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First Woman Takes Rein of Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory
Released: 9/5/2018

Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory Public Affairs

​Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL) held a change of command ceremony topside of the world’s first nuclear submarine USS Nautilus (SSN-571) at the Submarine Force Library and Museum, Naval Submarine Base New London, Aug. 6.

During the ceremony, presided over by Rear Adm. Paul D. Pearigen, commander of Navy Medicine West, Capt. Kim Lefebvre, the first woman to take the reins of NSMRL, assumed command from Capt. Fred Yeo. During her speech to more than 80 staff, family, friends and guests she recognized the high standards set by Yeo, who will become officer in charge of Naval Undersea Medical Institute, aboard Naval Submarine Base New London.

“I'm honored to take command of Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory and look forward to maintaining the momentum created by Captain Yeo and continuing to move us forward," said Lefebvre. “I look forward to leading the team of outstanding researchers here at NSMRL and continuing to make a difference in the health and safety of the individuals that serve in the submarine forces.”

Before coming to NSMRL, Lefebvre commanded Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy from August 2016 to July 2018 and was executive officer at Naval Health Research Center in San Diego from May 2014 to June 2016.

By coming to Groton, Lefebvre’s returns to her original New England roots. She was commissioned in the Navy Medical Service Corps in Newport, Rhode Island, in the summer of 1991 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. She subsequently earned a Doctor of Pharmacy in 1999, and completed her American Society of Hospital Pharmacy accredited residency at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego in 1999. In 2000, she reported to Naval Hospital Roosevelt Roads as pharmacy department head and soon after became assistant director of clinical support services.

In 2003 she transferred to the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California to pursue a Master of Science degree in Operations Research concurrently with a Naval War College Command and Staff diploma, earned with distinction. She then transferred to the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia in 2005 as Chief, Depot/Direct Vendor Delivery Pharmaceuticals Branch in the directorate of medical materiel, and was hand selected to serve as the chief of staff for the command of more than 2,400 personnel.

In 2011 she took charge of the Navy’s third busiest pharmacy in Naval Hospital Jacksonville, and served as the regional Lean Six Sigma Program Director and regional pharmacy consultant at Navy Medicine West.

NSMRL has a proud history, starting in 1942 as a two-man Medical Research Section of the base dispensary at U.S. Submarine Base, New London, with the mission of providing “answers to problems in communications, vision, personnel selection, and environmental medicine which resulted from wartime demands on the submarine force.” Over NSMRL’s 76-year history its mission has evolved in support of the undersea warfighter.
Naval Medical Research and Development