Categories: CRUISE NEWS

Viking Cruises Taps Retired Vice Admiral as Chief Health Officer

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Viking announced today that it has hired a Chief Health Officer, Dr. Raquel C. Bono.

A board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps, Dr. Bono most recently led Washington State’s medical and healthcare systems’ response to the global pandemic.

Viking Sky in Geirangerfjord, Norway

As Principal at RCB Consulting, she partnered with Viking earlier this year to help develop and define new protocol enhancements. As the line’s Chief Health Officer, Dr. Bono will be a key part in helping Viking restart its cruise operations.

“Dr. Bono brings valuable perspective informed by an extraordinary career that has included decorated military service, trauma surgery and health care administration. Additionally, her work as the head of Washington state’s COVID-19 health care response team makes her uniquely qualified to be our Chief Health Officer as we finalize plans for operating cruises safely,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.

He continued, “We are proud to officially welcome Dr. Bono to the Viking family, and we will soon be sharing more details about the Viking Health & Safety Program, which we believe is one of the most well-researched and comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plans in the travel industry.”

This announcement follows Viking’s recent news that it has become the first cruise line to install a full-scale COVID-19 testing laboratory at sea. The lab on Viking Star has enough capacity for daily testing of every crew member and guest.

Photo courtesy of Viking

In the coming months, Viking will complete the installation of these laboratories on all of its ocean ships, and will also have a network of land-side labs for its river ships.

About Dr. Raquel Bono

Commissioned in June 1979, Dr. Bono received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and M.D. from the School of Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She completed a surgical internship and residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and a Trauma and Critical Care fellowship at the Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine in Norfolk, Virginia.

Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono, M.D.

She saw duty in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and is the first female Navy medical officer to have achieved three-star rank.

As Chief Executive Officer and Director for the Defense Health Agency, Dr. Bono led a combat support agency and integrated a $50 billion worldwide health care enterprise for multiple branches of the military.

Among other certifications and accomplishments, Dr. Bono’s personal decorations include a Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legion of Merit medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

READ MORE: 9 Reasons Cruise Travel Will Rebound in 2021

Sarah Bretz

Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015. She’s been on eight cruises so far, and her favorite onboard activities include trying out the water slides, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, eating lots of food, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her over on her Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.

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