By Hospitalman Zachary M. Krawitz, Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi
I’m from San Antonio, Texas, and I graduated from East Central High School in 2013. Although I had an opportunity to attend college with my friends, I joined the Navy instead, but I didn’t do it on a whim.
Ever since I was six, I imagined wearing a Navy uniform. My dad was interested in naval history, and I sensed that I might gain his approval if I became a Sailor. Although I originally wanted to become a Navy SEAL, I realized that saving lives was more important to me.
After my 18th birthday, I enlisted, attended boot camp, Naval Hospital Corps School, and Field Medical Training Battalion (Field Med) at Camp Lejeune. My Field Med experience helped me develop a greater appreciation for my role as a Navy corpsman. As a result, I wanted to excel.
I am most proud of having already served as a key member on the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) Colorectal Cancer Screening team. We helped increase the Colorectal Cancer Screenings rate to 75.1 percent, moving the command up one metric category.
But, in November of 2015, I learned that my dad was suffering from a number of serious issues including high cholesterol, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and Stage 3 Lung Cancer. I realized then that he could have and should have taken better care of himself!
His condition motivated me to create ‘My Health Passport.’
I thought to myself, if I can come up with an innovative and convenient tool that patients can use, then they might become more invested in their health. With that in mind, I designed the passport small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, easily kept in a pocket or a purse.
It is a tangible tool that contains useful sections like medications and appointments, allergies, blood pressure readings, and other preventive medicine tracking information, as well as record keeping data to help with managing chronic diseases.
If patients are educated about their health, with the proper tools and motivation they can be more involved with their wellbeing, which is essential to patient care and prevention.
The Navy Medicine mission is to keep the Navy and Marine Corps and their families ready, healthy, and on the job, and my current job plays a significant role in seeing to it. Whether it is assisting a provider in treating our patients, assisting with procedures, refilling medications for our patients, or working as a team to help save a life, my job as a Navy corpsman is to serve those who serve or have served.
Overall, my experience with Navy Medicine has been life changing, and it has allowed me to gain so much experience with patient care, and is a great benefit for my future in the medical field, because one day I hope to become a Neurologist.
My name is Zachary Krawitz and I am Navy Medicine.