Navy Medicine’s Top 10 Blogs from 2018

Editor’s Note: Can you believe 2018 is almost over? We can’t either! Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from our blog this year.

     1. A Look Inside: Navy Medicine’s Texas Research Lab, Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio


In May 2009, the Navy consolidated several laboratory detachments into Naval Medical Research Unit San Antonio (NAMRU-SA), located on the San Antonio Military Medical Center campus, Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Today, NAMRU-SA supports Navy Medicine’s commitment to improving the survival and medical readiness of the warfighter with operationally related research and development for the treatment of traumatic injuries, as well as ensuring world-wide dental readiness.


2. The deadliest catch: A surgeon’s journey from fisheries to the U.S. Navy

Salmon catch off Alaska (Photo courtesy of Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Miller)


It had been a typical day aboard USS Bataan (LHD-5) when word rang out that casualties were inbound via MV-22.


3.  Global Health Engagement: A perspective on building & strengthening relationships

Officers and staff from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2 (NAMRU-2) accepted the Cambodian Royal Order of Monisaraphon for their assistance in capacity building related to three Cambodia hospitals, July 7, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Katherine Berland)


A growing focus within Navy Medicine is Global Health Engagement (GHE).  GHE activities are opportunities for our medical personnel to engage with partner nations to strengthen medical capacity, achieve interoperability, exchange information and build relationships.


4. In their own words: Sailors discuss what it means to be a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman

Corpsmen and Marines participate in Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) training, Nov. 9, 2017, at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan. TCCC is a three day annual course required for both corpsmen and some Marines depending on their unit. The TCCC course held by 3d Medical Battalion, 3d Marine Logistics Group, teaches students how to stabilize a casualty on the battlefield long enough in order for them to reach the next point of care. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isabella Ortega)


Provisions in an act of Congress created the Hospital Corps as an organized unit of the Medical Department, and established the Hospital Steward, Hospital Apprentice First Class, Hospital Apprentice, and the warrant rank of pharmacist. Under the act, the Secretary of the Navy appointed 25 senior apothecaries of the Navy as pharmacists – the charter members of the Hospital Corps.


5.  A surgical point of view: Global Health Engagement during Pacific Partnership 2018

NHA TRANG, Vietnam (May 21, 2018) – Cmdr. Katharina Pellegrin (right), currently assigned to USNS Mercy (T-AH-19), performs surgery on a patient’s hand with local Vietnamese surgeons in support of Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher A. Veloicaza)


USNS Mercy departed from San Diego in February of 2018 in support of the thirteenth Pacific Partnership mission.  More than 800 personnel traveled to Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Japan to strengthen relationships, enhance medical readiness, and advance theater security cooperation initiatives.


6. What does Navy Medicine readiness look like? Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Ashley Raynor

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Ashley Raynor sings the national anthem during a Veterans Day ceremony in 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/released)


When Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Ashley Raynor was headed home from work on Feb. 23, southbound on California’s Interstate 5 alongside the Pacific Ocean, the last thing she expected was to be one of the first people to arrive at the scene of an accident.


7.  Navy Medicine’s First Female Flight Surgeon Looks Back

Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland. (Aug. 16, 2003) — A P-3C Orion, assigned to The Liberty Bells of Patrol Squadron Sixty Six (VP-66) flanked by similar anti-submarine surveillance aircraft from Canada and the Netherlands participating in Keflavik Tactical Exchange 2003 (KEFTACEX 03). (U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Mark O’Donald. Released)


The following is an excerpt of an oral history with Capt. Jane McWilliams Hardman from May 2018.[i] In December 1973, then-Lts. McWilliams and Victoria Voge made history as the first female flight surgeons in the Navy. Hardman would go on to serve over 20 years in the Navy as a flight surgeon and aviation pathologist. Although retired in 1993, Hardman would briefly return to service after Sept. 11, 2001 serving as the laboratory director at Naval Hospital Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. In this lightly edited excerpt, Hardman relates her first experiences in the Navy, and becoming a flight surgeon.


8. I am Navy Medicine: Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Kelm

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Oct. 23, 2018) Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Kelm waits for her next physical therapy patient at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, where she works as a physical therapist, recalled to active duty status. Kelm volunteered all the way from Lomé, Togo, West Africa, where she is a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for the U.S. Peace Corps. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephane Belcher/Released)


A drive to serve others led me to the physical therapy (PT) field and Navy Medicine.  Physical therapists assess musculoskeletal disorders and injuries and recommend treatments to restore mobility and function.  I originally focused on work with the Department of Veterans Affairs following PT school, but learning about the direct accession program ultimately led me to active duty service.  The chance to serve with complex cases, outside of 9-5 hours, in a variety of settings, and around the world all hugely appealed to me.


9.  Called to Serve

YOKOSUKA, Japan (May 31, 2014) Capt. Mil Yi, Navy Region Japan Chaplain, baptizes the son of Lt. Cmdr. Maryann Stampfli and Lt. Nick Stampfli aboard USS Stethem (DDG 63). Conducting baptisms aboard Navy ships is a tradition that dates back several hundred years to its origins in the British Royal Navy, where baptisms were carried out in foreign ports or for infants born at sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign Rebecca Speer/Released)


Since November 28, 1775, the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps has been inspiring hope, strengthening spiritual well-being, building resilience, enhancing readiness, and providing solace for service members around the globe, in times of war and in peace.


10.  A Navy Nurse Remembers President George H.W. Bush

P30321-30A President Bush greets naval personnel during his visit to Bethesda Naval Hospital for his annual physical.
26 March 1992
Photo Credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum


Editor’s note: President George H.W. Bush’s passing on November 30, 2018, gives us a reason to a pause and look back at the life and legacy of a leader who served with honor, kindness, and integrity.  President Bush was a former naval aviator and combat veteran who never forgot his ties to the service.  For Capt. Joan Huber, a retired Navy nurse who served in the White House Medical Unit (WHMU) during the Reagan and Bush administrations, George H.W. Bush was a tireless and dedicated public servant who always had time for a kind gesture. In the following lightly edited excerpt of a 2014 oral history, Huber shares some of her recollections of the former president.