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    I Am Navy Medicine, helping to stop the spread of COVID-19: Hospital Corpsman 3rd class Ricardo Silva, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton

    I Am Navy Medicine, helping to stop the spread of COVID-19: Hospital Corpsman 3rd class Ricardo Silva, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Ricardo (Fleet Marine Force designated) Ricardo Silva,...... read more read more



    Story by Douglas Stutz 

    Naval Hospital Bremerton

    “I am Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Ricardo (Fleet Marine Force designated) Ricardo Silva.

    The Chula Vista, Calif. native and 2007 graduate of Otay Ranch High School, is a preventive medicine technician, currently assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton/Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton since October, 2017.

    As part of the command’s Preventive Medicine department, Silva has been an integral part of quickly responding and working tirelessly with initial contact tracking and screening for symptoms, close contact investigations and contact tracing of COVID-19 cases, along with follow-up investigations after swab exercise testing of individual patients, all part of the overall effort to help stop the spread of the pandemic virus.

    “My current role is assisting wing with supplies for Preventive Medicine as well as positive case tracking for Kitsap County and rest of the region,” said Silva.

    After initially starting his hospital corpsman career as a dental technician, Silva found himself wanting a different challenge and switched to become a preventive medicine technician. The past five months have indeed provided a trial for him and others in his department.

    “I found that preventive medicine offered a lot more interesting responsibilities. It’s not the same every day. It’s challenging. It’s been gratifying making sure our shipmates and their families are being taking care of,” commented Silva.

    Whether it’s a global pandemic or a regionalized epidemic, Silva and the rest of his department manage the various Preventive Medicine and Occupational Health Programs for Navy and Marine Corps forces ashore and afloat in the third largest fleet concentration area.

    “Preventive medicine in general, in a pandemic or not, has a goal of preventing disease whether foodborne, vector borne, or any route that may jeopardize our shipmates and their families. This supports mission readiness, not just with a Navy Medicine command, but the entire region surrounded by it,” explained Silva.

    Silva began his Navy Medicine career as a dental technician with 3rd Dental Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, Okinawa, Japan. His decision to join the Navy is steeped in his roots.

    “I was born and raised in Southern California and joined the Navy because of family tradition and to serve my country,” said Silva.

    He’s seen the world. Along with being stationed on both sides of the Pacific – from Okinawa to the state of Washington, Silva’s involvement in the annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian assistance and then disaster relief preparedness mission Pacific Partnership 2012, afforded him the opportunity to visit several far flung locales in the vast expanse of the largest ocean.

    “I assisted in providing optometry care to citizens of in several countries on several Indonesian and Philippine islands and Cambodia during Pacific Partnership 2012,” Silva related.

    Along with undertaking long hours in the overall command response to the current, ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Silva and the other ‘Prev Med Techs’ also handle multiple duties, to include performing inspections and surveys of food and food service facilities, berthing spaces, barber and beauty shops, child care facilities, recreational facilities, swimming pools, potable water systems, solid waste and waste water disposal sites and systems.

    Additionally, ‘Prev Med Techs’ conduct bacteriological analysis of food, water, and ice samples, handle epidemiological investigations and reporting, administer mass immunization programs and conduct nosocomial infection control programs. They apply statistical methods to human mortality, morbidity, and demographic studies, conduct disease vector surveillance regarding insects, rodents, parasites, and other pests, and manage control programs with survey, identification, pesticide application and other control measures.

    Working with occupational health professionals, they can also be called upon to assist in ensuring work place environments are consistent with existing Occupational Health and Safety standards. Silva and the others can even provide instructions to other medical – as well as non-medical - personnel in preventive medicine, industrial hygiene, environmental health and occupational health matters.

    When asked to sum up his experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Silva replied, “Most honored and satisfying job in the world.”



    Date Taken: 07.23.2020
    Date Posted: 07.24.2020 10:06
    Story ID: 374530
    Location: BREMERTON, WA, US 

    Web Views: 613
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