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    I am Navy Medicine - HM2 Laura Suzanne Denmark - at NMRTC Bremerton

    I am Navy Medicine - HM2 Laura Suzanne Denmark - at NMRTC Bremerton

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jennifer Benedict | Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Laura Suzanne Denmark, from Ringgold, Georgia, and...... read more read more

    Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Laura Suzanne Denmark is an ideal example of the old proverb, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

    Such determination has paid off as evidenced by her recent selection as Sailor of the Quarter assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton.

    “I always knew I wanted to be involved in the medical field,” said Denmark.

    That purpose and the Navy’s strong medical heritage and tradition led her to enlist.

    Denmark, from Ringgold, Georgia, graduated from Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School in 2011. After enlisting, her journey in the Navy became a career course less traditional.

    She says, “In 2012, I went to my first duty station and absolutely loved it since I had a great chain of command and amazing mentors.”

    However, in 2015, Denmark reached a turning point.

    “At my next duty station, I didn’t find the same engagement with my work environment I had experienced before,” she said, reflecting on her early career.

    Starting in April of that year, she also suffered through a series of overlapping events. Her grandfather suffered a heart attack. On the way to the hospital, her father wrecked his vehicle.

    “I got a call from the hospital that my dad and grandfather were not going to make it,” she said.

    The Red Cross worked with Denmark to go on emergency leave.

    While back home in Georgia, her grandfather passed away, but her father survived. His long recovery from the trauma of the crash meant he would need help running their family business. Denmark submitted an early separation package in June, returning home.

    It was a hard decision, encouraged by feelings of being adrift with little mentorship. “I didn’t have the guidance I needed,” Denmark said.

    In 2017, with her father recovered and the family business stable, Denmark was still involved in medicine at Erlanger Hospital, Chattanooga, Tenn. She was married and had custody of her 15-year-old cousin when a Navy reserve recruiter called to say they needed hospital corpsmen.

    Denmark saw that as an opportunity to renew her passion for military service.

    By 2018, she returned to active duty, saying, “When I made the decision, I made a promise to myself that I would be the mentor I needed when I left the Navy.”

    Denmark, awarded Sailor of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2024, is the work center supervisor of Patient Administration department, working with medical boards and as a limited duty liaison alongside 15 Sailors that support approximately 300 tenant commands.

    A medical board is when physical or mental health problems are expected to render a member unable to fully perform their duties and remain on active duty. A limited duty board is where a Sailor is placed in a less than full duty status for a maximum of 364 days.

    Both can be a stressful time. It’s up to Denmark and her team to ease that stress on Sailors. As a limited duty liaison, she ensures members are given every reasonable opportunity to fully participate in unit activities according to their physical and psychological health status.

    As a team, they coordinated over 650 personnel with limited duty, temporary disability, or separation status. Denmark is also the burial at sea coordinator for the region and has handled over 210 burials at sea.

    “Being a good mentor means knowing your people,” Denmark said. “All the good things and bad things in their life help you walk with them to make the right decisions.”

    Being selected as sailor of the quarter from amongst her peers has changed Denmark. “This is my fourth board at this command. I had never won.”

    She could tell it was affecting her mentees: “My juniors were starting to make comments like, “Why should I sign up for extra things I’ll never be given recognition for?” Denmark would encourage them and herself to keep pushing and showing up.

    More people now come to her for advice since her selection: “If I can be that one person who always makes herself available for people, I could be the one person to help them succeed.”

    Denmark described the best part of her career in Navy Medicine as the people she works with and works for. She has seen real teamwork in her office more than ever in her whole career. “We are constantly helping each other while also making time to celebrate together,” she shared.

    She believes her coworkers always making time for each other, even outside work. That has helped her feel even more engaged than before, saying, “I am really going to miss this group of people.”

    Despite that, Denmark is looking forward to her next duty station with the Marine Corps 3rd Medical Battalion at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. She is also currently attending Purdue Global University, with plans to graduate in the summer of 2025 with her bachelor’s degree in health science.

    Denmark is thankful for the non-traditional path she’s taken to get to where she is now in Navy Medicine: “Every day is a new day. This is your career. You can go far if you want it.”



    Date Taken: 05.08.2024
    Date Posted: 05.08.2024 15:40
    Story ID: 470703

    Web Views: 275
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