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    Navy Medicine Priorities Praised and Proven in the Pacific Northwest

    Navy Medicine Priorities Praised and Proven in the Pacific Northwest

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | Lt. Cmdr. Paul Flood and Lt. James Kirlin, with NMRTC Bremerton Urgent Care Clinic,...... read more read more

    For Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, one of the fundamental principles of his prioritized guidance has been a crucial part of his career spanning nearly four decades

    Gillingham took the opportunity to remind everyone of that – and more - during a Pacific Northwest visit to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC)/Naval Hospital Bremerton and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC)/Naval Health Clinic (NHC OH) Oak Harbor, August 23 and 24, 2021

    “I’ve been in uniform for 39 years and one of the key reasons is because of our people. The commitment, dedication and performance of our people makes me proud to be in this position to represent you, and thank you for doing such a great job,” said Gillingham.

    Gillingham, along with Force Master Chief (FORCM) Michael Roberts, Director of the Hospital Corps, met with leadership, greeted Sailors, addressed staff questions and familiarized themselves with the two Navy Medicine military treatment facilities (MTFs) which have been at the fore of much dynamic change in the last several years.

    From initially deploying the new electronic health record MHS GENESIS in 2017, to helping stop the spread of COVID-19 in the third largest fleet concentration area in 2020 on through today, to transitioning administration and management responsibilities of the commands in 2021 to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), the two MTFs have responded when called upon.

    “What I want to say is thank you on behalf of the CNO [chief of naval operations], secretary of the Navy and myself for the absolutely outstanding performance you’ve exhibited during COVID. You had some major challenges out here – we all have – but you turned to. As the first group in the eye of the storm you taught us some very important lessons. If you take nothing else from this meeting, take my gratitude and appreciation. Its one thing for us to sit in our offices and think big thoughts, but to get it done on the deckplate is what you do. You make us proud every day,” said Gillingham.

    During his address to leadership and staff, Gillingham focused on his priorities of People, Platforms, Performance and Power.

    “When we think about Navy Medicine, what’s our secret weapon?” Gillingham rhetorically asked his audience. “People. You. All of you. We have phenomenal people, who are willing to go in very austere locations to support the warfighter. That’s what we do. That’s why we wear this uniform. My commitment – and FORCM – is to make sure you are well trained to do that mission. We’re putting a very large focus on training as we should. The DHA transition is a good thing for us because I don’t have to be a hospital administrator anymore. I get to think about how I can prepare you to the absolute highest level to be ready.”

    The second priority – Platforms - emphasizes where Navy Medicine people will train and provide support to those in need. Gillingham affirmed that in Navy Medicine’s collective role in helping to stop the pandemic, the traditional sense of platforms has expanded from such locales as MTFs and forward resuscitation surgical teams with the Marine Corps. Such examples include small teams deployed within the U.S. to support the Defense Support of Civil Authority in providing medical care.

    “How proud to go in and help our fellow Americans with all the skills that we have! Anyone here go to southwest Texas or the Navajo nation? We sent a seven member team - ICU [intensive care unit] doc, five ICU nurses and a respiratory technician –into community level hospitals that did not have ICU care and set it up. Because those hospitals couldn’t do what they traditionally do which is move patients to a higher level of care. Those higher level of care places were full. Impressive, really phenomenal work. The local medical providers were ecstatic with the performance of Navy Medicine, saving American lives. We’re doing it again. We got a 23 member team, critical-care capable heavy, in Lafayette, Louisiana, helping the local hospital. The staff lined up at the entrance clapping as the Navy Medicine team came in, ready to go to start treating patients. That’s what we do. We’re agile, we’re flexible. Those are all platforms and they’re evolving. What underlies that is being ready. We always have to be ready,” exclaimed Gillingham.

    The third priority is performance. According to Gillingham, performance is the other secret weapon besides Navy Medicine people due to the focus on high reliability.

    “We might never find what we were expecting, but we adapt and make it work. Who went through corps school thinking, ’I’m going to be testing several thousand Sailors aboard a Navy nuclear aircraft carrier, and we’re going to do that in about two weeks.’ That wasn’t part of the curriculum, but you did it. Then you got to set up this mass vaccination site. We know a lot about administering vaccine, but this was different, with challenging conditions for storing, but we adapted and got it done. We’re high reliability learners. We are always looking to do it better. We never accept it’s just okay because our warfighters deserve more than just okay,” Gillingham stated.

    Gillingham then asked his audience to consider what happens when highly trained and motivated people are put on an optimized platform and demonstrate high reliability as a cohesive team.

    “You get the fourth P, power. We get medical power in support of naval superiority, and naval means both Navy and Marine Corps,” said Gillingham. “Our nation depends on us to do that. We’ve been doing it really well. When I wrote the 4Ps I was thinking about my experience outside Fallujah. But this last year and a half has been about public health, preventive medicine, infectious disease, laboratory folks and vaccinating folks. All those folks doing their job, extremely well, being assisted by dentists and even surgeons, out of their comfort zone, helping out.”

    Navy Medicine is primarily comprised of five distinct corps; Dental Corps, Hospital Corps, Medical Corps, Medical Service Corps and Nurse Corps, along with a host of active duty and civilian support staff to help maintain operational readiness. Each corps is comprised of personnel who specialize in specific health care fields from oral surgery to pediatrics to combat casualty care.

    From the Hospital Corps, the largest corps group with approximately 26,000 active duty enlisted personnel handling 25 specialties to the Dental Corps, with approximately 1,400 active and reserve personnel in 15 specialties, Medical Corps with approximately 4,400 active and reserve officers in 25 specialties; approximately 3,800 Medical Service Corps officers in 31 specialties and approximately 4,000 Nurse Corps officer in 17 specialties, they comprise Navy Medicine’s ready medical force responsible with ensuring there’s a medically ready force for any operational commitment.

    “People are our strength. The reason I am still in uniform this far along is because I really treasure and enjoy the people I work for. Well trained people able to deliver great healthcare in some very difficult situations. We’ve done that and continue to do that, and we’re going to get better doing that,” stressed Gillingham.

    Navy Medicine Four Priorities

    People enhance performance by improving training and skills sustainment.

    People capitalize on talent and shape our force accordingly.

    People ensure our force maintains the highest standards of performance and behavior. Mutual respect is our baseline and excellence is our habit.


    We focus on modernizing and maintaining our equipment sets, increasing speed, flexibility, and interoperability, while reducing fielding time and increasing survivability.

    We train to our new and emerging platforms, ever increasing our operational acumen, providing the capabilities necessary to support the warfighter.

    We deploy cohesive teams, on optimized platforms, supporting all phases of operations and operating across the range of military operations at the speed of our warfighters.


    We ensure our personnel meet and exceed military medical knowledge, skill and ability standards.

    We leverage high reliability principles, appreciative inquiry, artificial intelligence, and partnerships at all levels across our organization.

    We use data driven decisions to optimize a medically ready force and prepare a ready medical force.


    We integrate elements of the Navy Medicine enterprise to increase power. Every action and investment we take will contribute to our core mission of producing force medical readiness and medical force readiness.

    We leverage our world class research enterprise to stay on the cutting edge of medical knowledge, rapidly developing solutions for the warfighter.



    Date Taken: 08.24.2021
    Date Posted: 08.24.2021 18:24
    Story ID: 403843
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US 

    Web Views: 676
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