Navy Medicine is a global health care network of more than 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Our personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield. The following blog highlights just a few of this year’s accomplishments.
1.) Navy Medicine’s Ebola Response: The ongoing and unprecedented Ebola outbreak has sadly affected and challenged public health and health care systems across the globe. Navy Medicine has extensive experience preparing for and responding to past infectious disease threats, such as pandemic H1N1 influenza; however the current Ebola outbreak poses a new threat, previously not seen on this scale. The Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) responded to the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease with a special crisis team dedicated to protecting our personnel and stopping the outbreak. Led by Cmdr. (Dr.) Eric Deussing, director, Emergency Preparedness, Public Health Emergency Officer, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Medicine’s Ebola Crisis Action Team (CAT) and oversee day-to-day Navy Medicine Ebola response operations.
2.) Ebola Crisis: In late September, Navy Microbiologist Cmdr. Guillermo Pimentel, MSC, and advanced laboratory technician HMC Jerrold Diederich traveled to the front lines of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia where they established two mobile laboratories for detecting the virus.
3.) Navy Medicine Engages in Global Health: Leveraging its People, Organization and Capabilities – Navy Medicine has been on the forefront of engaging in global health activities by leveraging our people, our organization and our capabilities. The missions we support are focused on Health Threat Mitigation, Force Health Protection, and Security Cooperation. Our GHE related activities across the Navy Medicine enterprise are contributing to the National Security Strategy, the Geographic Combatant Commanders Theater Campaign Plan and the Navy’s Campaign Support Plan.
4.) RIMPAC 2014: In July Mercy participated in RIMPAC, the world’s largest international maritime exercise. Began in 1971, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity for participants to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. This year, 23 countries, 47 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated.
5.) Suicide Prevention Month: September was National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and Navy Medicine was a leader of this year’s Navy theme, “Every Sailor, Every Day”, promoting the importance of relationships, peer support, individual responsibility and open communication.
6.) Navy Medicine was about to recognize September as Suicide Prevention Month, but the death of actor, comedian and friend to the military Robin Williams brought the devastating act to the forefront of our emotions.
7.) MHS Review: In late May, Secretary of Defense Hagel ordered a comprehensive 90-day review of the Military Health System (MHS). The comprehensive review examined access, patient safety, and quality of care primarily in military treatment facilities. and provided the opportunity to compare ourselves to national benchmarks as well as against systems currently considered to be leading edge. The review findings, recommendations, and the SECDEF’s memo articulating the way forward were released the first of October. The consensus of both the external and internal review experts found that “the MHS is comparable in access, quality, and safety to most major health care systems in the United States. 6.) Military Families:Throughout the month of November, military families serving around the world were honored through a variety of observances and recognized for their commitment and the many contributions they make every day in support of the military and our nation. Navy Medicine did it’s part honoring them as well.
8.) Facebook Town Hall Events: Communication and workforce continue as strategic “enabling” objectives. Navy Medicine corps chiefs and directors embraced and used the social media platform to increase communication throughout their corps and Navy Medicine.
9.) Military Families: Throughout the month of November, military families serving around the world were honored through a variety of observances and recognized for their commitment and the many contributions they make every day in support of the military and our nation. Navy Medicine recognizes and supports all that they do.
10.) Marine Corps Marathon: Thirty Thousand runners ran in the 39th Annual Marine Corps Marathon October. They made their way 26.2 miles from Arlington, Virginia through Washington, D.C., and Navy Medicine personnel were there, providing medical attention to runners and spectators alike.