Dr. Van Slyke, who will take the reins of the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society on April 30, 2022, was the subject of a recent quarterly Navy newsletter.
Leadership Spotlight: CAPT John A. Van Slyke, Regional Program Manager
Captain Andy Van Slyke is an active duty psychiatrist currently assigned as the Regional Senior Mental Health Executive, Naval Medical Forces Atlantic, Portsmouth, Virginia. Captain Van Slyke, a native of Springfield, Missouri, graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy in May 1994 earning a Bachelor of Science degree in General Science. In August of 1994, he commenced medical training at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine completing his degree in May of 1998. After finishing a categorical Psychiatry Internship at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) in June of 1998 he took orders to the USS Detroit (AOE-4) where he served as the Senior Medical Officer.
Captain Van Slyke resumed Psychiatry Residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in October of 2000, completing his postgraduate training in May of 2004. Upon completion of residency, he stayed onboard NMCP as teaching faculty and staff psychiatrist where he served as Head of the NMCP Psychiatric Intensive Outpatient Program and Outpatient Cognitive Intervention Program, as well as over-saw the Psychiatry Consult Liaison Service. He served as a Navy Medicine East Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team (SPRINT) member from 2004 to 2010, assuming the position of SPRINT Team Leader in 2008, and serving on numerous crisis and dis-aster response missions including Hurricane Ivan Relief to NAS Pensacola, FL in September of 2004.
Hurricane Katrina Relief to New Orleans, LA onboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) in September of 2005; and emergency response to the Virginia Tech Navy Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Unit, Blacksburg, VA April 2007 in the wake of the campus shootings. From June 2006 through February 2007, Captain Van Slyke served two extended TAD back-fills in support of the Global War on Terrorism as a staff psychiatrist in the Mental Health Departments at Naval Hospitals Camp Lejeune and Beaufort.
Returning to NMCP in March of 2007, Captain Van Slyke assumed the roles of Psychiatry Outpatient Division Head and Assistant Psychiatry Residency Program Director, serving as the Acting Program Director from October 2008 through June of 2009 and helping lead the program through a successful 2008 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Residency Review Committee Site visit earning a five year ACGME accreditation. In April 2010 he was selected to assume the role of NMCP Psychiatry Department Head, a position he held until February 2014 when he took over as the inaugural NMCP Mental Health Department Head in which he spearheaded the integration of all mental health services at NMCP, leading the largest and busiest Mental Health Department in the Navy of over 220 mental health providers, faculty, trainees, civilian staff and enlisted personnel. From September 2013 to September 2016, he also served as the Psychiatry Academic Chairman, overseeing three mental health training programs including the Psychiatry Residency, Psychology Internship, and Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Captain Van Slyke reported to Fleet Surgical Team Six in October 2016 deploying in 2017 with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG) onboard USS Bataan (LHD- 5) as the sole mental health provider for nearly 5,000 BATARG sailors and marines in support of operations in the 5th Fleet AOR. During nine months of at sea work-ups and deployment, he provided mental health care for service members across 15 afloat commands. Recognizing the challenges of caring for sailors and marines across multiple operational platforms, he established an innovative Tele-Psychiatry Clinic allowing him to provide specialty care for service members deployed across multiple operation-al commands during disaggregated underway operations.
As the COMSUBLANT Force Psychiatrist from September 2018 to July 2021, Captain Van Slyke served as Special Assistant to the Force Commander on all professional, technical, and administrative matters related to mental health readiness, while providing clinical oversight and quality assurance embedded mental health staff providing care and preventative outreach for nearly 12,000 sailors assigned to 68 submarine crews across three homeports, five squadrons, and Naval Submarine School. As the Submarine Forces Atlantic Executive Coaching Program Director and Board Certified Executive Coach, he ensured the provision of high quality executive coaching to Sub-marine Command Course Prospective XOs and COs and served as the SUBLANT lead to develop, publish, and implement the first SUBFOR Executive Coaching Program Instruction ensuring policy alignment across the Force for provision of expert coaching services to over 100 PCOs and PXOs annually. The instruction and program became the benchmark for Navy-wide Executive Coaching Programs.
Captain Van Slyke assumed his current duties as the Naval Medical Forces (NMFL) Atlantic Senior Mental Health Executive (SMHE) in July 2021. Located in Portsmouth, Virginia, NMFL serves as Navy Medicine’s health care system in the eastern hemi-sphere, providing medical care to approximately 1 million patients across eighteen NMRTCs and multiple NMRTUs throughout the eastern United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. As the NMFL SMHE, Captain Van Slyke serves as the Regional Subject Matter Expert regarding mental health related policy, operational readiness, programs, graduate medical education, research, and virtual mental health. He pro-vides consultation and collaboration serving as the clinical champion for all programs and initiatives addressing mental health delivery of care and wellness in the NMFL area of responsibility. Additionally, Captain Van Slyke serves as the NMFL Flag Reviewer for mental health related administrative separation recommendations; is the Regional Transgender Care Team lead for all issues pertaining to medical transition of Transgender Service Members; and supervises the NMFL Tele-Psychiatry program. Captain Van Slyke maintains credentials as a staff psychiatrist at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and is an NMCP Psychiatry Residency Faculty Member. He is a voting member of the Navy Psychological Health Advisory Board and a member of the Navy Psychiatry Executive Committee.
Captain Van Slyke is board certified in general psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Scholarly contributions include co -authorship of several publications in peer reviewed journals as well as numerous presentations at local, regional, and national conferences. In December 2014, he earned the American Psychiatric Association’s highest membership honor of Distinguished Fellow awarded to outstanding psychiatrists who have made significant contributions to the psychiatric profession in many areas of the field including clinical excellence, administration, teaching, scientific and scholarly publications, and involvement in mental health and medical activities of community and social significance. In 2016, he was awarded the NMCP Master Clinician Award. He is certified in adult psychoanalysis, completing subspecialty psychoanalytic fellowship training in July of 2015, and is a Fellow of the International Psychoanalytic Association and Member of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA). He is President Elect of the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society, an affiliate society of APsaA.
Captain Van Slyke’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal (3 awards) as well as multiple unit and campaign awards.