News: RIMPAC Medical Exchange Conference held aboard PLA(N) Peace Ark
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Pyoung K. Yi
USNS Mercy Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA(N)) hospital ship Peace Ark (T-AH 886) hosted a medical exchange conference as part of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014 here July 3.
PLA(N) and U.S. Navy medical officers gave presentations ranging from damage-control surgery to tele-critical care, and included an initial video presentation about Peace Ark.
“We wanted the attendees to learn about our experiences on humanitarian assistance relief missions,” said Lt. Cmdr. Xin Du, PLA(N) medical officer. “But more importantly, I wanted to learn from others’ experience helping out on humanitarian relief efforts. I like the idea of exchanging ideas with other countries. It promotes friendship and subsequent joint missions.”
Attendees included military medical personnel from Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and the U.S. The conference encouraged attendees to exchange medical knowledge and discuss ways to help humanity using military resources.
“I was impressed with the sheer capacity of Peace Ark's resources in treating people in a disaster,” said Canadian army Master Cpl. Katarina Vasic, a dental technician.
One of the presentations, “Tele-critical Care and Tele-medicine,” given by Cmdr. Gilbert Seda, a pulmonary medicine specialist aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), caught the attention of many Peace Ark personnel.
“Most of us are very interested in Telemedicine,” said Du. “Our cardiologist, nephrologist, and other officers were very interested in his presentation.”
This year’s RIMPAC marks the first time in the exercises history that hospital ships have participated. Peace Ark and Mercy will continue to hold medical exchanges while in Pearl Harbor and simulated disaster-relief operation at sea.
Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.