A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Captain Shelley Perkins graduated from Whittier College with a BA in Chemistry and then attended Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. She completed internship in surgery at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda in 1994-95 and then flight surgery training in Pensacola, Florida. She then served as a flight surgeon with HMM 261 at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, in North Carolina from 1996-1998 where she served on a six month deployment aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and on multiple smaller exercises with the wing.
After completion of General Surgery Residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth from 1998 to 2002, she served as a staff general surgeon, Department Head of General Surgery, and Assistant Director of Surgical Services at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. She deployed to Iraq twice as a General Surgeon in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with both First and Second Medical Battalion in 2003 and 2006.
Stationed at Naval Hospital Okinawa from 2006 to 2012, Captain Perkins served as Department Head of General Surgery, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff and the Director of Surgical Services. She then completed a fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, MD, in 2013.
Joining the teaching faculty for the General Surgery Residency Program at Naval Medical Center San Diego in the summer of 2013, she deployed with First Medical Logistics Battalion to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 14.2 where she served as the Chief of Professional Services. Upon her return, she then served as the Director for Surgical Services leading over 900 personnel across 14 departments and managed an OPTAR of $36M.
Captain Perkins served as Executive Officer at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune from April 2017 to May 2019. She led a team of 2600 staff and was instrumental in standing up and directing the Navy’s first regional American College of Surgeons verified and North Carolina State designated Level III trauma center, caring for both military and civilian trauma patients.
Assuming command of Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in June 2019, Captain Perkins led 2400 staff caring for patients in 18 branch clinics across two states. As a readiness platform, she established a trauma program, transfer center, and active duty EMT-based interfacility transport team to achieve and hone en route care skills required for the battlefield. She planned, equipped, and staffed a triggered phase COVID response and recovery plan resulting in a six fold increase in inpatient capability and executed multiple base-wide patient movement exercises for optimal safety and communication with operational forces. Captain Perkins transitions to command Naval Medical Center Portsmouth this summer.
She is board certified in general surgery, fellowship trained in breast surgical oncology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and an Assistant Professor of the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences (USUHS). Her personal awards include a Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation medals, in addition to campaign medals, deployment and unit awards.