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    Naval Hospital Bremerton Sailor creates clinical conservation and civic care recycling project

    Naval Hospital Bremerton Sailor creates clinical conservation and civic care recycling project

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Meagan Christoph | 191016-N-XT693-0141 NAVAL HOSPITAL BREMERTON, Wash. (Oct. 24, 2019) Hospitalman Merven...... read more read more



    Story by Seaman Meagan Christoph 

    Naval Hospital Bremerton

    What started out as a glimmer of an idea by a Naval Hospital Bremerton Sailor has blossomed into a promising environmental stewardship and civic action project.

    Towards that end, a group of Sailors sat around sewing machines with piles of blue fabric in NHB’s Schon Hall bachelor enlisted quarters lounge Oct. 16, 2019.

    The Sailors were volunteers helping with the new project developed by one of their peers.

    Hospitalman Cozzette Baldwin, from Layton, Utah, explained she developed the idea for this project after noticing the blue muslin wrap used as garments in NHB’s Main Operating Room (OR) were destined for a landfill after being discarded.

    Wanting to make a positive change, she sought a way to recycle the material.

    “The blue wrap we use in the Main OR was going straight to the landfill nearly as clean as it was when we received the supplies from the company,” said Baldwin, a surgical technologist. “I collected two weeks worth to see how much we were throwing away…46 pounds was collected.”

    Blue muslin wraps are made of polypropylene, a form of cloth-like plastic which is water resistant, insect resistant, and retains heat. Once the sterilized blue wrap is worn, it can’t be reused due to stringent sterilization standards at NHB and manufacture guidelines.

    “I found a Facebook group that made pads for the homeless and another that made bags,” said Baldwin. “I thought that this was the perfect region for that because of how bad the weather can be here.”

    Baldwin took the idea to Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Christopher Brown, her leading petty officer to see if she could start something similar at NHB.

    “She said she had an idea of recycling the blue wrap,” said Brown. “She presented the idea and I took it up the chain of command. Everybody was super impressed.”

    Lt. Cmdr. Michelle Lind, NHB Main OR, Sterile Processing, Post Anesthesia Care Unit and Endoscopy Unit department head, was an integral part of getting this plan up and running.

    “[She] is a fore-thinking, excellent technologist,” said Lind. “I’m very supportive of her and appreciate everything that she’s done. This is something that I haven’t seen before from someone so junior. So in the Navy, I know she’s going to go far.”

    As Baldwin’s idea passed through leadership, her creativity caught the eye of NHB’s Command Master Chief Robert Stockton.

    “Great ideas come from the deck plates,” said Stockton. “They don’t come from the top down. They come from the bottom up. She took the initiative and used her background, skills and knowledge to make a difference. People who do things like that leave a lasting impact on the community. I’m super proud of her for not waiting for somebody to tell her what to do and that she made it happen. I’m really excited about it and the passion that she put in to it.”

    Baldwin has reached out to groups at the command to see if anyone would be willing to help make the products.

    “The Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) is supporting the idea by hosting a volunteer event every other Wednesday at the barracks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Junior Sailors are able to get volunteer hours by helping sew the bags and pads,” said Baldwin.

    If a Sailor doesn’t know how to sew or has little experience, it’s not a problem.

    “I bring all the materials; sewing machines, supplies, and blue wrap,” said Baldwin. “I teach them and provide easy-to-use patterns I made.”

    Working with the JEA allows Baldwin to produce more bags and sleeping pads than she would be able to on her own.

    “Ideally I hope that 10 to 15 items can be made at volunteer events,” said Baldwin. “That means that at least 20 to 30 mats or bags will be made a month.”

    Along with the mats and sleeping pads, she is working on creating a small bag that could be used for the female homeless population.

    “Feminine hygiene products are expensive and are probably ruined by the rain here,” said Baldwin. “I thought a little bag would help protect what they need.”

    Baldwin is coordinating with Kitsap County Rescue Mission to donate the bags and sleeping pads to the shelter.

    “We haven’t been able to donate any yet, because we’re still trying to get all the products done, but they like the idea and are working with us,” said Baldwin.

    Giving back to the community and recycling is important to her.

    “It makes me happy that people are excited about this and want to get involved with doing things for the community where they’re really struggling,” said Baldwin. “I want to promote a ‘greener’ Navy and I would hope that others will want to promote it, too.”



    Date Taken: 10.24.2019
    Date Posted: 10.24.2019 16:59
    Story ID: 349128
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US 

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