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    Leading the COVID-19 Charge

    HMC Karr Poses in the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Medical Department

    Photo By Seaman Apprentice Christian Ligon | BREMERTON, Wash. (May 6, 2020) Chief Hospital Corpsman Samuel Karr, a native of...... read more read more



    Story by Seaman Apprentice Christian Ligon 

    USS Carl Vinson

    BREMERTON, Wash. – In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Navy has been taking necessary measures to maintain mission readiness while also protecting its Sailors. One important factor in accomplishing this is having a well-trained and efficient medical team.

    Chief Hospital Corpsman Samuel Karr is on the forefront of this effort. He is a preventive medicine technician and the leading chief petty officer of the medical department aboard Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

    Karr obtained his GED from Aloha High School in Beaverton, Oregon, in 2000. Following the 9/11 attacks, Karr enlisted as a hospital corpsman in the Navy because he wanted to help people.

    “I wasn’t going anywhere fast, and I wanted to serve my country,” said Karr. “The Twin Towers had already gotten hit, so I wanted to do my part and join the Navy.”

    Since then, Karr has served in the Navy for over 17 years. He has served aboard Navy ships and with Marine regiments. He has also traveled all over the world, from Japan to Italy to a deployment with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 273 in Iraq. He was working at a branch health clinic in Subie, Japan when he got orders to Carl Vinson.

    As much as Karr enjoys this rewarding line of work, he said that hospital corpsmen face many challenges in their field. In his own experience, the hardest thing has been the loss of a fellow Sailor and the heavy emotions that came with it.

    “It is hard to feel that you didn’t do enough, that you overthought something, or asking, ‘what could I have done differently?’” said Karr.
    Karr said that all of those years of service have given him everything he needs to fight the current pandemic.

    “I like to think that those experiences, along with excellent training and mentorship, have allowed me to meet any challenge head on,” said Karr.
    Karr’s primary role during the pandemic is to present ideas for policies to Vinson’s chain of command for approval and implementation to stop the spread of COVID-19. Some of these policies include triaging potential COVID-19 patients over the phone and no-contact screening at the medical screening area. Additionally, he acts as a liaison between the medical team and other departments on the ship to ensure they have received the most up-to-date guidance and the tools they need for success.

    Karr said that the cooperation extends beyond Vinson. Some of his ideas have also been implemented by other Navy commands, and Vinson has learned from the best practices of other units as well.

    “The medical team and I have been coordinating with other commands and civilian authorities pretty regularly,” said Karr.

    Despite all of his hard work, Karr is quick to point out that he is not the only Sailor in this fight and that he shares the credit with everyone working to prevent and mitigate the virus. As the Navy combats COVID-19, seasoned leaders like Karr are doing everything they can to keep the virus at bay and make sure that the Navy always stands ready to defend America’s interests at home and abroad.



    Date Taken: 06.01.2020
    Date Posted: 06.10.2020 23:00
    Story ID: 371195
    Location: BREMERTON, WA, US 
    Hometown: BEAVERTON, OR, US

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