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Viking hires Vice Adm. Raquel C. Bono as chief health officer

As principal at RCB Consulting, Dr, Bono partnered with Viking earlier this year to help develop and define new protocol enhancements
Viking hired a highly decorated veteran, Vice Adm. Raquel C. Bono, MD, as chief health officer.

A board-certified trauma surgeon and retired vice admiral of the US Navy Medical Corps, Bono most recently led Washington state’s medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As principal at RCB Consulting, she partnered with Viking earlier this year to help develop and define new protocol enhancements. Now, as chief health officer, Bono will be instrumental in Viking’s restart of operations, with a focus on public health.

'Dr. Bono brings valuable perspective informed by an extraordinary career that has included decorated military service, trauma surgery and health care administration. Additionally, her work as the head of Washington state’s COVID-19 health care response team makes her uniquely qualified to be our chief health officer as we finalize plans for operating cruises safely,' Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said.

More details on health protocols to come

Hagen added that Viking will soon share more details about its health and safety program, 'which we believe is one of the most well-researched and comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plans in the travel industry.' Recently the company completed the installation of a full-scale PCR laboratory on Viking Star. It intends to put the labs on all of its oceangoing ships and to build a strong network of shoreside laboratories for its river vessels.

'I look forward to continuing to create the safest environment possible for Viking’s guests and crew members, while also contributing to the collective public health efforts to address COVID-19,' Bono said.

Bono saw duty in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and is the first female Navy medical officer to have achieved three-star rank. As CEO and director for the Defense Health Agency, she led a joint, integrated combat support agency that enables all branches of the US military medical services to provide health care services to combatant commands in times of both peace and war.

Unprecedented $50bn military health care enterprise

Bono integrated an unprecedented $50bn worldwide health care enterprise for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, composed of 50 hospitals and 300 clinics that provide care to 9.5m military personnel. She oversaw the Department of Defense deployment of the electronic health record and facilitated the collaboration between the largest federated health systems of the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.

Her personal decorations include a Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.