News: Navy Medical, Dental personnel complete Forager Fury mission
Story by Lance Cpl. Joseph Karwick
TINIAN, Northern Mariana Islands - Navy medical and dental personnel completed the final day of the medical and dental outreach programs here Dec. 14 during Exercise Forager Fury 2012.
The medical and dental assistance was well received by the Tinian community and is sure to be missed.
“We have seen about 115 medical patients. Dental has had more than 100 extracted teeth, 140 exams, 60 cleanings, and more than a dozen fillings,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew R. Doubrava, the Senior Medical Officer with Marine Aircraft group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “The dentists averaged between 20 to 25 patients a day and they have been working for only 10 days.”
The Navy medical personnel’s time was not spent solely in the Tinian Health Center. They also spent time out in town advising the community on proper measures to take to reduce their chances of illness.
“We really stressed to the people here the measures they need to take as well as administer to their children,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Flannery, a general dentist with 11th Dental Company, 3rd Dental Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF. “We try to advise them on things like how long to brush your teeth, flossing, and brushing twice a day every day.”
For the medical personnel here, administering assistance to the people of Tinian is its own reward.
“The people here really appreciate the care they’re getting and it really lifts their spirits,” said Doubrava. “The fact that we like coming here also makes it extremely enjoyable for us.”
The practitioners that come here always want to return to provide further assistance, according to Flannery and Doubrava.
“It has been a great feeling being here and helping out the community,” said Flannery. “If people come in with chronic pain that they have been living with for months, then they are extremely grateful that we can assist them and alleviate the pain.”
With the end of FF12, the Navy medical personnel are returning to their respective stations and bases, hoping to return and further assist the people of Tinian with their medical needs.