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    Blue Jacket of the Year is Amazing Leader



    Story by David Marks 

    Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms

    Rear Adm. Timothy Weber, Commander, Naval Medical Forces Pacific/Director of the Medical Service Corps, had one question for Hospitalman Nicole Higuera-Myers, recipient of the Blue Jacket of the Year Award for Naval Medical Forces Pacific: “Are you really an HN?” The place was Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Twentynine Palms commanding officer’s conference room. Weber and Command Master Chief Sean Howe were calling in from San Diego to congratulate Higuera-Myers. Higuera-Myers was only just learning she had been selected as Blue Jacket of the Year for the region.
    The admiral’s curiosity was understandable. The rank, hospitalman, is equivalent to the E-3 pay grade; yet, Higuera-Myers’ list of professional and technical accomplishments extend far beyond the average professional development for her peer group. A 2014 graduate of Big Bear, California, High School, she was in an accelerated college-curriculum program and earned her vocational-nursing certification prior to joining the Navy. She’s a registered medical assistant, Shipshape facilitator and Lean Six Sigma White Belt. She is the Patient Centered Medical Home Port training officer and is the “go-to staff member department leadership relies on when the leading and assistant leading petty officers are unavailable. She “led eight Sailors and seven civilians in support of nine providers, delivering quality patient care during more than 18,000 patient encounters. Maintained 100 percent oversight and control of the support staff and providers’ daily patient and coverage schedules, ensuring zero lapses in patient care,” her award citation reads in part.

    Higuera-Myers switched from working on her registered nursing degree to hospital administration upon learning the latter is a better fit. “I like a very structured environment,” she said. “I like knowing where to be, when to be there and what uniform to wear. The Navy is very straight forward. You know what you have to do and you’re given the tools to complete those tasks.”

    Senior Hospital Chief Jaclyn Arroyave noted in the award citation: “Hospitalman Higuera-Myers’s expertise and infectious motivation make her not only a leader amongst her peers but also a force-multiplier to the physicians in their daily practice of patient care. She is the only corpsman in her clinic certified as a licensed vocational nurse and registered medical assistant. It is impossible to overstate the value that this professional dedication to her clinical craft brings to our patients on a daily basis.”

    Higuera-Myers’ collateral duties and accomplishments include: member, Command Color Guard; Command Fitness Enhancement Program Coordinator; Assistant Command Fitness Leader and
    Navy Marine Corps Relief Society representative.

    Master Chief Sean Howe told Higuera-Myers: “Your leadership is beyond expectations. This is an amazing package about an amazing Sailor.”

    Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Twentynine Palms Commanding Officer, Capt. Grant Wallace, thanked Higuera-Myers and noted her military bearing as she administered the physical readiness test. “Even when I did my PRT, I noticed how professional you are,” he said.

    Rear Adm Weber wrapped up the conference call by noting, “Clearly, you are not only benefiting your command and your mission; you are also making Navy Medicine and the entire military community a better place. You are truly impressive; and I could not be more proud that you represent Blue Jacket Sailor of the Year for the region.”



    Date Taken: 12.01.2021
    Date Posted: 12.01.2021 12:30
    Story ID: 410245

    Web Views: 54
    Downloads: 0