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    SECNAV visits Branch Health Clinic Everett David R. Ray Clinic

    SECNAV visits Branch Health Clinic Everett David R. Ray Clinic

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | : A rendering to remember…Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, flanked by Naval...... read more read more

    The namesake of Navy Medicine Readiness Training Unit Everett’s clinic has a gravitational pull readily visible to every staff, patient and visitor who enters onto the quarterdeck of the military treatment facility.

    Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro was drawn to the hallowed remembrance of Hospital Corpsman David R. Ray, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (posthumously), killed in action March 19, 1969, for his actions during the Vietnam War at Phu Loc 6 near An Hoa in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.

    “Great Americans. Everyone,” stated Secretary Del Toro, acknowledging Ray and other Navy Medicine Congressional Medal of Honor recipients formally displayed on the quarterdeck before he met with assigned staff and toured their clinic while visiting Naval Station Everett, Feb. 14, 2024.

    The clinic tour provided Secretary Del Toro the opportunity to meet and greet several of the approximately 80 staff members comprised of Navy Dental Corps, Hospital Corps, Medical Corps, Medical Service Corps, Nurse Corps and Civilian Corps personnel.

    There was candid discussion on services provided by the clinic, including primary care, immunization and behavioral health, and the need to utilize the network for advanced specialty care. Current challenges were examined, such as the continued need for more mental health specialists, acknowledged as a nation-wide shortage issue.

    “Active-duty access to primary care needs is less than a day here. Active-duty access to specialty care is almost 14 days and can be almost double for behavioral health,” explained Cmdr. Michael Bowers, NMRTU Everett officer in charge.

    According to the National Council of Mental Wellbeing, the average wait time to access behavioral health services is about six weeks. Parent command Naval Hospital Bremerton has initiated walk-in office hours every Thursday morning for active-duty personnel for behavioral health services.

    Secretary Del Toro also took a moment to openly share heartfelt sentiments with those he met.

    “If it wasn’t for our caretakers and all you do for our Sailors, Marines and their families…it’s not enough just to say thanks,” said Secretary Del Toro. “I care so much for you folks that we’ve named a ship class, the USNS Bethesda-class expeditionary medical ship in honor of all our caretakers. The next in line will be USNS Balboa. Because you deserve it.”

    Secretary Del Toro pointedly inquired from staff where they were from, where they went to school, and/or how long they had served in the Navy,

    “Tell me where a dentist in the civilian sector can have as much fun as serving in the Navy,” Secretary Del Toro asked Lt. Ryan Dull, Dental Department head.

    “That’s true,” replied Dull, who has served on both sides of the Pacific. “We were stationed at Okinawa before coming here. It’s been a great experience.”

    Branch Health Clinic Everett on a weekly basis averages (approximately) 350 primary care visits, 125 dental appointments, 75 physical therapy treatments, 50 mental health calls, 40 occupational health and 55 optometry visits, as well as dispenses some 400 prescriptions.

    “The majority of who we see are active duty. But we also provide care for family and retirees – especially at our pharmacy - up to age 65,” added Bowers.

    “It’s so important to take care of our own the right way,” stressed Secretary Del Toro.

    The Honorable Carlos Del Toro was sworn in as the 78th Secretary of the Navy, August 9, 2021, and is responsible for over 900,000 Sailors, Marines, reservists and civilian personnel.

    One of his stated priorities is strengthening a naval culture of inclusiveness and respect.

    The nearly 80 staff assigned to NMRTU Everett David R. Ray Clinic can attest to that.



    Date Taken: 02.14.2024
    Date Posted: 02.15.2024 18:44
    Story ID: 464021
    Location: EVERETT, WA, US

    Web Views: 233
    Downloads: 0