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In Memoriam: Lieutenant Ruth Cortes


Ruth Yesenia Cortes was born 19 October 1979 in Hawaiian Gardens. Later she would earn a Bachelor's of Science in Biology from San Diego State University in 2002. Soon after she began her military career in the Air Force Reserves at March ARB in Riverside, California. She served there as an x-ray technician from 2003-2009. Following that she went on to earn a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies and a Master’s in Public Health from Touro University California in 2012. She transferred to the Navy, being awarded an HPSP scholarship.

 

As a Navy Physician Assistant she served at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) Forward Surgical Team (FST) Role II in Afghanistan, Naval Hospital Guam, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and aboard the USS George Washington, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier aboard which she earned her Surface Warfare Medical Department (SWMDO) designation. LT Cortes was then selected for the highly competitive Orthopedic PA Fellowship at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, starting in June 2019.

 

Her awards include Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. Throughout all her duty locations she was described as an outstanding clinician, energetic, and a compassionate medical provider. LT Cortes was a highly motivated Naval officer who welcomed challenges and believed it was an honor to work with this unique population of self-sacrificing men and women who deserve the best health care our country has to offer.

 

It is said that she had a passion for helping others, especially through medicine. She had a diversity of other talents and interests as well. She was an artist, an avid traveler, and a strong runner, having completed multiple marathons, 5Ks and 10Ks. She was also known for her quick wit, humor, her love of life, and her selfless spirit.

 

LT Cortes was tragically killed on 30 October 2019 when authorities say her ex-boyfriend, an attorney in Santa Monica, shot her and then turned the gun on himself.

 


 

 

Sources:
https://patch.com/california/newportbeach/navy-lt-remembered-friends-family-after-fatal-shooting
https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/santa-ana-ca/ruth-cortes-8917787

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