Reflections of an Immigrant

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Colonel Claude H. Chan retired from the United States Air Force June 1995 as the commander of the 30th Medical Group, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Colonel Chan was born in Guyana, South America, and graduated from Caribbean Union College, Maracas, Trinidad, West Indies, in 1946. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska in 1949. He graduated with an M.D. degree in 1953 from Loma Linda University Medical School, Loma Linda, California. He served his internship in the Loma Linda University Hospital from 1953 to 1954 and followed with a year of fellowship in internal medicine, before joining the United States Air Force. Colonel Chan began his military career in August 1955 as a first lieutenant at the 7330th USAF Hospital in Furstenfeldbruck, Germany, serving as the Chief, Internal Medicine until leaving the Air Force in 1957. He practiced medicine in the civilian community from 1957 to 1974. In 1958-1959 he served as a missionary doctor with a classmate at the Davis Memorial Hospital, Georgetown, Guyana. While in civilian practice, Colonel Chan developed an extensive medical background. He served as a Hospital Chief of Staff and on numerous committees of hospitals in California's San Fernando Valley. His specialty is in the area of Family Practice. In 1971, he became the Director, Emergency Medicine at Loma Linda University, White Memorial Medical Center, Los Angeles, California. While there, he was also an Assistant Professor of Family Practice, Loma Linda University Medical School. In August 1974, he reentered the Air Force and was assigned to Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, as the Chief, Clinic Service and Director, Continuing Medical Education. In December 1974, he graduated from the Primary Course in Aerospace Medicine and became the flight surgeon for the 2nd Air Evacuation Squadron at Rhein-Main. In 1978, Colonel Chan was reassigned to the USAF Hospital, Wiesbaden, Germany as Chief, Primary Care and Emergency Services and also as Coordinator, Continuing Medical Education. He also served as the Assistant Chief, Hospital Services and on several occasions as the interim commander. While stationed in Europe, Colonel Chan instituted the first accredited program for continuing medical education in United States Air Forces Europe. In July 1980, he was assigned as Commander, USAF Clinic Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Colonel Chan next became Deputy Commander, USAF Regional Hospital, March Air Force Base, California in July 1982. In August 1984, he was assigned as Commander, USAF Hospital Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. He was reassigned in October 1986 to the Headquarters Air Force Inspection and Safety Center, Norton Air Force Base, California, where he served as Health Services Management Inspection team chief. In August 1988, he assumed the position of Commander, 325th Medical Group, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. During his four years there, he was deployed to Desert Shield/Storm where he commanded the largest Air Transportable Hospital in the Gulf War--the 100-bed 325th Tactical Hospital in support of the largest tanker force ever in Air Force history and also in support of the Red Sea Fleet consisting of three battle groups with some fifty navy vessels. He was reassigned to Vandenberg in August 1992. Colonel Chan is a Charter Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice. He is also a Charter member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member of the American College of Physician Executives. As a Chief Flight Surgeon, Colonel Chan has logged over 1400 hours of flying time in a variety of aircraft including B-52, C-9, C-5, C130, C141, KC-10, KC-135, E-9, F-15, and HH-1. His decorations include the Legion of Merit with one oak-leaf cluster, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak-leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Outstanding Unit Award with valor device and seven oak-leaf clusters, the National Defense Medal with one device, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with two devices, the Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, the Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon with three devices, the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with four devices, the Armed Forces Reserve Ribbon with one device, the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and the Liberation of Kuwait Medal. Colonel Chan holds the permanent grade of Colonel, effective 7 Jun 1972. Now fully retired, he remains a devout and committed Christian involved in community and church activities. He is married to the former Carol Chin of Honolulu, Hawaii. They have five sons. Two are general dentists, one is an oral surgeon, another a periodontist, and the youngest is an optometrist. All the sons are married and have given Colonel and Mrs. Chan fifteen grandchildren; and one grand-daughter has given them a great-grand son.

English

A must read for anyone who cares about people.
--Stephen K. Blumberg, PhD
Professor Emeritus and former May

This easy-to-read narrative is inspiring, funny, and fast-paced.
--Mary Jane Najor, PhD
Hospital Administrator

Everyone should read Reflections of an Immigrant.
--Jim Brown, PhD
Graduate Professor
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