By Valerie A. Kremer, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
Navy Medicine’s top leadership discussed the future of Navy Medicine and warfighter support during the 2014 Navy Surgeon General’s Virtual Leadership Symposium at the Defense Health Headquarters Feb. 18.
Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general, Rear Adm. Forrest Faison, deputy surgeon general, and guest speaker, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, among other flag officers, addressed Navy Medicine key personnel over 40 video teleconferencing sites and more than 130 audio lines around the globe.
The annual symposium focused on Navy Medicine’s priorities and sailing directions, military health care changes, resource updates, hospital assessments, and an enlisted force update, among others.
During the symposium, Greenert highlighted his tenant of “Warfighting first,” national defense, preserving the sovereignty of our nation through maritime capability, and the importance of ethics and integrity of Sailors.
“Navy Medicine gets our Sailors ready, and, if they are injured, Navy Medicine turns them around as fast as feasible,” said Greenert. “Thank you all so much for what you do and what you are doing.”
Greenert noted the importance of having all Sailors understand the behavioral aspects expected of them, regardless of rank, ethical and otherwise, with integrity being the foundation of the Navy’s mission.
“We have evolved well with the times and with what we needed to do worldwide to get the job done,” said Greenert. “In the future, watch the money, watch the assignments, and things are going to be ok. I like the way we’re going.”
During the conference, Nathan echoed the importance of warfighter support and how Navy Medicine’s readiness priority supports the CNO’s tenant of “Warfighting first.”
“We’re not in the business to run hospitals, we run them because we require a reservoir of personnel to train, equip, and to be a reservoir of deployable personnel to support the warfighter,” said Nathan. “We also bring humanitarian engagement.”
Nathan noted the challenges ahead of the Navy Medicine enterprise and reminded leaders to remain steadfast and adaptable.
In addition to the Navy Surgeon General’s priorities of readiness and value, the importance of jointness, especially within the Defense Health Agency and across the Navy Medicine enterprise, was highlighted as the enterprise moves forward.
“We’re the world’s 911 force and we need to look at how we partner with the other services and with other federal agencies going forward,” said Faison. “In addition, we need to look at what we’re preserving, what we’ve built for the next conflict, and that will require us to think differently and think outside the box.”