Biographies
MSC Biographies

Captain Karla M. Lepore

Executive Officer, USNS Mercy

15 April 2021
Captain Karla M. Lepore
Captain Karla M. Lepore
Captain Karla M. Lepore
Captain Karla M. Lepore
Captain Karla M. Lepore Executive Officer, USNS Mercy
Photo By: USNS Mercy Public Affairs
VIRIN: 210415-N-IS698-0001
Capt. Karla Lepore is presently serving as the Executive Officer for the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

Capt. Lepore is originally from Sioux Center, IA, but considers herself a native of Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational Therapy. She went on to earn her Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University in 1998 and a Master’s of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from National University in 2016.

In 1998, she was commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade, Medical Service Corps, in the United States Navy. Capt. Lepore worked as a pediatric occupational therapist in Sasebo Japan from 1999 -2001. She transferred to the Naval Medical Center San Diego in 2001 where she served as the Division Officer for Occupational Therapy and worked as an outpatient orthopedic hand therapist. In 2005 she transferred back to Japan to work as the interim department head for the Navy Educational and Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) and was responsible for overseeing the programs of six geographically separated EDIS clinics providing school based and early intervention therapies for family members of active duty Sailors and Marines stationed in Mainland Japan.

Capt. Lepore returned to the Naval Medical Center, San Diego in 2008 and was appointed as the Assistant Department Head of the Rehabilitative Services. She led a staff of over 60 people in all areas of rehabilitative services including the Comprehensive Complex Casualty Care Center (C5), physical therapy, occupational therapy, vestibular therapy, gait lab, and cardiac rehabilitation. She continued to develop the Wounded Warrior care for amputees as well as developing the occupational therapy programs for traumatic brain injuries and concussion care. During this time in 2010 she was selected by Navy Medicine to deploy to Afghanistan as an Individual Augmentee to assist in the development of the Concussion Restoration Care Clinic at Camp Leatherneck in the Helmand Province.

In 2011 she transferred to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton where she served at the Assistant Department Head for Physical and Occupational therapy and in October 2012 she was selected to be the Specialty Leader (SL) for the Navy Occupational Therapy community. In April 2013 she was selected as the Director of Clinical Support Services (DCSS) for Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.

In July 2015 Capt. Lepore began serving as the Medical Service Corps Policy & Practice officer in the Office of the Navy Medical Service Corps Chief at the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) in Falls Church, Virginia. In March 2018 she deployed to serve as the Executive Officer for the NATO Role 3 military trauma hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan and in November 2018 she transferred to become the Officer in Charge for the Naval Base San Diego NMRTU. Capt. Lepore assumed her responsibilities as the Executive Officer for the USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) in April 2021.

Capt. Lepore is board-certified by the National Board of Occupational Therapists and by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission as a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT). She served as a review board member on the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) as well as on the accreditation appeals board for the American Occupational Therapy Association. She is currently licensed as an Occupational Therapist in the state of California, and holds Advanced Qualifying Designators (AQD) in Joint Professional Military Education (JPME-I), Executive Medicine, Upper Extremity Neuromuscular Evaluation, Fleet Marine Force Qualified Officer, and has a Faculty Instructor Appointment.

Capt. Lepore’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (4), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (1) and Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist.
 
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