Dr. Connie Mariano

Dr. Connie Mariano was born in Sangley Point, Philippines, the eldest daughter of a career Navy enlisted serviceman and his wife, a dentist.  Her family moved to Hawaii when she was two years old and typical for a military family, moved frequently during her father’s Navy career.  Dr. Mariano has lived in Hawaii, California, Taiwan, and Washington, DC.

Dr. Mariano graduated as Valedictorian from Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, California, in 1973.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree with honors from Revelle College at the University of California at San Diego in 1977.  In 1981, Dr. Mariano received her Medical Degree from the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, the nation’s military medical school.  She was commissioned as lieutenant in the United States Navy upon graduation.

Dr. Mariano completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Naval Hospital in San Diego.  She served as General Medical Officer and Medical Department Division Head onboard the USS Prairie, a destroyer tender from 1982-1984.  While onboard her ship, Dr. Mariano completed a Western Pacific deployment.

Upon receiving board-certification in Internal Medicine, Dr. Mariano was assigned to the Naval Medical Clinic in Port Hueneme, California from 1986-1990 where she ran the Specialty Clinic and the clinic’s urgent care facility.  In 1990, Dr. Mariano returned to the Naval Hospital in San Diego to become the Division Head of General Internal Medicine.

In June 1992, Dr. Mariano became the first military woman in American history to be appointed White House Physician.  She was nominated by the Navy and selected by the White House for this honor.  In 1994, Dr. Mariano was named Director of the White House Medical Unit and chosen by President William Clinton to serve as his personal physician.  Dr. Mariano served nine years at the White House where she was physician to three sitting American Presidents.

Completing 24 years of active duty service, Dr. Mariano retired from the Navy in June 2001 with the rank of Rear Admiral.  She became the first Filipino American in history to become a Navy Admiral on July 1, 2000.

After leaving the White House, Dr. Mariano became a consultant in the Executive Health Program at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, from July 2001 to October 2005.  In November 2005, Dr. Mariano founded the Center for Executive Medicine, a medical concierge practice which provides presidential-quality medical care to CEOs and their families.  An expert in presidential health care including the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, Dr. Mariano is a frequent speaker on the topics of care to VIPs, presidential disability, travel medicine, and optimizing quality of care.  She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Story of How I Started Writing Stories

A box of Whitman chocolates was the first reward I’ve ever earned for creative writing.  A television station in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1962 had a contest for school age children in which poems honoring Mother’s Day were to be submitted.  As a second-grader at Nimitz Elementary School, I thought that a box of chocolates would be a wonderful surprise for my mother.  So, I wrote a poem on a white, letter-sized paper which I folded in half and decorated in crayon colors, with a simple flower on the cover.

I sent in the card with a six line verse.  Three weeks later, the week before Mother’s Day, the postman delivered a manila-colored package containing a half pound box of assorted chocolates.  The package was addressed to my mother. And inside was the make-shift card I had submitted for the contest.

The television station broadcasted the list of the contestant winners.  My name was announced on television.  It felt strange but wonderful to hear it for the first time that way.  My mother was pleased with her gift.  And I was hooked on writing.

Writing for me is like the Forrest Gump saying about ” a box of chocolates”. In my case, I never know what I’m going to write.