Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States
Commissioner Jose F. Poblete, MD, FACS, FICS, FACA, FICA
Dr. Jose F. Poblete was nominated by Gov. Roy L. Schneider following the resignation of former Health Commissioner Dr. Nathalie George. He retired from services following his stint as Health Commissioner.
Dr. Poblete, the eldest of seven children, was born in 1933 in the Philippines. His career path in medicine was a family affair, as his parents, the late Dr. and Mrs. Vincente Poblete, raised six physicians.
Dr. Poblete is a 1956 medical school graduate of the University of the Philippines. Shortly after graduation, he participated in the U.S. Exchange Visitors Program promulgated by then President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower, to pursue his surgical career. He took postgraduate surgical training at Sydenham New York City Hospital and surgical oncology training at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York City. In 1963, after a short stint as assistant to Dr. Charles McPeak’s surgical practice in New York City, he accepted a surgical staff position at Knud Hansen Memorial Hospital in St. Thomas. Later that year, at his request, he was transferred to the surgical staff of the Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital in St. Croix with private-practice privileges. He worked through the ranks with promotion to assistant chief of surgery and then as chief of surgery.
In 1982, the public hospital services in St. Croix were transferred to the newly built Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital, where Dr. Poblete continued his designated capacity as chief of surgery. Along with his private practice, he also served as Medical Director of Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corp., now Hovensa, for 25 years, and as chairman of the Virgin Islands Medical Board for 10 years.
Dr. Poblete has achieved many honors, citations, and commendations over the years in his surgical career and as a public servant. He obtained the designation of American Board Certified Surgeon and also as a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery after successfully passing the two-part examinations given by the surgical board. He was inducted as Fellow of the American Board of Surgery, Fellow of the International College of Surgeons, Fellow of the American College of Angiology, Fellow of the International College of Angiology and the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons. Additionally, he gained membership in several medical and surgical societies, including the American Medical Association and the Virgin Islands Medical Society.
Dr. Poblete was cited in Marquis “Who’s Who in America, and also in “Who’s Who in the Caribbean and West Indies,” the International Register of Profiles, North American Edition’ Community Service in American and the Biographical Sketch in America.
In 1993, he was chosen as Physician of the Year by the Virgin Islands Medical Society and the V.I. Medical Institute and concurrently commended with a resolution passed by the 19th Legislature for outstanding community service of 30 years to the local community.
In 1996, he was honored by the FILAM Society in America as among the top 20 Filipino-American career professionals of North America and Guam. Like the rest of the honorees, he also received personal commendation from President Bill Clinton during the celebration.
In 1999, he was honored as the top 100 outstanding graduates among those who graduate from Cavite High School during its first 100 years of existence. The institution’s Centennial celebration was held at the Malacanang Palace in Manila with a ceremony hosted by the President Gloria Macapagal Aroyo. Dr. Poblete was among those 100 honorees who received a chain with a medallion of commendation from the President Aroyo.
Dr. Poblete’s long career culminated with a three-year service as Commissioner of Health under the administration of Gov. Roy L. Schneider. After 36 years of surgical career and as a public servant, he and his wife Juanita retired in south Florida to join their three children, Rory, Marizelle, and Maribelle.