant and timely as the utilization of telemedicine has grown rapidly in recent years.” He added, “We are pleased to recognize his forward-thinking research.”

Dr. Colombo recently retired from service as the Chief, Department of Virtual Health and Telecritical Care at Madigan Army Medical Center (Madigan) on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where he has collaborated on the expansion of the Department of Defense’s Joint Telecritical Care Network. He also leads Geneva-managed projects including the development of a National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network (NETCCN) which has supported 35+ hospitals during the pandemic.

Dr. Colombo collaborates with several large consortiums and currently serves as principal investigator of four Geneva-managed awards. “Dr. Colombo’s commitment to excellence is demonstrated through his innovative research endeavors and passion for mentoring and teaching the next generation of military medical researchers,” said Geneva President and CEO Elise Huszar. “His dedication to his research and unwavering support of military medicine has positioned him as one of Geneva’s stand-out researchers.”

Dr. Colombo’s research team has developed a comprehensive and flexible NETCCN framework with a near-patient, local, regional, and national telecritical care infrastructure to provide urgently needed assistance during natural disasters, mass casualty events, and other medical emergencies. This Geneva-managed project, totaling $15 million, was funded by the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC).

Dr. Colombo continually advocates to Command and hospital leadership to generate further support for telemedicine implementation. His leadership and ingenuity were critical in developing simulations for Prolonged Field Care, setting the stage for the testing and development of the current NETCCN application. His persistent championing of telemedicine led to the establishment of the Department of Virtual Critical Care at Madigan. This telemedicine infrastructure positioned Dr. Colombo and his research team to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming one of the initial awardees leading the deployment of NETCCN.

“Having held leadership positions in multiple different critical care units, including step down units in small and large medical centers, multi-disciplinary critical care facilities in small medical centers, and deployed hospitals in theaters of war, Dr. Colombo understands the real-world challenges of providing top notch care to military service members and the level of coordination and integration necessary to do so,” added Dr. Kester.

Dr. Colombo mentors residents and junior faculty in research; several of his mentees have had abstracts accepted to regional, national, and international meetings or have published manuscripts. In 2021, he was awarded the BG George J. Brown Mentor’s Cube Award and regularly lectures at Madigan while also serving as Associate Professor at the Uniformed Services University. He and his co-creator have also recently been published in BMC Medical Education for their innovative curriculum to facilitate monthly discussions about physician resiliency and well-being in Madigan’s Internal Medicine Residency program.

Geneva is honored to recognize Dr. Colombo as the 2021 Researcher of the Year.


About The Geneva Foundation

The Geneva Foundation (Geneva) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that advances military medicine through innovative scientific research, exceptional program management, and a dedication to U.S. service members and the communities they serve. Geneva is proud to have 29 years of experience in delivering full-spectrum scientific, technical, and program management expertise in the areas of federal grants, federal contracts, industry-sponsored clinical trials, and educational services.


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