2022 Tillman Scholar

Bernard Toney Jr.

George Washington University

“I stand on the shoulders of the brave men and women that came before me, embody the spirit of a public health professional, and lift as I climb.”

Major Toney transitioned to the National Institutes of Health in May 2022 after serving at the White House Medical Unit (WHMU) for 3 ½ years. He is retiring after 21 years of service in the U.S. Army. He earned a Doctor of Medical Science degree at the University of Lynchburg in 2020 and returned in 2021 as an Adjunct Professor of Global Health. Major Toney earned a Master of Physician Assistant Studies in December 2013 and a Bachelor of Science in December 2012 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Currently, he is a Master of Public Health candidate at The George Washington University and recently completed a graduate certificate in Global Health at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in May 2022. His combat deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 2 and OEF 3 as the Special Operations Team-Alpha Team Sergeant and senior French Linguist for 3rd Battalion 3rd Special Forces Group, and OEF 4 as the Secretary of General Staff for 30th Medical Command.

Major Toney began his pursuit of public health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During his service in the WHMU, he conducted 84 domestic and five overseas missions in support of the President and Vice President. Consequently, he assessed hospital systems and witnessed the social determinants of health that lead to health disparities and inequalities in the United States and worldwide. His goal is to partner with cross-sectoral stakeholders to foster equity and impact the most disenfranchised populations on the margins of society.