Official Publication of the U.S. Navy Medical Department
Volume 98, No. 5
Surgeon General of the Navy
VADM Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MC, USN
Deputy Surgeon General
Deputy Chief, BUMED
RADM John M. Mateczun, MC, USN
Jan Kenneth Herman
Janice Marie Hores
Andre B. Sobocinski
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proval. An author need not be a member of the Navy to submit
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contact: Janice Marie Hores, Managing Editor, Bureau of Med-
icine and Surgery (M09B7C), 2300 E Street, NW, Washington,
DC 20372-5300. Email: Janice.Hores@med.navy.mil.
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Medicine and Surgery (M09B7C), Washington, DC 20372-
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COVER: VADM Adam M. Robinson,
Jr., MC, USN, 36th Surgeon General of
the Navy and 40th Chief of the Bureau
of Medicine and Surgery.
We Want Your Opinion
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Marie Hores, Managing Editor, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
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26 Not Beatin' Around the Mulberry
Bush: The Life of Clay Aloysius
Boland, Navy Dentist and Songwriter
28 Luxury Meets the U.S. Navy
34 Book Review
On Call In Hell
35 A Look Back
Navy Medicine 1951
31 "I Canceled My Policy!'
LT Bill Henry
Navy Dental Corps Turns 95
The sailors of Mobile Forward Recusitative Surgi-
cal System. (Top L to R) HM3 Chad Flynn, HM1
William Holley, IDC CPO Keith Becker, and HM3
Derrick Ramos (Bottom Lto R) CDR Drew Pinilla,
LCDR Christian Corwin, LCDR Angela Earley, and
LT Kurt Giometti. Photo by SGT Andy Hurt, USMC
Expeditionary Medical Force, Kuwait, Det.
Delta, Camp Buehring Dental Clinic. (Back L to
R) CDR Hariri, LT Hayes, CAPT Reynolds, HM1
Richard, HMC Medina, HM2 Jazmin, HN Cruz, and
HN Barcco. (Front L to R) HN Dedmon and HN
Maynor. Photo from LCDR O. J. Stein Jr., DC
RADM Carol Turner, Director of
the Navy Dental Corps, cuts the
birthday cake at BUMED, Wash-
USS Peleliu (LHA-5). Dental Dept. is composed
of Ship's Crew, 3rd DENBN (from Hawaii,
Iwakuni and Okinawa), Canadian Army, Japa-
nese Navy, and NGO (UCSD Pre-Dental Society
Students). (Front L to R) WO Carole Buxcey
(Canadian Army), HN Brittaney Thornton, HM2
Laura Blanco, LCDR Paul Lim, Joanne Nguyen
(UCSD), and Diana Lin (UCSD). (Back Lto R) HM1
Lavonne Melton (LPO), LCDR Jay Geistkemper,
Kennie Kwok (UCSD), CAPT Richard Dickinson
(Canadian Army), HN Robert Bosch, HN Morgan
Steele, LT Kevin Haveman, LCDR Mikio Ozawa
(Japanese Navy), and HN Clarence Henning. Photo
from LCDR Paul Lim
Adam M. Robinson, Jr., Selected as 36th
Surgeon General of the Navy
VADM Robinson, a native of Louisville, KY, entered the
Navy in 1977. He holds an MD degree from the Indi-
ana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, which he
earned through the Armed Forces Health Professions Schol-
arship Program. He was commissioned following comple-
tion of his surgical internship at Southern Illinois University
School of Medicine, Springfield.
Dr. Robinson's first assignment was as a general medical
officer, Branch Medical Clinic, Fort Allen, Puerto Rico, be-
fore reporting to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethes-
da, MD, in 1978 to complete a residency in general surgery.
His subsequent duty assignments included: staff surgeon,
U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan, and ship's surgeon,
USS Midway (CVAl).
After completing a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery
at Carle Foundation Hospital, University of Illinois School of
Medicine (1984-85), Dr. Robinson reported to the National
Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, as the head of the colon
and rectal surgery division. While there, he was called to
temporary duty in 1987 as ship's surgeon aboard USS John E
Kennedy (CV-67) and in 1988 as ship's surgeon aboard USS
Coral Sea (CV-43).
Dr. Robinson reported to Naval Medical Center, Ports-
mouth, VA, in 1990 as the head of the general surgery
department and director of the general surgery residency
program. He was appointed acting medical director for the
facility in 1994. While there, he earned a Master's degree in
business administration from the University of South Florida.
In 1995, he reported to the commander, Naval Surface Force,
U.S. Atlantic Fleet, as the force medical officer, serving in
that capacity for 2 years. Following that assignment, he
reported to Naval Hospital Jacksonville in 1997 as the execu-
tive officer. In January 1999, as Fleet Hospital Jacksonville
CO, Dr. Robinson commanded a detachment of the fleet
hospital as a medical contingent to Joint Task Force Haiti
(Operation New Horizon/Uphold Democracy).
In August 1999, he reported to the Bureau of Medicine
and Surgery (BUMED) as director of Readiness and was
selected as the Principal Director, Clinical and Program
Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Health Affairs in September 2000, where he also served
as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Health Affairs, Clinical and Program Policy. Dr. Robinson
was assigned as CO, U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka from
September 2001 to January 2004, after which he was as-
signed back to BUMED as Deputy Chief for Medical Sup-
port Operations with additional duty as acting Chief of the
VADM Robinson holds fellowships in the American Col-
lege of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and
Rectal Surgery. He is a member of the Le Societe Internatio-
nale de Chirurgie, the Society of Black Academic Surgeons,
and the National Business School Scholastic Society, Beta
VADM Robinson's personal decorations include the Le-
gion of Merit (two awards), the Defense Meritorious Service
Medal (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three
awards), the Navy Commendation Medal, the Joint Service
Achievement Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, and vari-
ous service and campaign awards.^
Chiefs of BUMED/ Surgeon General Quiz
1. The title "Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy" was
created by an act of Congress on 3 March 1871. Prior to
this, the top doctor of the Navy was known as the "Chief
of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery." Who was the first
2. How many ships have been named after Surgeons Gen-
eral of the Navy?
3. While serving as Surgeon General, how many Navy
physicians also acted as White House physicians?
4. Match the Chief of BUMED/Surgeon General to the
Franklin D. Roosevelt
5. Match the Chief of BUMED/Surgeon General to the
war and conflict they served in?
War of 1812
World War II
6. The first Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery,
this physician was a noted botanist and professor of Materia
Medica. A father of 14 children, his colleagues would often
kid that his middle initials "PC." stood for "Plenty of Chil-
dren." Who was he?
7. Who was the only foreign born Surgeon General?
8. How many Surgeons General are buried in Arlington
9. From 1844 to the present, most Chiefs of the Bureau
of Medicine and Surgery/Surgeon General have come from
10. Who is the first Surgeon General to appear in a film?
11. Notable cruises. Match the Chief of BUMED/Sur-
geon General to the famous voyage.
William Barton USS Hartford (Battle of Mobile Bay)
James Palmer Wilkes Expedition
Jonathan Foltz USS Brandy wine (Last voyage of Lafayette)
Phineas Horwitz USS Niagara (Laying of the Transatlantic
12. At only 43, this physician was the youngest and most
junior person ever to serve as Chief of BUMED.
13. Who is the first one-star Surgeon General?
14. Who is the first two-star Surgeon General?
15. Who is the first three-star Surgeon General?
16. What is the longest tenure for a Chief of BUMED/
A.) 3 years
B.) 8 years
C.) 12 years
D.) 16 years
17. Who had the shortest tenure in office?
A.) 18 days
B.) 36 days
C.) 6 months
D.) 1 year
(Answers on page 33)
Navy Medicine Prepares to Imple-
In March 2008 Navy medicine will convert appropriated
fund general schedule (GS) employees not covered by a
bargaining unit (union) to the National Security Personnel
System (NSPS). Navy medicine GS employees, both CO-
NUS and OCONUS, will convert to NSPS in March 2008.
Due to challenges in the court system by national labor or-
ganizations, employees in positions which are covered under
current collective bargaining agreements will not be included
in the March 2008 conversion. Further court actions will
determine when a full conversion will take place.
Planning and preparation for the conversion to NSPS are
well underway. NSPS working groups have been designated
both at headquarters and at Navy medicine field activities.
Regional Introductory Conferences for senior leaders and
activity working group team members providing an overview
of the NSPS conversion process were held during July and
August 2007 in the National Capital Area; Bremerton, WA;
San Diego, CA; Portsmouth/Norfolk, VA; and Jacksonville,
FL. Training on NSPS for managers and supervisors, mili-
tary and civilian, and converting employees will be provided
beginning in the fall of 2007. Schedules are currently being
The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) has
contracted with SI International and its partner, Dougherty
& Associates, Inc., to conduct the required NSPS training for
all activities to ensure quality and consistency of the NSPS
training. Building on the lessons learned by Department of
Defense (DOD) activities which have already converted to
NSPS, Navy medicine is on course to a civilian personnel
management system designed to enhance flexibility, account-
ability, and results.
The 9/11 attacks on America forever changed the defense
posture of the nation and DOD. In light of this new defense
posture, the Department of Defense felt required to trans-
form the current human resources system in order to provide
a more flexible personnel system to hire, assign, promote, and
compensate the Department's civilian work force. Ultimately,
this will create a more modern and agile work force.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
2004 allows DOD to establish a more responsive civilian hu-
man resource system to enhance the Department's ability to
execute its national security mission.
NSPS is a new human resources management system
designed to better meet the national security challenges of
the 21st century. DOD's vision is to implement a human
capital management system that is high performing, efficient,
understandable, and properly aligned with our national de-
fense mission. NSPS includes an enhanced human resources
"NSPS accelerates Navy medi-
cine's efforts to create a total force
of military, civilian, and contrac-
tor personnel operating as one
cohesive unit in order to provide
for the force health protection and
promotion of our sailors, Marines,
our families, and our retirees,"
stated VADM Adam M. Robinson,
Navy Surgeon General and Chief,
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
"The successful implementa-
tion of NSPS by Navy medicine
will require the combined effort
of both our military and civilian
system covering staffing, work force shaping, classification,
compensation (pay banding), and performance management
(performance-based pay); the labor relations system and new
adverse actions and appeals processes are currently enjoined
and are not being implemented at this time.
NSPS is being implemented for several reasons:
•To advance DOD's critical national security mission;
•To improve our ability to respond swiftly and decisively
to national security threats and other missions;
•To accelerate DOD's efforts to create a total force;
•To enhance our ability to retain and attract talented and
motivated employees committed to excellence;
•To compensate and reward employees based on perfor-
mance and mission contribution; and
•To expand DOD's ability to hire more quickly and offer
NSPS has been designed to achieve these goals while:
•Respecting the individual and protecting rights guaran-
teed by law, especially veterans benefits;
•Valuing talent, performance, leadership, and commit-
ment to public service;
•Being flexible, understandable, credible, responsive, and
•Ensuring accountability at all levels;
•Balancing human resources interoperability with unique
mission requirements; and
•Being competitive and cost-effective.
For those civilian workers who will not convert to NSPS
in March 2008, it is important for them to understand that
many of the NSPS principles of performance improvement
and the enhanced employee-supervisor relationship can be
applied to their current performance goals and objectives and
career development. It is also important that they understand
the current awards program (cash, time-off, QSI, etc) will
still remain in place.
How You Can Prepare For NSPS Now
Managers, supervisors, and employees are encouraged to
take NSPS 101, a 1-hour, online introduction to NSPS. A
link to NSPS 101 can be found on the new Navy medicine
NSPS website, reachable through the Navy Medicine Online
home page at http://navymedicine.med.navy.mil/. The NSPS
link is at the bottom of the navigation list on the left-hand
column of the web page.
NSPS Training Required
Currently Navy medicine plans to implement three
required NSPS classroom training courses. Managers and
supervisors — military and civilian — will be required to take
Navigating NSPS for Supervisors. This 2-day course teaches
supervisors what they need to know to be successful under
Civilian non-bargaining unit GS employees will take
Navigating NSPS for Employees. This course explains the
core elements and goals of NSPS and how conversions will
happen. It explains the new classification architecture and
how hiring, staffing, and compensation will work. It walks
through the performance management cycle, including per-
formance plans, how performance will be rated, and how to
be successful under NSPS.
Pay pool members and support staff will take Introduction
to Pay Pool Management, a 2 to 2V^-day course. This highly
interactive course discusses how the pay pool process works
and gives participants a chance to practice conducting pay
pool meetings. The course walks participants through each
phase in the process, and gives them activities related to that
phase. Throughout the course, attendees play the roles of the
rating official, second level supervisors, pay pool panel mem-
ber, pay pool panel manager, and pay pool panel advisor. The
greatest amount of time is spent in running through a mock
pay pool process, using data from a fictitious organization.
Participants learn by doing in this course. In particular, they
learn how to reconcile ratings to ensure consistency and fair-
ness across the members of the pay pool and how to reconcile
ratings against the standards for different performance levels.
NSPS will create a more responsive and flexible DOD
and Department of the Navy (DON) civilian workforce.
NSPS will transform the Navy and Marine Corps civilian
personnel culture to embed more high performance drivers
and behaviors, and will serve as a major pillar in the DON's
Human Capital Strategy. This culture change provides a huge
opportunity to accomplish the strategic alignment of perfor-
mance goals for mission accomplishment for all employees,
regardless of when they convert to NSPS. These goals will be
aligned and interpreted by employees at all levels so everyone
knows precisely where they fit into the organization and how
individual accomplishments support the DON national secu-
Implementing NSPS for Navy medicine is a demanding
challenge, but one which must be met, and which provides
great benefits for our mission and our customers: Navy and
Marine Corps service members and their families. Stay tuned
for additional articles which will highlight significant mile-
stones as the March 2008 NSPS conversion date for Navy
The Society for the History of Navy Medicine
(Established May 2006)
The Society for the History of Navy Medicine
is an international association of people inter-
ested in the history of all aspects of medicine as it
relates to the maritime environment.
The mission of the Society is to promote the study, re-
search, and publication of all aspects of maritime medicine.
The Society will be a means of "mutual support" and
communication for people of all countries — civilian, mili-
tary, academic, independent scholar, medical practitioner —
who are interested in the topic.
Joining the Society:
Anyone wishing to join the Society should e-mail CAPT
Thomas Snyder, MC, USNR (Ret.) at thomaslsnyder@gmail.
com. In your message please include your name, rank (if mili-
tary), and list any specific interest/specialty you might have in
Navy medical history (e.g., Civil War medicine, Navy nursing,
hospital ships, hygiene, etc.)
Call for Papers— 2008 Meeting
The Society for the History of Navy Medicine invites sub-
mission of abstracts for papers for its Second Annual Papers
Session, to be held during the 10-13 April 2008 meeting of
the American Association for the History of Medicine, in
Papers may address any aspect of the history of medi-
cine as it relates to navies and/or the maritime environment
(including air, space, and sub-surface). Historians, graduate
students, and medical practitioners are encouraged to submit
Deadline for submission of your 250-word abstract is 15
November 2007. Electronic submission is preferred, to
email@example.com. Hard copy submission by the
same deadline may be sent to:
Thomas L. Snyder, MD
CAPT, MC, USN (Ret.)
The Society for the History of Navy Medicine
1 3 1 El Camino Real
Vallejo, CA 94590-3464
Navy Begins Construction of First-
Ever Joint Health Care Facility
Officials from the Navy, Department of Veterans Af-
fairs (VA), and federal and local government joined
in a ceremonial groundbreaking at Great Lakes 2 July for
the first-ever joint Navy-VA Federal Health Care Facility
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-
west is working with Joseph J. Henderson & Son, Inc., of
Gurnee, IL, on the first phase of construction. The facility
will be the first to use a completely integrated Navy-VA staff
to treat recruits, active-duty service members, retirees, family
members, and veterans. "Today we mark the beginning of
construction that will eventually produce a first-of-its-kind
facility," said CAPT Bob Gibbs, CO of NAVFAC Midwest.
"In building the new parking and utilities infrastructure for
this facility, we set the stage for the physical merger of two
very capable medical centers into one comprehensive, effi-
cient, state-of-the-art hospital.
We are laying the groundwork, literally, for the best
medical care our nation can provide to our service mem-
bers, retirees, veterans, and their family members. "This
effort underlines the fact that the Navy considers its people-
-past and present — to be its most valuable resource," said
Naval Health Clinic (NHC) Great Lakes is gradually
merging operations with the existing VA staff and facili-
ties. This will provide a full range of modernized medical
and support resources for patients while at the same time
eliminating costly duplications that currently exist between
the two nearby medical facilities. The overall FHCF is
planned for completion in 2010, and is expected to save
approximately $160 million over the projected 40-year life
span of the facility. "This truly is a unique endeavor," said
CAPT Thomas McGue, CO of NHC Great Lakes. "When
you look at where we were and where we have gone, this is
definitely not your father's VA," said Patrick Sullivan, direc-
tor of the North Chicago VA Medical Center. "Who would
have thought that in our operating rooms today we would
have Navy surgeons working alongside VA nurses and
other support staff, and that we would also have kids being
"And let's not forget about the young men and women
who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so many other
places around the world to ensure we are safe at home,"
added Sullivan. "As they are answering the call, so must we
ensure they receive the best possible care when they return
Construction under the $16 million contract, awarded 25
May, includes a staff parking area, four-story parking garage
for patients, new site entryway, traffic light on Green Bay
Road, and utility work to prepare for the eventual addition
of a new wing to the current North Chicago VA Medical
Center. Completion of the parking and infrastructure project
is expected in June 2008.^
-Story by Bill Couch, Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Midwest Public Affairs.
Service Members, Vets Cite Need for
The Defense Department (DOD) and the Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) are partnering with other govern-
ment and non-government agencies to find ways to improve
the lives of severely injured service members and veterans,
officials said in July.
DOD and VA officials agree that the concept of a full-
time patient-recovery coordinators would greatly help se-
verely wounded warriors and veterans access needed services,
Lynda C. Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for
military personnel policy, told American Forces Press Service.
Davis and Kristin A. Day, the VA's acting national social work
director, co-chair the case management reform action group,
which collaborates with military family members, government
agencies, veterans service organizations and private groups.
Davis and Day hosted a joint Defense Department/ Vet-
erans Affairs 26-27 July meeting at the Pentagon that ad-
dressed non-clinical care management issues affecting severely
wounded service members and veterans, such as coordination
of benefits and disability, access to housing, transportation,
rehabilitative care, occupational therapy, employment, educa-
tion, and more. "It's everything in a person's life that's needed
to make their recovery complete that is not the strictly medi-
cal side," Davis said.
A previous summit in May addressed what was needed in
the clinical realm, she added, such as information technology
and training requirements, including discussion of needed
This March, President Bush established the Presidential
Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded
Warriors after the Washington Post disclosed patient-care
shortfalls at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The com-
mission, chaired by former Sen. Robert J. Dole and former
Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala,
examined the overall state of the military's healthcare system
and care for veterans. The commission released its findings
25 July One of the commission's recommendations is to
develop a recovery plan for seriously injured service members
and to assign recovery coordinators or case managers to se-
verely wounded service members and veterans to help them
access benefits and ongoing care.
This person would complement the many current care pro-
viders and be "a consistent resource that is with the individual
service member and the family across the full continuum of
their care from the point of acute care in a hospital in the DOD
to the recuperation phase in the VA hospital, to the time when
they'll live most of their life back in their community."
Officials now are examining what type of standardized
training recovery coordinators would require, Davis said,
as well as closely examining requirements to determine an
efficient, integrated recovery-care plan for injured military
Officials envision that VA recovery coordinators, known
as transition patient advocates, would begin to interface with
their service member clients when they're still being treated
in military hospitals, Day said. The VA has hired more than
80 of 100 patient transition advocates over the past few
months, Day pointed out. "If the patient's home is in Kansas
City, for example, the transition patient advocate will be
notified by the VA liaison at the DOD facility and will travel
to the patient, introduce themselves, and start a relation-
ship," Day explained. "It's very important to have somebody
understand your whole story, to have been there with you
[through] everything you've been through."
VA patient advocates "will literally be at the kitchen table
each step of the way" as veterans begin rebuilding their lives
in their home towns, Day said. Up to now, wives or husbands
often managed their veteran-spouses' recovery needs, with
mixed results, Day said. "The families, right now, have to
navigate all of these systems, and it's overwhelming. We're go-
ing to do that for them."
MAJ Peter Ortell, USMC, hometown link coordinator
for the Marine for Life program, who attended the Pentagon
summit meeting, said military and veterans' families have
cited the need for a dedicated recovery advocate. "They want
a single resource or point of contact they can go to, so that
they do not have to learn the entire system themselves and
become their own advocates," Ortell pointed out. Wounded
warriors and veterans already "have a whole slew of stressors,"
Ortell also noted that "having more stress by having to navi-
gate this huge medical system just adds more stress."^
-Story by Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service,
Brisbane, Australia. HM2 Rolan-
do Samortin dances with a resi-
dent of Wesley Mission elderly
home. USS Tortuga (LSD-46)
sailors visited the home during
a 4-day port visit in June. Photo
by MC Brandon Myrick, USN.
^1 B V
VA To Construct New $5.4 Million
To provide easier access for Guam's veterans to the world-
class healthcare of the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA), the Department has announced plans to construct a
new $5.4 million clinic on the periphery of the island's naval
hospital. "Since World War II, the young men and women
of Guam have served in every conflict that has confronted
this nation, including the global war on terror," said Secre-
tary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "This new facility is
tangible proof of our determination to honor our commit-
ment to those veterans."
The plan approved by Nicholson calls for a 6,000-square-
foot outpatient clinic next to the grounds of the naval hospi-
tal, with its own parking area. Patients will not have to pass
through Navy security to get to the facility. The new clinic is
scheduled to open in the summer of 2009.
The new outpatient clinic replaces the existing 2,700-
square-foot VA clinic at the naval hospital. VA will still
partner with the naval facility for emergency and after-hours
healthcare, acute inpatient care, and some specialty services.
About 9,000 veterans live on the island. The existing clinic
employs a staff of 1 1 , including an internal medicine physi-
cian, psychiatrist, and nurse practitioner. It provides primary
care, mental healthcare, limited specialty services, and physi-
cal examinations for VA's compensation and pension benefits.
During the Vietnam War, Guam had more casualties per
capita than any state in the Union. Since 1989, VA has oper-
ated a clinic at the naval hospital. Residents receive about
$ 1 5 million annually in VA disability compensation and
pensions, plus home loan guarantees, educational assistance,
vocational assistance, and other VA programs.
With 155 hospitals and more than 700 community-based
outpatient clinics, VA operates the largest integrated health-
care system in the country. VA's healthcare budget of more
than $34 billion this year will provide healthcare to about 5.5
million people during nearly 800,000 hospitalizations and 60
million outpatient visits.^
-Veteran Affairs Press Release, July 2007.
If you would like to be on the elec-
tronic mailing list and receive the
magazine in PDF format, please con-
tact Janice Marie Hores, Managing
Editor, at Janice.Hores@med.navy.mil
VA Researchers Develop New
Veterans with lower-leg amputations can look forward to
having a prosthetic ankle-foot that matches their natu-
ral ease of motion, thanks to research funded by the Depart-
ment of Veterans Affairs (VA) and conducted by researchers
from the Department and two of the nation's top universi-
ties. "Veterans are entitled to the best this nation has to
offer, and at VA, we're constantly redefining the meaning of
best," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "This
new ankle-foot prosthetic is another example of VA's medical
innovations for veterans that will benefit all Americans."
Researchers say the new ankle-foot prosthesis is the first in
a new family of artificial limbs. It will replicate natural mo-
tion by propelling people forward using tendon-like springs
powered by an electric motor. Through VA-funded research,
the Center for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine, a
partnership between the Providence VA Medical Center in
Rhode Island, Brown University, and Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, developed the new prosthesis. The center's
goal is to restore natural function to amputees.
VA expects to spend more than $1.2 billion this year on
prosthetics and sensory aids, which includes glasses and hear-
ing aids. The Department operates about 60 orthotic-pros-
thetic labs across the country that fabricate, fit, and repair
artificial limbs or oversee limbs provided by commercial
-Veteran Affairs Press Release, July 2007.
Navy Medical Center San Diego
Presents Fisher House II
Navy Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) broke
ground 15 June for the Fisher House II, which will be
adjacent to the current Fisher House at NMCSD.
The approximately 8,000-square-foot Fisher House II will
have 1 1 rooms and will cost $4 million to build. Accord-
ing to the Fisher House website, the Fisher House program
is a unique private-public partnership supporting American
military personnel in their time of need by providing a home
away from home that allows family members to be near a
loved one during hospitalization.
There are 37 Fisher Houses located on 1 8 military instal-
lations and eight Veterans Administration medical centers
across the United States and in Germany. The Fisher House
Program was founded in 1990 by Zachary and Elizabeth M.
Fisher who dedicated more than $20 million to the construc-
tion of comfort homes for the families of hospitalized mili-
"We are reminded daily about our duty to pay tribute to
those whose dedication to duty and passion for this country
have left them ill, or injured and hospitalized," said Dave
Coker, president of the Fisher House Foundation. "We have
been able to help thousands in need because the exceptional
generosity of others."
"There is a need to have ample Fisher House rooms for
military families to be close to their loved ones during their
recuperation, and it's a privilege for us to be a part of this and
make this happen," said David J. Mclntyre Jr., president and
chief executive officer of TriWest Healthcare Alliance.^
-Story by MC Seaman Shannon K. Cassldy, Pacific Fleet
Navy Medicine Support Command En-
sures Reservists Practice Medicine
The Executive Committee for Medical and Dental Staff
(ECOMS/DS) held a monthly meeting here recently
to review the credentials files of Navy Reserve practitioners.
This committee, consisting of both reserve and active duty
medical staff officers, serves one of Navy medicine's most
important functions — recommending a medical practitio-
ner for independent service in one of hundreds of military
healthcare clinics and hospitals worldwide.
NMSC's Centralized Credentialing and Privileging
Department (CCPD), the host of the ECOMS/DS, has a
unique mission of supporting the Navy Surgeon General/
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in the management
and maintenance of individual credential files (ICFs) for the
Reserve healthcare providers.
The credential files contain the documents that Reserve
medical providers must have to provide healthcare. CCPD
maintains the ICFs for licensed independent practitioners,
including physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, and other
allied healthcare givers. CCPD also maintains the individual
professional files (IPFs) for Reserve clinical support staff such
as professional nurses and dental hygienists.
CCPD uses this system to grant privileges to more than
2,000 healthcare providers serving across the Navy, ensuring
that providers have the proper education, training, licenses,
certifications, and current competency and skills within their
chosen clinical specialty.
"Having the centralized credentials files here at NMSC is
like dealing a deck of cards," said Sandra Banning, CCPD's
department head. "We hold all the cards (credentials files),
and we deal them from here via electronic credentials transfer
briefs. We know where the surgeons are located, we know
where all the family physicians are located, and we know
where the clinical support staff are located."
Banning said Navy medicine is better served by keeping
every provider's credential file in one location thereby mini-
mizing delay in the credentialing and privileging process.
During the ECOM/DS meeting, members spent the day
discussing and reviewing the credential files before making
their recommendations to NMSC's Chief of Staff, Mr. Wil-
liam Lorenzen, the sole privileging authority for all Navy
Reserve component providers.
The ECOM/DS was formed in 1993 after then Navy
Surgeon General VADM Donald F. Hagen decided to cen-
tralize all the reserve medical providers who need to be privi-
leged or critical support staff in one location. This critical
mission belonged to the Naval Healthcare Support Office lo-
cated in building H2005, which later transitioned to become
Navy Medicine Support Command in November 2005.
"Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the early
1990s let us know that at the time we couldn't effectively
identify our Reserve component medical assets. For example,
when physicians needed a billet they were often placed into
any physician billet regardless of their specialty." Banning
said. "When Desert Shield and Desert Storm occurred, we
needed to know where our assets were and how they were
distributed. CCPD helps BUMED reach that goal."
At the conclusion of the monthly ECOMs meeting,
NMSC's Chief of Staff has a number of applications and
endorsement pages requiring his endorsement. After signing,
the medical and dental providers are notified their privileges
have been approved for the next 2 years, at which time, the
entire cycle begins again. $
-Story by MC1(SW/AW) Jeffrey McDowell, Navy Medicine
Support Command Public Affairs.
Lejeune Hospital Unveils Operational
Medicine Training Facility
A ribbon-cutting ceremony 30 May marked the grand
opening of a new $325,000 training facility located on
the grounds of the Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, NC.
"We view this new construction as an expansion of our
core facility [and] as an opportunity to enhance existing
training programs for our active duty as well as beneficia-
ries," said CAPT Mark C. Olesen, CO Naval Hospital Camp
Lejeune. "It will create more space inside our main hospital
that can be used for other purposes."
The new Operational Medicine Training Facility features
a spacious room designed for operational medicine training.
The classroom will be outfitted with state-of-the-art equip-
ment and can accommodate approximately 50 personnel.
The new building will allow the hospital to expand training
programs and implement new training initiatives.
RADM Thomas R. Cullison, Commander Navy Medi-
cine East, Naval Medical Command Portsmouth, VA, was
Left to right: Wil-
liam A. Meir, XO,
XO, Naval Hos-
tin, CO, Naval
son, CO, Navy
MGEN Robert Dickerson, commanding general Marine Corps Instal-
lations East, and CAPT Mark C. Olesen, CO, Naval Hospital cut the
ribbon during the grand opening of the Operational Training facility.
Photo by HM2 Thomas Bush, USN
guest speaker for the event and noted the positive impact the
new facility will have on the military and surrounding area.
"Naval Hospital trains with the base and Onslow County for
disaster preparedness. This is where we get our basic training
and this new building will be used for a myriad of training,"
A dedication ceremony was held during the grand open-
ing in memory of HMC John M. Westfield, who was killed
in an automobile accident in February. Olesen described him
as an invaluable member of the command, and a room in
the new facility was named after Westfield to honor his hard
work and dedication to the command. Olesen and CMC
Kevin Kesterson presented a plaque to Westfield's wife and
According to CDR Constance Worline, head of Educa-
tion and training. The room will be used as an additional
training classroom not only for Marines and sailors, but also
to provide training to beneficiaries as a part of patient educa-
tion. The room will also be used for pre-deployment practical
skills training for years to come.
The ceremony was attended by a number of military offi-
cials including MGEN and Mrs. Robert C. Dickerson, Com-
manding General of Marine Corps Installations East; CAPT
Eleanor Valentin, CO, Naval Hospital Cherry Point; and
William A. Meir, XO, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. £
-Story by Raymond Applewhite, Naval Hospital Camp
Lejeune Public Affairs.
FRA Branch 29 Shows Their Fond
Regards to NHB
A commanding officer's office has a tendency to be more
than just where a vast amount of decision making, per-
sonnel assessment, and mounds of messages are handled.
Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Branch 29, of Bremerton,
is well aware that the office belonging to CAPT Catherine
A. Wilson, Naval Hospital Bremerton CO, is a repository in
CAPT Catherine Wilson, accepts artwork from Fleet Reserve As-
sociation Branch 29 of Bremerton for her support on behalf of
her command. CMC Tom Countryman (far left) also is a stalwart
supporter of numerous civic and veteran organizations and has
personally worked with various members of FRA 29 in volunteer
projects to benefit active duty and military family members during
his tenure as CMC at NHB. Photo by Douglas H Stutz
homage to Navy history. There's memorabilia from past Navy
and joint commands, family heirlooms with a decidedly nau-
tical tone, and Navy medicine mementoes. FRA Branch 29
members, led by President Bob Hulet, Jerry Irvine, and Bob
Crann, recently paid a visit to CAPT Wilson, to show their
regards to her and her command for supporting them in their
endeavors. They presented CAPT Wilson with a handmade
intricately inlaid knot- tied mounted image of Naval Hospital
Bremerton. "This is just our way to say thank you for sup-
porting us, and especially to show our appreciation with your
involvement in the Memorial Day Services at Forest Lawn
Cemetery on May 28," said Hulet.
"What a meaningful gift, it's such a beautiful piece of
work and I'll always treasure it." commented CAPT Wilson.
"This art truly exemplifies the traditions of the old Navy. You
don't see this type of quality much anymore and Jerry Irvine
is a master. I thank him for all he does to pass on his skill and
the FRA that helps keep our Navy traditions alive."
FRA Branch 29's motto is, "Doctors have the AMA, Law-
yers have the ABA, Sea Services have the FRA." They have
provided loyalty, protection, and service in adhering to their
motto for almost 77 years. FRA 29 was formed on 18 July
1930 and moved to its current location on Veterans Day, 1 1
November 1968. Nationally, the Fleet Reserve Association
(FRA) has served as the voice of Sea Services enlisted person-
nel on Capitol Hill since 1924. FRA was the first enlisted
military association to testify before a U.S. Congressional
Committee. Today, FRA is recognized by the Secretary of
the Navy to speak before the U.S. Congress on their behalf.
In addition, the 1997 Defense Authorization Act granted a
Federal Charter to the FRA. FRA represents the interests of
enlisted and former enlisted active duty, reserve, retired, and
veterans honorably discharged from the Navy, Marine Corps,
Coast Guard, and their families.^
-Story by Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public
Family Medicine Residency
Six plus six adds up to a lot more than just a dozen,
especially concerning the 2007 graduating class of
Puget Sound Family Medicine Residency program at Naval
Hospital Bremerton. A half-dozen family medicine first-year
residents and an equal number of family medicine third-year
residents were duly recognized at Naval Hospital Bremer-
ton's Family Medicine Resident Graduation Ceremony on
29 June 2007.
"This is an important milestone, for one of our primary
missions at NHB is providing graduate medical education
for family physicians," said CAPT Ronald F. Dommermuth,
MC, Program Director, Puget Sound Family Medicine
Residency. "After 3 rigorous years, we have six of the world's
finest deployable family physicians. They have advanced their
own skill level, plus those around them. We also have five
going on to their next year here and they are a very talented
"Congratulations on now being independent practi-
tioners," commented CAPT Robert F. Wilson, MC, guest
speaker, addressing the graduating class. "Up to this point,
the challenges have all been singular in surviving the resi-
dency. Now, there will be multiple challenges. There will be
briars and brambles in the path. You will be called upon to
support the global war on terror. You are unmatched in your
dedication of calling and are all remarkable."
Family Medicine Third- Year Residents graduating are:
LCDR Eric M. Buenviaje, duty station to be determined; LT
David A. Duncan, duty station at Branch Medical Clinic,
Iwakuni, Japan; LT Erica S. Grogan, duty station at Branch
Medical Clinic, Iwakuni, Japan; LT Barbara G. Hoover, duty
station at Branch Medical Clinic, Bangor WA; LT Michael
L. McCord, duty station at U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa,
Rendering honors due. ..Puget Sound Family Medicine Resident
Graduation ceremony recognized six Family Medicine Third-Year
Residents and an equal number of Family Medicine First-Year
Residents before Naval Hospital Bremerton staff, family, teach-
ers, and CAPT Catherine Wilson, NHB Commanding Officer. Photo
by MC1(SW) Fletcher Gibson
Japan; and LT Leslie A. Waldman, duty station at U.S. Na-
val Hospital, Guam. Waldman also received the Residency
Teacher Award for 2007, as the top teacher in her class.
Family Medicine First- Year Residents are: LT Justin S.
Clark, duty station at 3rd MARDIV FMFPAC Okinawa,
Japan; LT Kelly G. Koren; LT Marcy G. Lake; LT Dawn M.
Long; LT Malcolm C. Mas teller, and LT John S. Robertson,
all continuing residency at NHB.^
-Story by Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public
Naval Hospital Pensacola Helps Train
Nation's Future Medical, Nursing
On a given day at Naval Hospital Pensacola, or any
one of its 1 1 Naval Branch Health Clinics across four
states — Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee — a
number of students are in various stages of their educa-
tional studies to become a doctor, surgical technician, nurse,
radiologist, ultra-sound technician, dental assistant, or any
number of other medical fields.
These students, however, are not necessarily military med-
ical officers in the making. Many are people with no military
ties, pursuing a career in the medical field in many schools
across the nation. They also happen to have been selected to
perform a portion of their medical training — or rotations —
at Naval Hospital Pensacola.
"Each year we have up to 200 students performing their
practical training here," says Tom Dunmore of the hospital's
Command Education and Training Department. There are
nursing and dental assistant students from Pensacola Junior
College (PJC), physician assistant and nursing students from
the University of South Alabama in Mobile, surgical techni-
cians and medical assistants from Virginia College, as well
as students from Kapps University, the University of West
Florida, Auburn University, the University of Florida, and
"We get the students from anywhere," said Dunmore, who
is responsible for keeping track of these students and ensur-
ing their educational needs are met during their rotation at
the naval hospital. What that means for the students is an
environment that has proven to be a worthwhile supplement
to their education, he said.
The military hospital, for the most part, is very similar to
an area community hospital; but the "military influence" is a
bit different and sometimes a very good influence on the stu-
dents' training, continued Dunmore. "We have a 1 00 percent
success rate with the nursing students who come here and
go on to take their state boards [licensure exams] ," Dunmore
patient as part
of her training
program at the
Photo by MC1 Russ
"The Naval Hospital has established ties with the com-
munity and has the resources to host the students. Plus, be-
ing a part of the community is important to the command,
the Navy, and the U.S. government. It's a great way of giving
back to the community." While the experience of "working"
at the naval hospital for most of these students will probably
be a one-time event, for one student, who is finishing up her
practical rotation at Naval Hospital Pensacola, it's somewhat
of a homecoming.
Elizabeth Burkhart is a week away from completing the
2-year PJC Registered Nurse program and is currently do-
ing her practical rotation at the hospital. Burkhart has been
at the hospital before, but in a much different capacity. She
was stationed there in 2002 while on Navy active duty as a
corpsman. So for her, coming back, as she becomes an RN,
is very gratifying in a number of ways. "Doing my practical
rotations here is fitting because this is where I started when I
transferred to Pensacola from Guam, and this is where I will
finish," said Burkhart.
She plans to relocate with her family upon graduation.
But she says doing her practical rotations at the naval hos-
pital is especially appealing, aside from the reminiscences of
her years in the Navy, due to the learning environment the
hospital presents. "I enjoy the military environment during
practical rotations because everyone is so helpful, supportive,
and nice," she said. "It really is a team effort and a team envi-
ronment here, more than anywhere else I have trained during
my 2-year RN program."
Naval Hospital Pensacola has been a teaching facility with
its Family Medicine residency program, since 1972, that is
very popular with medical students, according to Dunmore.
"The medical doctor-students who come, request to come
because of the residency program in place. Many of the
medical students will come in their third or fourth year to go
through our Family practice Medicine specialty or surgical
rotation programs we have," says Dunmore.
The military environment of the hospital, although subtle
at times, can have an influence on those who are here — even
some of the students. Approximately three students per year
sign up for the military after completing a rotation of practi-
cal training at the Navy hospital, according to Dunmore.
While Naval Hospital Pensacola may not be the size of or
have the numerous specialties of a Walter Reed or Bethesda
military medical center, the staff does meet the student train-
ing mission. "We're not the biggest but we meet the students'
education needs," states Dunmore, "and we make them feel
-Story by MC1(AW) Russ Tafuri, Naval Hospital Pensacola.
Doctor Prescribes New Qualification
Gaining the trust of his patients is important for LCDR
Alfredo Baker, flight surgeon, Marine Aviation Logistics
Squadron 24. It's why he spent 9 months training to become
a Fleet Marine Force qualified officer. The doctor is one of
fewer than 1 newly qualified naval officers to wear the cor-
responding pin at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.
Sailors who finish the process have demonstrated their skill in
understanding Corps history, infrastructure, and operations.
The qualification is reserved for those who work closely
with Marines, and it is external recognition of the work an
officer puts into training, said the flight surgeon. "The quali-
fication is currently voluntary for officers," said Baker. "It's
more specialized than the Navy (Fleet Marine Force) ribbon.
Anyone who goes through the training gains a global under-
standing of amphibious operations. Officers will see how the
Marines and the Navy work as a team."
As the program's coordinator, Baker teaches several of the
training classes. The doctor organizes group field exercises,
and he contacts Marine Corps officers to speak on topics
such as weaponry. Formerly an elementary teacher who
taught in Los Angeles, Baker said the experience has helped
him learn how to connect with others.
Baker's leadership has helped in educating classes of up to
15 sailors, according to CDR Keith Hanley, flight surgeon,
Marine Aircraft Group 24. Hanley, who works with Baker at
the 1 st Marine Wing Medical Aid Station, said many units in
U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific support the program, but Baker
took the leading position for the Wing. "There are at least
three folks at Marine Force Pacific who are wearing their pins
now because of his efforts," he said. "We've also established
dentists and a few chaplains who are working for their quali-
The additional training has helped him to make better
decisions on monitoring resources, said Baker. After learning
more extensively about the Marine Air Ground Task Force,
the doctor said he has a clearer idea of how the Marines are
organized into teams for a combined effort.
Baker said he was eager to earn this qualification so he
could better demonstrate his connection to the Corps. After
in front of an
used at the 1st
Medical Aid Sta-
tion at Marine
Corps Base Ha-
Bay. Photo by
deploying with Regimental Combat Team 2 to Iraq in 2003,
he said he feels privileged to care for service members who
readily take on heavy responsibility.
"He's very empathetic," said Hanley. "Alfredo takes a lot
of personal ownership and pride for 'his' Marines. He's jovial
and happy. He's not dour or a sourpuss. Alfredo is a happy
guy who comes in with a positive attitude each day. I think
that translates to his patients."
His ability to bond with patients has led the qualified
officer to pursue psychiatry as a medical specialty. Hanley
said he thinks the doctor's personality makes him a natural
psychiatrist. His good listening skills are important in a
field where doctors need to be especially empathetic to pa-
tients, according to the MAG-24 flight surgeon. "I'd like
to help people who were in combat," said Baker. "Working
with the Marines, I understand firsthand what they go
through. They've got so many stresses, and I'll use any tool
As Hanley begins to take more of a leadership role in the
program, he said he has admired the program coordinator's
capacity for caring about his patients.
"I hope that I bring the teaching skills he has," Hanley
said. "He's a very effective teacher and he puts a little humor
into everything. The ability to teach with a sense of humor is
not a skill set that everyone has.'
-Story by Christine Cabalo, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Resiliency: A New Approach for
The Navy Environmental Health Center (NEHC) em-
phasizes use of resiliency techniques to help sailors and
Marines deal with stress.
According to Dr. Mark Long, psychologist and public
health educator with NEHC, "resiliency," the term given
to strategies and techniques for dealing with stress, is not
"magic." Rather, it is simply a strategy and skill that enables
individuals to "bounce back" from every day stressors.
Long suggests that individuals who maintain a positive
outlook on life are typically more resilient when faced with
stress than those who aren't. "All of us face daily stressors
and hassles," said Long. "We see some athletes who rebound
quickly after a bad or difficult situation while others fall apart
or stay stuck in the past. Which would you like to do?"
While "resiliency" and "stress management" are often used
synonymously, there are key differences. Where stress man-
agement focuses on "what you do" during stressful situations,
resiliency focuses on "who you are."
Building resiliency over time helps to raise an individual's
tolerance level to stressful situations. With increased resiliency,
stressors are less likely to have the same impact that they once
may have had and allow a person to adjust and adapt. "We all
want to recover quicker, faster and better," said Dr. Long. "And
resiliency is a practical and effective strategy to help us."
For more information on resiliency, visit the NEHC
-Story by Hugh Cox, Navy Environmental Health Center
Eighty Interns Graduate at Naval
Medical Center Portsmouth
The intern class of 2007 graduated at Naval Medical
Center Portsmouth on 29 June. The class was com-
posed of 76 Navy and 4 Air Force interns. Like last year's
class, the Air Force students were reassigned from Keesler Air
Force Hospital in Biloxi, MS, which was heavily damaged by
The interns marched down the granite steps of Building 1 ,
which opened in 1830 as the nation's first naval hospital. As
first-year medical officers, they completed internship training
in internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics,
otolaryngology, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and the tran-
sitional year programs. Unlike civilian programs, NMCP's
interns are trained to be naval officers as well as physicians.
They complete a rigorous program of general medical train-
ing to support the nation's military forces around the world.
Upon graduation, they will be eligible for their medical
Unlike in the civilian world, where interns go right into resi-
dency, most of NMCP's graduates serve 2 years as general medi-
cal officers on ships, or pursue undersea medicine or in flight
surgery training to gain operational experience with the military.
They are assigned with operational forces, and will deploy over-
seas to Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and to ships at sea,
supporting the war on terror, and will provide medical care to
forward-deployed forces. Later, they may pursue residency train-
ing to become specialists in military hospitals.
The guest speaker, LGEN Robert R. Blackman, Jr., Com-
mander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and Com-
manding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, focused on
Navy medicine's role in supporting the operational forces
during war. Also speaking was RADM Thomas Cullison,
current NMCP Commander, and the past Medical Officer
of the Marine Corps. The ceremony emcee, CAPT Kevin
Knoop, is NMCP Director for Medical Education, and a
recent recipient of the Bronze Star for his service in Al-Taqa-
ddam, Iraq. Additionally, the Command Intern Coordina-
tor, CDR Edward Simmer, received the Meritorious Service
Medal during the ceremony for his service with the Army
while deployed to Iraq.^
-Story by Deborah Kallgren, Naval Medical Center
Portsmouth Public Affairs.
The Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Intern Class of 2007 salutes
during the singing of the National Anthem at their graduation
Ceremony. Photo by MCSN James Holcroft, USN
Read any good books lately?
Navy Medicine is looking for book re-
views. If you've read a good book dealing
with military (Navy) medicine and would
like to write a review, the guidelines are:
•Book reviews should be 600 words or
•Introductory paragraph must contain
this information: Book name by author.
Publisher, city, state. Year published. Num-
ber of pages.
•Reviewer ID: sample:
CAPT XYZ is Head of Internal Medi-
cine at Naval Medical Center San Diego.
Send submission for consideration to
Janice Marie Hores, Managing Editor, at:
Naval Hospital Oak Harbor Opens
Deployment Health Clinic
Naval Hospital Oak Harbor (NHOH) opened a new
Deployment Health Clinic (DHC) at Naval Air Sta-
tion (NAS) Whidbey Island, 1 July "This clinic is the Navy
medical community's future way of doing business," said
CAPT Vernon Morgan, Branch Clinics and Flight Medicine
director. "This new idea will inevitably come with some
obstacles, but NHOH will identify and correct the discrep-
NHOH was handpicked by Naval Air Enterprise, Bureau
of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), and Naval Air Forces to
be the pilot study for this Navy project.
"The DHC is an integration of three separate organiza-
tions which makes it challenging," said LCDR Leslie Brown,
department head of the DHC. "This is a coordinated effort
between BUMED, the squadron Aviation Physiological Tech-
nicians, and the Reserves."
The DHC provides service members with the means
to reach the six elements of deployment readiness prior
to leaving. These elements include immunizations, blood
work, dental, personal medical equipment, identifying any
deployment limiting conditions, and the preventive health
assessment. "The Deployment Health Clinic will centralize
all aspects of health care needed for deployment readiness,"
said HM1 Jason McGuire, leading petty officer of the DHC.
"Our goal is to increase the readiness of all sailors and Ma-
rines to 100 percent."
The clinic can see up to 30 patients a day using seven
full-time and two part-time medical staff. "I'm proud to be
part of contributing to the readiness and health of active duty
sailors and Marines," said Nina Kamberger, periodic health
The medical readiness process begins with a preventive
health assessment on each service member's birth month. "I
learned about healthy eating and maintaining a proper diet
during my health assessment," said YN Juan Ojeda. "It's good
to have something like this keeping everyone on track."
The clinic conducts pre-deployment assessment, ensuring
that sailors and Marines are medically prepared to deploy.
They also conduct post-deployment assessments and a reas-
sessment after returning for 90 to 180 days. "My hope is that
the DHC will become a Navy-wide model," said Brown.
"This is how our sailors and Marines should be taken care
of." The DHC officially moved into its permanent home in
the hospital, 12 July^
-Story by MC1 Bruce McVicar and MC2 Tucker Yates, Fleet
Public Affairs Center Detachment Northwest.
Free Resources for Deployed Service Members and their Family Members
•Free computers for spouses or parents of deployed ser-
vice members in ranks El - E5
•Free magazines for deploying service members
•Free mail/gifts sent to children of deployed service members
•Free phone cards
•Sign up to sponsor a Sailor/Marine with care packages
http://anysailor.com/ and http://anymarine.com
http : // www. treatthetroops . org/
•Free care packages
•Virtual Care boxes for troops
•Free books, DVD's, CD's.
•Free care packages
•Free care packages
•Sign up to receive care packages
•Free gifts and care packages
•Free shipping materials for mailing to troops
Navy Nurse Corps to Exceed Recruit-
The Navy Nurse Corps (NC) is expecting to surpass its
established recruiting goals for fiscal year 2007 (FY07)
by September. "The Navy Nurse Corps is increasingly
becoming a top career option for nurses," said CDR Ray
Wilson, NC, Nurse Corps Programs Manager, Commander
Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC), Millington, TN. "In
the most recent years, we have seen a growing interest and
desire from civilian nurses who want to serve their country
and they are choosing to become members of the Nurse
Corps to fulfill that need."
NC recruitment goals for FY 07 are 69 for active duty
through direct accession, 70 for reservists, 75 for the Nurse
Candidate Program, and 2 for reservists (active duty recalled).
"We are definitely going to surpass these goals. Currently, we
are at 75 percent of our active through direct accession goal
with 26 alternates signed up for next fiscal year, 30 percent
attainment for reservists, with 70 nurses waiting in the wings
to be commissioned with a 1 to 1 5 roll-over for next fiscal
year," said Wilson. "In the Nurse Candidate Program, we
have reached 71 percent of our goal and have started an alter-
nate list for next fiscal year."
According to Wilson, nurses are choosing to become mem-
bers of the NC team for a variety reasons including a more
challenging work environment, higher job satisfaction, and more
opportunities for career advancement. "There are a number
of people choosing to sign up and be commissioned as Navy
nurses. We have seen an ever-growing increase of patriotism in
our country. People feel the need to serve our country and help
and support our war fighters, offering their skills and talents to
Navy medicine," he said. "Our nurses have immediate respect
for the great medical care they provide and because of officer
rank as well. In the civilian sector, the respect for nurses and the
good work that they do can be lacking. Benefits in the military
are great in comparison to the civilian market. We also offer
opportunities for promotion, graduate education that the Navy
will pay for, and opportunities to specialize. Another reason is
that a lot of people want to leave their current employment situ-
ation and they want to shake up their career for the better. They
want to travel, they want a challenge like no other challenge
in the world, and they want their careers to have meaning and
purpose — personal fulfillment. Also, the Nurse Corps is very
competitive with our civilian counterparts in terms of salary and
we meet or exceed any bonuses nurses can receive in the civilian
sector. We also have a much better retirement system."
The Nurse Corps has a variety of specialties. "We have
18-plus nursing specialties at work within Navy medicine.
Among these specialties are critical care nursing, advance
practice nursing, nursing anesthesia, maternal-infant nursing,
and operational nursing. We have nurses that come into the
Nurse Corps already having these specialties or we can send a
Nurse Corps nurse to school to acquire education for a spe-
cific specialty through our DUINS (duty under instruction)
program. The two specialties that are high demand right now
are nurse anesthesia and critical care," he said.
Recruiting for nurses is an ongoing, active, and productive
process. According to Wilson, there are 26 recruiting districts
across the U.S. Most of the districts have a Nurse Corps of-
ficer who is actively recruiting. These recruiting officers are
responsible for attending conventions and job fairs, visiting
schools in their district, and meeting with the deans. They
also put on presentations and attend luncheons. All this is
part of the bag-carrying Nurse Corps recruiter's responsibili-
ties. In addition, local and national advertising campaigns
help get out the word. There are also mailings to all nursing
students who attend accredited nursing schools throughout
the U.S. Enclosed is local contact information.
RADM Christine Bruzek-Kohler, Director of the Nurse
Corps, sends out a letter with her signature to all deans of
these schools each year. CNRC sponsors five national con-
ventions per year, which Wilson usually attends along with
a NC officer recruiter representative from that local area. All
nurse associations, including the National Hispanic Nurses
Association, African American Nurses Association, National
Student Nurses Association, receive visits from CNRC and
Nurse Corps recruiters at their conventions as well. Profes-
sional journal advertising also helps.
"Our nurses not only come in through recruiting pro-
grams. We have pipeline programs, STA-21 (Seaman to Ad-
miral Program), ROTC, to name a few," he added. Certain
financial benefits are also available to nurses who are consid-
ering a commission in the Navy. "We have a $15,000 sign-on
bonus for 3-year active duty commitment, and a $25,000
bonus for a 4-year active duty commitment. We hold from
20 to 25 seats each year for loan repayment and can pay up
to $32,000 in loans and a $15,000 bonus with that for a 5-
year active duty commitment," said Wilson. "Students who
are in their junior and senior years in the Nurse Candidate
Program can receive $1,000 a month and a $10,000 bonus,
so they can get up to $34,000 to go to school while they are
in school and they are commissioned when they graduate."
There are certain basic requirements that a nurse must
meet in order to receive a NC commission. "You must be a
college graduate. The maximum age to enter is 42, but we
can grant age waivers. Average age of joining is 21. Plus, you
must meet the already established requirements set by the
Navy such as physical requirements," said Wilson.
Those interested in learning more about the Navy Nurse Corps
program can visit www.navy.com, click the officer programs and
view the Navy Nurse Corps section of the site. They can also con-
tact their local recruiting district to obtain more information.^
-Story by Christine A. Mahoney, Bureau of Medicine and
Surgery Public Affairs.
Honoring Navy Heroes
The Naval School of Health Sciences (NSHS), San Di-
ego, unveiled the first-of-its-kind memorial 1 5 June to
honor hospital corpsmen who have died in the line of duty
The memorial, created by NSHS staff corpsmen, is a
replica of a soldier's battlefield grave from the World War
II era and consists of an Ml 6 rifle, helmet, boots, and
dog tags, all cast in copper. The memorial also includes a
corpsman's tools — stethoscope, bandages, and tape. "Today,
we are here to remember our fallen brothers and sisters who
gave the ultimate sacrifice, and those among us who will
also fall," said RADM James A. Johnson, MC, during the
As of June, more than 30 corpsmen have perished in the
global war on terror since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As the
Navy and Marine Corps's enlisted medical specialists, corps-
men are the primary caregivers for sailors at sea and combat
Marines in the field.
The three NSHS staff members who crafted and designed
the memorial are HM2 Leeann Weeden, HM2(FMF) Wil-
son Ospina, and HM3 Joseph Tonti. For Ospina, serving in
combat inspired his work on the memorial. "My experience
in the battlefield impacted my feelings about this memorial,"
said Ospina. "To be able to share your life with someone,
and in an instant, you find yourself fighting to save that life.
That's what this is about."
The Hospital Corps Monthly newsletter is now
available electronically. To have your personal copy
delivered to your emailbox please contact:
Executive Assistant to BUMED FORCM
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
2300 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20372
(202)762-3137; DSN: 762-3137
Cell: (571) 215-0571; Fax: (202) 762-3224
HM3 Nerwin A. Sevilleja who serves at Navy Medicine
Support Command in Jacksonville, FL, heard about the me-
morial unveiling. "I think it's great that our fellow corpsmen
are being honored for their service," said Sevilleja, a medical
staff specialist in the Centralized Credentials and Privileging
Department. "It's a reminder of the role I and other corps-
men play in this global war on terrorism. Being a corpsman
is a demanding job, and this memorial shows how we are
willing to take an extra step for our fellow shipmates and for
"It takes an incredible amount of dedication and passion
to serve this country," added CAPT Robin T. McKenzie, NC,
NSHS commanding officer. "Navy corpsmen are the center
of Navy medicine. They are the 'Doc' The Marine Corps
will not go without their 'Doc,' and a corpsman will not
leave without his Marine."^
-Story by MC Shannon K. Cassldy, Fleet Public Affairs
Farewell Message From Chief, Navy
On the 18th of August, 2007, I will be
turning over the leadership baton of
our fabulous Dental Corps to my very good
friend and colleague, RDML (Sel) Rich-
ard Vinci. It has been a very challenging
and rewarding 46 months coupled with a
tremendous amount of change not only for
our Dental Corps, but for Navy medicine
and the Navy. As we focus on the changes
around us, we do not want to lose sight of
what Navy dentistry is really about-maxi-
mizing the dental health and readiness of
the sailors and Marines who have committed themselves
to the defense or our nation, and the family members
who accompany them when they are stationed in foreign
As Chief of the Dental Corps and leader of the commu-
nity, we worked with other corps and our sister services to
develop those future opportunities to main-
tain the vitality and energy of the dental com-
munity. Our historical community strength
arises from our tremendous professionalism,
dedication, rapport, and support by the line
coupled with our ability to adapt. To succeed
in this era of change, we all need to continue
to adapt, never losing focus on our primary
mission, while looking for those opportuni-
ties to contribute and build those teams that
take us to the next level of support and align-
It has been my great privilege and honor
to support each and every one of you in service
to our great country. May God always bless you and your
families with "fair winds and following seas."
RADM Carol Turner
Marines Honor Navy Doc with Bronze
The U.S. Marine Corps awarded CAPT Kevin Knoop
with the Bronze Star on 14 June, for meritorious
achievement at Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq. On behalf of the
Marines, RADM Thomas Cullison, Commander, Naval
Medical Center Portsmouth, presented the medal.
Knoop, a 22-year Navy veteran and Chesapeake resident,
is an emergency physician and the Director of Graduate
Medical Education at the medical center. He served as the
OIC of the Taqaddum Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon from
February through September 2005. "I can't say enough about
the great job CAPT Knoop, and everyone there, is doing for
our troops," said Cullison.
Knoop's team of 54 highly skilled sailors and Marines
provided Level II medical care to 450 patients, including 360
combat-wounded coalition service members. Taqaddum Sur-
gical achieved a 95 percent survival rate for all patients, in-
cluding those arriving in critical condition. Nearly 25 percent
of the coalition forces patients were returned to full duty. As
a Senior Flight Surgeon, Knoop also provided instruction in
"I can't explain how rewarding it was to serve in that role,"
said Knoop. "What I saw there was awe-inspiring. Every-
one there displayed extreme focus and determination. . .just
great chemistry. It's an honor to have served with, and be the
leader of such a great group. This is truly a team award."
The citation, signed on behalf of the president by LGEN
J.N. Mattis, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central
Command, states, "Captain Knoop displayed incompa-
rable medical skill, exceptional wisdom and innovation, and
outstanding leadership in guiding Taqaddum Surgical to
successful mission accomplishment, contributing greatly to II
Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) success in Operation
COL Robert DeStafney, the Marine CO deployed with
Knoop at Camp Al Taqaddum, drove from his current duty
station at Camp Lejeune, NC, to Portsmouth to attend the
ceremony with Knoop's family. "He's a great team builder,"
said DeStafney of Knoop. "He's a superb leader, humble and
honest. We wouldn't have experienced the success we did
without his leadership."
The Bronze Star is a United States Armed Forces indi-
vidual military decoration and is the fourth highest award. It
is awarded for bravery, heroism, or meritorious service. £
-Story by Deborah Kallgren, Naval Medical Center Public
Affairs, Portsmouth, VA.
Hospital Corpsman Awarded Bronze
HMCS Stephen A. Mur-
ray was recognized for
heroic lifesaving actions by
receiving the Bronze Star. The
award was submitted by Naval
Forces Central Command's
RADM Thomas Cullison,
Commander, Naval Medical
Center Portsmouth, made the
RADM Thomas Cullison, Com- presentation on 18 July.
mander Naval Medical Cen- Murray served as Senior
ter Portsmouth, presents the Medic with the Combat Service
Bronze Star to HMCS(SVWAW) c A/r , . , ~
Stephen Murray. Photo by mci Eric Su PP ort Medlcal Com P an 7>
Deatherage, usn Navy Embedded Training Team
Juliet, in Herat, Afghanistan,
from November 2005 to June 2006. He is credited with saving
lives in two separate incidents, both involving insurgent attacks.
After his convoy struck two IEDs in March 2006, Murray ren-
dered medical attention with no regard for personal safety. Mur-
ray again rendered medical attention to two wounded soldiers,
thereby saving eight lives in the two incidents. Murray's Bronze
Star will be distinguished with the "V" for valor. $
-Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Public Affairs.
sens CAPT Kevin
Knoop with the
citation for his
Bronze Star. Photo
by MC1 Eric Deather-
M e n e I ey,
So I I ock,
left, as com-
Joint Medical Group during a change of command ceremony
at the Bayview Club. 6 July 2007. Photo by SGT Jody Metzger, USA
Beaufort Corpsman Receives Navy-
Every year across the Navy, one of
the nearly 700 preventive medi-
cine technicians is recognized for the
quality and leadership they employ
while working in the medical field.
On 21 May HM1 Michael Mann
received the Master Chief Stephen
W. Brown Award for Preventive
Medicine Technician of the Year for
his work while serving with Marine
Wing Support Squadron 273 during HM1 Michael Mann
2006. The award was established in
memory of Brown who served as a preventive medicine tech-
nician from 1952 until 1986.
"We look for those who make a difference in a way that is
noticeable by that person's command," said Navy CAPT Wil-
liam Stover, CO of the Navy Environmental Health Center
in Portsmouth, VA.
Mann was selected out of 13 nominees for the award. Strong
leadership and the drive to keep service members healthy are just
two of the many qualities it takes to be selected for the award,
according to Stover. "If I give him a mission, it's going to get
accomplished," said CPO Chris Campbell, the LPO chief of
preventive medicine. While assigned to the Sweathogs, Mann
served as the leading petty officer for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
Preventive Medicine, Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. While deployed,
Mann led his team in an effort to provide efficient public health
services to all units stationed within Denver, a 52,000-square-
mile area of operation in the Al Anbar Province.
"My job is to prevent disease non-battle injuries" such as food
or water contamination as well as preventable injuries that take
service members away from the fight, according to Mann.
Mann also conducted 3,500 inspections in a combat envi-
ronment to keep an overall 90 percent sanitation compliance
at all facilities with no food-borne illness outbreaks.
"He's one of the people that makes things happen," said
GSGT Willie Peterson, the Headquarters and Support Com-
pany first sergeant for MWSS-273.
Working closely in joint service operations, Mann took
charge of training and educating preventive medicine specialists
from different services in standards for each branch's instructions
as well as inspection and report procedures, according to Mann.
"In my 12 years in the preventive medicine world, I've
never had such a motivated, knowledgeable, and well-round-
ed PMT and corpsman. He's very aggressive at ensuring that
the job is done right the first time," said Campbell.
Whether or not he had been recognized, Mann said that
being able to pass on to young service members the knowl-
edge and experience he has gained over the years has been the
greatest aspect of his work.^
-Story by LCPL Ryan L Young, Marine Corps Air Station,
CAPT William M. Roberts is being
assigned as Medical Officer to the Ma-
rine Corps, Washington, DC. Roberts
is currently serving as Deputy Director,
Medical Resources, Plans and Policy,
N931B, Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations, Washington, DC.
RDML Richard R. Jeffries is being
assigned as commander, Navy Medicine
Capital Area/Commander, National
Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD.
Jeffries is currently serving as Medical
Officer to the Marine Corps, Washing-
RDML Alton L. Stocks is being assigned as Assistant
Deputy Chief, Health Care Operations, M3HB, Bureau
of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, DC. Stocks is
currently serving as Force Surgeon, U.S. Naval Forces
Europe, Naples, Italy.
HN Daniel S. Noble, 21, of Whittier,
CA, died 24 July from injuries suffered as
a result of enemy action while conducting
security operations in the Diyala Province,
Iraq. Noble was assigned to 1 st Marine
Division, Fleet Marine Force Pacific,
Camp Pendleton, CA.
CJTF-HOA Partners with Islamic
Relief USA, UPDF to Coordinate Hu-
manitarian Aid for War-Torn Somalia
The Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa coor-
dinated with the American charity Islamic Relief USA
on the donation of $463,000 worth of food and medical
supplies to the war-torn country of Somalia in August. The
medicines and food were given to the Ugandan People's De-
fence Forces (UPDF) which delivered them to Mogadishu.
"Supporting the African Union peacekeepers like this is
very satisfying from a physician's point of view," said CDR
David Burch, former command surgeon for CJTF-HOA,
who was instrumental in setting up the project. "We were
able to support our medical counterparts in the Ugandan
army, and by doing so, make a positive impact for the citizens
of Mogadishu who are caught up in the fighting there."
In keeping with the goal of the CJTF-HOA mission,
which is to conduct unified action in the Horn of Africa
to prevent conflict, promote regional stability, and protect
coalition interests in order to prevail against extremism, the
U.S. has been providing food aid to Somalia since the UPDF
deployed there in April, but this bulk delivery of food and
medical supplies was special because it marked the first time
the non-governmental organization, Islamic Relief USA, had
worked with CJTF-HOA. The undertaking required massive
coordination and collaboration within the support system of
the Department of Defense, the UPDF army, and U.S. Am-
bassadors from the Uganda and Kenya embassies.
"We were alerted to the potential for providing assistance
by a discussion between Doctors Without Borders and the
U.S. special envoy to Somalia," Burch said. "CJTF-HOA
maintains close contact with the embassies in our area of
responsibility, so the ambassador was able to relay this infor-
mation to us. Through a source in DOD, we made contact
with an Islamic non-governmental organization, and I per-
sonally met with doctors in the Ugandan military, including
the physician directly in charge of the contingent in Moga-
dishu, to make sure we understood exactly what their needs
Once those needs were determined, the decision was made
to have the UPDF deliver the aid to Mogadishu. The UPDF
is one of the only forces that has deployed to Somalia to
conduct peace-keeping operations since fighting began ear-
lier this year as a result of Ethiopian troops ejecting Islamic
Courts from the capital city. The decision to use a military
element for the delivery of humanitarian aid was two-fold:
The UPDF operates a field hospital that provides immediate
medical assistance to the people of Mogadishu and the secu-
rity situation there makes it difficult for NGOs to operate
It was a tasking that was readily and proudly taken on by
the UPDF, many of whom have been trained by the CJTF-
HOA U.S. Army soldiers of the 3rd Infantry, Old Guard,
normally based at Fort Myer, VA.
"This is a sign that our efforts as a country are appreci-
ated," said UPDF Public Affairs Officer and Spokesman MAJ
Felix Kulayigye, after witnessing the loading. "We are also
grateful to the U.S. government who delivered the supplies
here. This goes a long way in addressing the needs of the
people in Mogadishu."
Kulayigye's feelings are shared by CDR Joel Larcombe,
who took over for Burch, and saw the project to completion.
After taking over, he traveled to Uganda to conduct train-
ing with their medical personnel, some of whom have been
involved in the next deployment of peacekeepers and would
then be able to assume the role of trainer themselves. The
training also offered Larcombe the opportunity to incor-
porate the medications the medics would be receiving and
develop treatment plans for the diseases they would likely see
while deployed to Somalia.
"I think it was a great thing to see an Islamic NGO donate
pharmaceutical supplies to Ugandan peacekeepers to treat
Somali victims," Larcombe said. "When I arrived in Uganda,
I had a candid conversation with the prospective deploying
unit commander about the lack of medical care available in
Somalia. He informed me that Ugandan medical personnel
spent most of their time and supplies caring for Somalis, so
we were happy to do everything we could. It was a true team
-Story by MC1(SW/AW) John Osborne, CJTF-HOA Public
Affairs, Djibouti, Africa.
Pacific Partnership Joins with East
Meets West during Vietnam Visit
Sailors and non-government organizations (NGOs) that
make up the Pacific Partnership dental team, joined with
the Danang-based East Meets West Foundation (EMWF)
to conduct a dental civil-action program (DENCAP) at the
Mother's Love Medical Clinic in Danang.
Pacific Partnership serves as an enabling platform through
which military and NGO's coordinate assistance efforts in
conjunction with the government of Vietnam. During the
DENCAP, dentists and assistants performed procedures
ranging from cleanings to extractions for more than 150
Vietnamese locals, mostly children. "Participating in this
exchange is a great opportunity to help those who really need
the help," said HMl(FMF) Lavonne Nelson "It's great to
come out here and provide quality care."
The EMWF was started in 1988 by LeLy Hayslip and
has continued to help the people of Vietnam through proper
medical treatment and education through programs held at
the Mother's Love Medical Clinic as well as the Peace Village
Medical Center, also in Danang. Hayslip, whose life story was
chronicled in two books she wrote and in Oliver Stone s film,
"Heaven and Earth," where she returned to her village of Ky La
in central Vietnam, according to East Meets West's website.
"It's been a good experience working with the Ameri-
cans," said Claire Castle, a dental student from Birmingham,
England, and a volunteer with EMWE "If I had the chance
to work in a multi-national setting like this again, I would
definitely volunteer again."
The medical, dental, and engineering support programs
provided though Pacific Partnership assist the Vietnamese by
providing the local community with a wide range of services. For
this mission, the partnership includes the government of Vietnam
and regional partners from Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada,
Australia, the Republic of Korea, and India. Navy personnel, mili-
tary and civilian preventive medicine teams, U.S. Air Force, Army,
and Uniformed Health Services medical personnel, NGOs, and a
Navy mobile construction team also participated. ^
-Story by MC3 Patrick M. Kearney, USS Peleliu Public
Local Woman's Life Saved by Pacific
Partnership Health Care Professional
Pacific Partnership team member LCDR Leila Williams, a
doctor stationed at Branch Health Clinic, Marine Corps
Base, Kaneohe Bay, HI, saved a Vietnamese woman from
nearly choking to death while in Danang, Vietnam.
Along with Dr. Dana Braner and Dr. Chris Truss, volun-
teers from the non-governmental organization Project Hope,
Dr. Willams and her colleagues were at Nai Hem Dong
Elementary School participating in a medical civil-assistance
The medical team was wrapping up a 1 0-day visit to Viet-
nam to assist the Ministry of Health. During their last day
they visited a local Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. "As we
walked in we noticed that the first floor was a wedding cer-
emony so they took us to this nice room on the second floor,
where we enjoyed our meals," said Williams.
During lunch, Williams questioned Braner, about the con-
tents in his pack he carries around his waist. "He said that he
kept his airway breathing supplies that may come in handy
one day," Williams said.
After lunch, while waiting for transportation back to
the medical facility, the group was watching a portion of
the wedding ceremony. Suddenly one of the guests lost
consciousness. "All of the family and friends surrounding
her became frantic and scooped her up to carry her outside
thinking it was air she needed," said Williams.
Williams said, "We are American doctors, do you need
help? I don't think they realized we were doctors because of
the tee-shirts we were wearing," said Williams.
Moving together quickly, Braner used a pulse oximeter to
measure the patient's oxygen. The years of training immedi-
ately took over for Williams as she assessed the patient.
"Her oxygen level was at 84 percent which was bad since
the average is above 95 percent. Thinking logically, I put two
and two together and because they were just eating it became
obvious to me that she was choking. I then performed the
Heimlich maneuver on her," she said.
While Williams was reaching for her stethoscope, Truss ad-
ministered two back blows to continue clearing the blockage.
"It was just a coincidence because I never carry around my
stethoscope and on that day I had forgotten about it because
it was hanging around my neck," said Williams. "As I listened
to her lungs I realized she had some wheezing on the right
side, so I administered the second abdominal thrust which
cleared her lungs, then gave her oxygen."
After the woman was transported to a hospital, the family
at the wedding showed their appreciation by giving the team
hugs and kisses.
"This is what we do; this is part of being a military doctor.
I don't think I am a hero for doing what I did," she said. "We
are all taught basic life support treatments which we are ready
to administer at any moment. I think if anyone else was in
there at that moment they would have done the same."/
-Story by MC2(SW) Jennifer R. Hudson, USS Peleliu Public
Comfort Repairs Young Girl's Foot,
Answers Mothers Prayers
A 5 -year-old girl lay quietly in her hospital bed aboard USNS
Comfort (T-AH 20) on 3 1 July, recovering from her recent
foot surgery as her mother sat by her side holding her hand.
The surgery, a corrective procedure to repair a foot defor-
mity with which Kathya Cortez was born, is something her
mother Patricia has prayed for since her daughter was a baby.
Kathya had what doctors call a "club foot," a malforma-
tion that causes the foot to turn inward, forcing the person
to walk on the outside of the foot. Calluses often form and
cause excruciating pain.
When Kathya was a year and a half old, Salvadoran doc-
tors were unsuccessful in their attempts to repair the foot, ac-
cording to Cortez. She described the surgery as a nightmare,
saying it left her frightened and unsure of her daughter's
future. "I felt like it's hopeless, like a door had closed on
me," she said. "The hospitals here are so under equipped and
poorly staffed; I didn't know where to go or what to do."
Cortez briefly considered seeking a private Salvadoran
doctor, but discovered the cost of the surgery was too much
for her to afford.
Soon, she began researching orthopedic surgeons in the
U.S. on the Internet, and again realized there was no way she
would be able to afford the journey to the States, let alone
the procedure. "My husband and I had basically lost hope,"
she said. "All we could do is pray for our daughter and hope
that everything would turn out okay."
After years of dead ends, Cortez saw on television that
Comfort would be in her area 25 July. She hurriedly made
plans to drive the hour and a half to Acajutla to try and see
the American doctors.
Arriving late to the Sonsonate Hospital in Acajutla, Cortez
found herself with her daughter at the end of the line, until
Comfort medical personnel called for patients with bone
deformities to come to the head of the line. "It was like a
godsend," Cortez said. "After all the waiting, I couldn't be-
lieve that my daughter might actually get the chance to see an
American surgeon, and receive the care she needed."
Following a screening at the hospital, Kathya and her
mother were brought aboard Comfort to meet with LCDR
Eric Shirley, an orthopedic surgeon. Surgery was scheduled
and Cortez's prayers were finally answered. "The procedure is
pretty basic, and it's something I see pretty often," said Shir-
ley. "After she's fully recovered, Kathya will be able to walk
just fine, and wear shoes without feeling pain."
Cortez said she was very impressed with the staff aboard
Comfort, pointing out the willingness of everyone to help
make her and her daughter comfortable. "I have so much
appreciation for everyone here," she said. "Everyone has been
very nice, and has treated my daughter and me with a lot of
respect and affection. I thank God for the whole crew, and
I'll never forget any of this."
Comfort is on a 4-month humanitarian deployment to
Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical treat-
ment to patients in a dozen countries. El Salvador is the fifth
of a dozen countries that Comfort will visit during its first
large-scale humanitarian aid mission. £
-Story by MC3 Tyler Jones, USNS Comfort Public Affairs.
Comfort Treats Thousands During 4-
day Visit to Panama
Collectively, personnel from the U.S. Navy, Air Force,
Army, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service, along
with Project Hope volunteers, Canadian Forces doctors, and
medical personnel from USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) treated
nearly 5,000 patients during a 4-day site visit at the Al Brown
Arena in Colon in early July. "We were offering pediatric
medicine, adult medicine, dentistry, and optometry," said LT
Johnny Ramos, site leader for the event. "We also had physi-
cal therapy for 2 days and a pharmacist on board dispensing
Patients lined the streets 5-9 July to receive the medical sup-
port and assistance provided by the Comfort team. "The recep-
tion was great. It's been overwhelmingly positive," Ramos said.
"They were glad to see us here and we were glad to be there."
In addition, Comfort personnel treated approximately
20,000 patients at Juan Antonio Nunez Policentro and Ama-
dor Guerrero Hospital, for an overall total of nearly 25,000
-Story by MC2 Joshua Karsten, USNS Comfort Public
Comfort Sailor Reunites with Family
A crew member aboard USNS Comfort (T-AH 20)
reunited with her family on board the ship 1 August
after not seeing some of them for more than 30 years. HM1
Wanda Ziehr, a patient administrator, has been separated
from her extended family by international boundaries, with
cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents living in Peru,
Australia, and the United States. Ziehr coordinated the visit
in advance of her deployment when she found out Comfort
would be conducting operations in Peru.
"When I found out Comfort would be here in Peru, I
started making arrangements for us all to get together,"
said Ziehr. "I wasn't sure if it would all work out, but
it's been great that it has." Her family members living in
Australia and the United States flew to Lima, Peru, to
meet with family already living there, and then took a bus
to Trujillo, where Comfort was conducting humanitarian
"Getting my family here wasn't easy," said Ziehr. "Once
they were all in Lima, they had to take an 8-hour bus ride
from there to Trujillo." During her family reunion, Ziehr
brought them to the ship for a tour, which included the
operating rooms, casualty receiving area, and gymnasium. "I
think they enjoyed the tour very much," she said. "I'm glad I
was able to take them around the ship and show them a little
bit of what we do here."
Ziehr said she was excited to see her family again, and
that the years of separation have been difficult. "My family
all told me how proud they were of me, and the Comfort's
mission," Ziehr said. "When they were in town in Trujillo,
they kept telling everyone that their daughter was with the
The much-needed reunion was a change from the usual
pace of deployment, said Ziehr. For her, seeing her family
in such a far away place was a good experience. "It's been
really emotional to see them all again," she said. "For the
past several years, we've only been able to communicate
through emails and phone calls. It's great to be able to
send photos through e-mail and such, but nothing beats
the real thing." ^
-Story by MC3 Tyler Jones, USN, USNS Comfort Public
Danang, Vietnam. Children wait in line for a rou-
tine check-up during a medical civic assistance
program at Truong Tieu Hoc Quy School. The
free medical screening is one of many projects
supported by the Pacific Partnership team. July
2007. Photo by MC Patrick D. House, USN
Pacific Ocean. Sara Osego poses for a picture
with her 4-month-old baby after checking onto
Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS
Comfort (T-AH 20) for cleft palette care. Operation
Smile, a non-government organization, joined the
crew of Comfort to perform cleft palette proce-
dures while off the coast of Nicaragua. July 2007.
Photo by MC2 Elizabeth Allen, USN
Pacific Ocean. HM1 Fausto Muhoz (left), an
operating room technician, guides a tour for
HM1 Wanda Ziehr (right), a patient administrator
aboard USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), and her family.
August 2007. Photo by MC3 Tyler Jones, USN
Djibouti, Africa. CDR Jay Grove, General Surgeon
and Senior Medical Officer of Expeditionary
Medical Force(EMF) and DR. Elias Said Dirie,
Chief of Surgery at Peltier Hospital, are assisted
by a Djiboutian medical student on rotation from
Morocco and LCDR Chris Smith, NC, Operating
Room Nurse, EMF. The team performed a hemi-
colectomy and a side-to-side anastomosis as
treatment for colon cancer." August 2007. Photo
by LT John H. Callahan, USN
Pacific Ocean. Miguel Lopez, a retired bull fighter from Trujillo,
Peru, displays a photograph of himself fighting a bull in Mexico
City taken in September 1951, as LT Megan Zeller, an intensive
care unit nurse, cares for him aboard USNS Comfort (T-AH 20).
August 2007. Photo by MC3 Tyler Jones, USN
Bifoun, Gabon. CDR David
Greenman, left, and CAPT Tom
Patton examine a patient during
a medical civic action program
(MEDCAP). Bifoun was the first
of six MEDCAPs conducted
during Medflag 07. Medflag is
a medical exercise emphasiz-
ing joint training with African
nations. July 2007. Photo by lt
Jonathan Orr, USN
Madang, Papua New Guinea. LCDR Matthew
Behil examines a patient for cataracts while
a volunteer translator stands by at Meg Clinic
near Madang. The medical civil-assistance
program in support of Pacific Partnership was
one of the many programs designed to aid the
local Community. August 2007. Photo by MC3 Bryan
M. Ilyankoff, USN
Djubouti, Africa. LCDR Raoul
Santos, DC, and HN Lena Red-
kina, both of Expeditionary Medi-
cal Force, provide dental care
to a forward deployed sailor.
August 2007. Photo by LT John H.
Bombo, Uganda. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of
Africa Command Surgeon CDR Joel Larcombe instructs
members of Uganda's medical team on assessing and
treating a wounded patient during the final training phase
for Ugandan military personnel who will deploy to Somalia
to render medical assistance. July 2007. Photo by mci(sw/aw)
John Osborne, USN
Sasamunga, Solomon Islands. LCDR Jay Geist-
kemper checks a patient for cavities during a
dental civil-assistance program in support of
Pacific Partnership. August 2007. Photo by MC3(sw)
Sean P. Lenahan, USN
Odessa, Ukraine. Ukrainian marines and Navy
corpsmen work together during a medical ex-
ercise at the Shiroky Lan training camp during
exercise Sea Breeze 2007. Sea Breeze is a 2-
week joint invitational and combined maritime
exercise held annually in the Black Sea and at
various land-based Ukrainian training facilities.
July 2007. Photo by MC2 Michael Campbell, USN
Not Beatin' Around the
The Life of Clay Aloysius Boland,
Navy Dentist and Songwriter
Perhaps the name Clay Boland never reached the
peaks of fame as an Irving Berlin or a George
Gershwin. But, of Boland, Berlin, and Gershwin,
only one could be depended upon to extract your molar,
clean your teeth, AND write a hit tune, while serving his
Dr. Clay Aloysius Boland was the rare case of a military
dentist with a musical opus. His songbook was extensive
and included such hits as "The Gypsy in My Heart," "I
Like it Here," "Midnight on the Trail," and "Stop Beatin
Round the Mulberry Bush." Though not staples on today's
radio, these tunes were covered by a veritable who's who of
the swing era, including Count Basie, Bunny Berigan, and
Born on 25 October 1903, Boland grew up in the
anthracite belt of Pennsylvania. He was the youngest of
nine children and perhaps the best prepared to escape the
grim realities of coal country. His mother was hopeful of
this, and being blessed with a predisposition for music, a
sister who taught piano, and a desire for the "elsewhere"
world, Boland left home for academia in 1920. Follow-
ing graduation from college in Scranton, PA, he moved to
Philadelphia where he spent the next 4 years attending the
University of Pennsylvania Dental School. Between lec-
tures on periodontal disease and the theories of orthodon-
tic extraction, Boland wrote "pop" songs and performed
them for local radio programs. During summer breaks, he
played piano aboard trans-Atlantic cruise ships and enter-
tained the "smart set" in the cafes and clubs of Europe.
The year 1924 was a pivotal one for the young Boland.
The University of Pennsylvania offered a prize for a "prom
song" which Boland won with the aptly-named tune,
"Dreary Weather," a song that promised sunny days ahead
for Boland's songwriting career when it was covered by the
"Prince of Pep," Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians.
Music was not a full-time commitment for Boland. In
the 1930s, Boland established his own dental practice.
"Dad loved music but only through dentistry could he
have a steady income," recalled Boland's son, Clay, Jr.
"He had a child's practice in Ardmore [PA] and an adult
practice in Philadelphia, and on Wednesdays he'd go to
New York City to 'sell' his newest songs." In a 1946 Time
magazine article entitled "Tuneful Dentist," Boland was
asked why he never became a full-time songwriter. Dr.
Boland stated that he was considering offers to turn "Tin
Pan Alley pro" but dentistry was paying him too well.
Even though a dentist first and foremost, his other
talent did not go unnoticed by his community. Boland,
Jr. related, "Due to my father's ability to write and play
music, we were mostly familiar with lesser members of
Main Line Society, a number of whom were graduates of
the University of Pennsylvania. These were people, like my
father, who took the Paoli Local (the "main line") into the
city to work and then would return to the suburbs to raise
their families. Normally, most of these people here would
have nothing to do with Irish Catholic dentists from a coal
mining family, but my father's musical talent changed all
His popularity among the exclusive "main line" soci-
ety led to his involvement with Penn's "Mask and Wig"
shows.* According to Clay Boland, Jr., "It was natural that
*The Mask and Wig club presents an annual show, semiprofessional in nature,
written and staged by graduates, and acted by undergraduates. They are the
Penn equivalent of Harvard University's "Hasty Pudding Club" and Princeton's
His success with the Mask and Wig shows led to his being elected president
of the Penn Alumni club. He used this honor to gain admittance for non-gentiles,
such as Moe Jaffe, who had formerly been excluded from membership.
CDR Clay Boland, being presented the Freedoms Foundation
Honor Medal for 1950 by the Rev. John Hart for the song "I Like
they talked his father into writing the scores for almost a
dozen shows in the 1930s and 40s." Along the way he de-
veloped partnerships with lyricists Eddie De Lange, Moe
Jaffe (a Penn Law Graduate), and Bickley Reichner. Moe
Jaffe would achieve renown for penning the novelty song,
"I'm My Own Grampaw" as well as writing the "Captain
Spaulding song" memorably sung by Groucho Marx in the
film "Animal Crackers." His tune "Collegiate," was later
covered by Chico Marx in the movie "Horse Feathers."
In 1942, Clay Boland joined the U.S. Navy Reserve.
His son related, "As with all men and many women, my
father wanted to join the war effort and so signed up."
Boland first served at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and then
in 1943 was assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy in An-
napolis, MD. His talents came into great use while serving
in Annapolis. He was very popular with the midshipmen
and even wrote a show for them that featured Art Lund
and the song "Annapolis Memories."** He even wrote a
show about John Paul Jones after visiting the crypt where
the Navy hero is buried.
In the Navy, Boland's skill on the keyboard was not
overlooked by leadership. As Boland, Jr., stated, "He was a
definite social asset to his superiors." It has been rumored
that one chief of the Dental Corps used Boland's talents
at every social occasion. At every Dental Corps soiree one
could find Boland singing and playing his songs, some-
times accompanied by the admiral's wife.
Boland retired from the Navy in 1962 while serving at
Naval Hospital St. Albans, NY. Sadly, his retirement was
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Songsheet of Boland's "Dreary Weather," with ukulele arrange-
ment by May Singhi Breen.
short-lived. He died in July 1963, and is buried in Arling-
ton National Cemetery.
In remembering his father, Clay Boland, Jr. stated that
"throughout my childhood, I would go to sleep listening to
my father writing and playing songs and so learned much
hypnotically. He insisted that I practice for an hour every
morning before catching the school bus. He taught me how
to play in his style. And he also introduced me to the piano
parts crafted by George Gershwin for his songs — and I also
learned not to try to balance two careers."*** — ABS ^
***Unlike his father, Clay Boland, Jr. decided not to pursue a career in dentistry.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Boland went on to become a
songwriter, arranger, and pianist in New York City before deciding on a career as
a teacher. After retiring from his post at Colorado Mountain College, Boland, Jr.,
refocused his energies on music. He has performed classical and jazz standards
in numerous concerts. In 2002, he released an album of interpretations of Ira and
George Gershwin songs. — ABS
**Art Lund (1 91 5-1 990)-An atypical graduate of the Naval Academy, Lund went
on to sing in the Benny Goodman and Harry James bands and act on Broadway.
In 1947, he reached the music charts with the song "Mam'selle."
This article originally appeared in May-June 2007 edition of The
Grog Ration, a bimonthly Navy medical historical publication. Electronic
subscriptions to The Grog Ration can be obtained by writing to andre.
Norco, CA, is known as "Horse Town, USA."
Surrounded by urban sprawl, this rural oasis
is 1 5 square miles of large land parcels — open
space — home to over 20,000 horses. There is, however,
another side to this small and genuinely unique town. Two
architectural landmarks — the Californian Rehabilitation
Center, a medium security prison, and the Naval Surface
Warfare Assessment Center — make their home in Norco.
Behind barbed wire and Navy security, these structures
serve as some of the finest examples of Mediterranean-
Mission Style architecture ever constructed. It is hard to
believe in the not-too-distant past the buildings served as
the a destination point for the greatest Hollywood stars,
Olympic Champions, and, later, Pearl Harbor survivors.
Rex s Folly
In 1920, Norco was an unsuccessful agricultural
community. Along came Rex Clark, a former stationery
salesman turned land developer, with the good fortune to
be married to Grace Scripps, daughter of James Scripps,
the powerful newspaper publisher. Backed by her money,
Clark bought Norco with the idea to develop and sell
chicken ranches. The fledgling township flourished as
Clark laid roads, created a manufacturing center, and dug
wells to supply cheap water. It was in the course of digging
just such a well that a plentiful supply of hot mineral wa-
ter was found and the Norconian Resort was born.
In 1927, Rex Clark began to "build the finest resort
and mineral hot springs spa in America." Two years later,
Clark installed a 60-acre lake, a marvelous pavilion/casino
and boathouse, a chauffeurs' quarters, a 100-car garage,
a full service laundry, a state-of-the-art power house, an
airfield, one of the finest golf courses on the West Coast,
American Athletic Union (AAU) qualifying diving and
swimming pools, indoor swimming pools, riding trails,
tennis courts, a fabulous "Tea Room," and a magnificent
250-room hotel complete with stunning dining room,
lounge, and ballroom.
Called "The Norconian," this facility opened its
doors on 2 February 1929, and became an instant
Naval Hospital Corona
success with the rich and famous. Many movie stars
flocked to the resort. It was not unusual to see Charlie
Chaplin playing tennis, Clark Gable driving to the lo-
cal gun club, Buster Keaton on the golf links, Norma
Shearer riding horseback, or Will Rogers and Wiley
Post giving plane rides to local kids. MGM, Fox, and
Disney Studios all held annual picnics on the site.
The lake was used as a raceway where some of the best
speedboat racers in world practiced their craft. The
outdoor pools, the only AAU qualifiers in Southern
California until the 1932 Olympics, attracted the finest
Olympic divers and swimmers and witnessed several
national and world records.
Unfortunately, the Norconian Resort Supreme never
made a nickel. The Great Depression was devastating to
both the resort and the town of Norco. The club struggled
into the early 1930s, moving from a year-round club
to a seasonal resort, to sporadic openings and closings.
Clark's $4,500,000 dream soon became known as "Rex's
Folly." By 1940, the club was suffering labor problems and
hounded by creditors. Clark secretly put the resort on sale
for the asking price of $2,000,000.
By early 1 94 1 , the nation knew it was going to war, the
draft was in effect, and military bases were slowly being
manned with ill-equipped troops. The U.S. Army was the
first to approach Clark with the idea that his resort would
make an outstanding hospital; the offer reportedly was
$1,800,000. Then, in mid December, it was announced
that the Navy, also with the intention of converting it to a
hospital, had agreed to Clark's asking price. Unfortunately
for Clark, some in congress felt the price tag was too
high and instead of payment, the government instituted
a condemnation suit to determine the resort's worth. The
new offer was $850,000. Clark fought the Navy in Federal
Court and was ultimately victorious, though his second
wife claimed years later that only $400,000 was received.
Naval Hospital Corona Established
On 2 January 1942, Captain H.L. Jensen, MC, USN,
took command of Naval Hospital Corona. Initially,
patients were housed and treated within the former hotel
building. The mineral spas were used as hydrotherapy
units, hotel rooms became operating and patient rooms,
the ballroom, a full ward, and the former chauffeurs'
quarters, home to Navy personnel. By 1 May 1942, it was
reported that most of the patients, totaling around 100,
were wounded from the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In the midst of World War II, massive changes were
in progress at the former resort. A three-wing, five-story
ward building was opened in April 1942, and prompted
a visit by none other than First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
The hospital was "designated a respiratory disease center"
and "a complex of 1 5 one-story interconnecting isolation
ward buildings" were built on the eastern edge of the golf
course. The wards' open porches provided the "fresh air
and sunshine" needed to treat rheumatic fever, malaria,
polio, and tuberculosis.
Eventually the hospital complex included officers,
nurses, waves, and corpsman quarters, two theaters, an
additional weaving complex of wards (known as "Splin-
terville"), gymnasium, chapel, and dozens of maintenance
and service buildings. Still in use from the old resort were
the hotel, power station, garage, laundry, and lake pavil-
ion. By 1945, close to 5,000 patients were being treated at
According to news articles, the naval hospital may well
have been the first to have used penicillin to treat tubercu-
losis complications. Other achievements included ground-
breaking advances in the treatment of polio and rheumatic
fever, the development of prosthetic devices, occupational
and physical therapy, and the first "Atomic powered,
hand-held x-ray device." Wheelchair basketball may or
Eleanor Roosevelt visiting a patient at Naval Hospital Corona
may not have begun at the hospital but most certainly it
was given a boost on the wheels by the hospital's "Rolling
Devils." With an eye toward rehabilitation, Dr. Gerald
Gray, known as the "Father of Wheelchair Basketball,"
put together teams that took on all comers. The team was
described by one fan as "unbeatable" and "Globetrotters
Hospital Patients Receive Community Support
Throughout World War II, Gray Lady Corps and Navy
mothers spent countless hours visiting patients, supplying
baked goods, and providing transportation.*
Hollywood and the Naval Aid Auxiliary quickly came
forward and forgotten star Kay Francis was put in charge
of organizing visitations to patients at the Corona Hospi-
tal. For the duration, every Thursday, Kay Francis and/or
a few of "her friends" would pay a visit to Corona.
Her friends included Cary Grant, James Cagney, Bing
Crosby, Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope, Clark Gable, and
The Three Stooges, to name a few. Harry James and Jack
Benny both broadcast radio programs from the hospital
After the war, the patient load naturally diminished
and, in 1949, only weeks after announcing the completion
of $15,000,000 in renovations and improvements, the
naval hospital was closed and stripped.
In 1951, during the Korean War, the hospital was
re-opened. The Navy spent $2,000,000 to replace what
*Originally begun in 1918 at Walter Reed Army Hospital, the "Gray Ladies" or
the Hostess and Hospital Service and Recreation Corps of the Red Cross, were
volunteers who provided friendly, personal services of a non-medical nature to sick,
injured, and disabled patients in American hospitals, other healthcare facilities, and
private homes. Their uniforms consisted of gray dresses with gray veils.
had been carted off
for pennies only years
before. Finally, in
1957, again ignor-
ing widespread pleas
that the facility was
needed and neces-
sary, Naval Hospital
Corona was closed for
In 1963, the old
hotel/ hospital cam-
pus was partitioned.
were cut away for use
as the Naval Surface
Center; the for-
mer hotel, hospital
chapel, theater, and
turned over to the
a place to "cure
those addicted to
drugs." In 2000, 19
buildings of the old
were placed on the
National Register of
Historic Places, but,
means little with re-
gard to preservation.
The main hotel was
deemed "too costly"
and abandoned in 2002. This "national treasure" has
been officially declared a "Black Building," meaning
the structure is sealed up and permitted to die from
the inside out.
Film star Kay Francis, left, with Constance Bennett, in 1944. As "director of
entertainment" at Corona, Francis spent untold hours at the Navy hospital.
Remarkably, the old
hotel, despite 80 years
of service and renova-
tions as a hospital and
prison, looks much as
it did in 1929; fabulous
paintings and murals
cover the ceilings,
exquisite and color-
ful tile is everywhere,
and dozens of priceless
chandeliers collect dust.
Even the bathroom
mirrors still bear the
initials LNC — Lake
Norconian Club. Un-
fortunately, rainwater is
now working into the
interior; the building
occupants are feral cats,
possums, and raccoons.
Already much has been
a group of citizens
banded together with
the idea that the state
has a legal obligation to
maintain this building.
The Navy, after years
of preservation efforts,
is also now abandoning
historic buildings and
demolitions are being
Sadly, it is quite
likely that one of the
finest examples of
Revival Style Architecture, a site with an unequaled state
and military history, will soon be no more, a ghost found
only in the pages of a dusty book. ^
This article originally appeared in May-June 2007 edition of The
Grog Ration, a bimonthly Navy medical historical publication. Electronic
subscriptions to The Grog Ration can be obtained by writing to andre.
Kevin Bash is a television and theater actor who, in addition to appear-
ing in more than 200 commercials, has operated an award-winning Los
Angeles theater company. He currently splits his time managing a produc-
tion company specializing in commercials, and developing a documentary
and two books on the Norconian Hotel/Naval Hospital Corona.
"I Canceled My
"T%ill Henry became an officer through the Officer Candidate School and was commissioned into the
JLj Marine Corps Reserve in 1966. Following a bout with collapsed lungs and subsequent lung surgery
at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, he didnt arrive in Vietnam until November
1967. He soon found himself in command of 2nd Platoon, Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Ma-
rines. For 3 months the battalion patrolled an area south of Danang and south of Marble Mountain,
encountering sniper fire, booby traps, and other enemy-harassing activity.
At the end of the Tet Offensive of 1968, Henry and his Marines began patrolling farther north
near Phu Bai and the DMZ. Henrys battalion participated in Scotland II, an operation to the west
ofKhe Sanh. They were given the grim task of recovering 40 bodies who had been casualties of an
ill-fated patrol — Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. The remains — thought to be on the
side of a hill and in enemy territory — had already been on the ground for 6 days.
The recovery operation was well planned with two or three battalions involved. After the hills
were secured, Henrys unit was ordered to follow and recover the remains. A helicopter would then
fly the body bags out.
But the plan went terribly awry. With the assigned unit unable to secure the hill, Henry s platoon,
which expected to complete its mission very quickly, was forced to spend the night without equip-
ment — even to dig foxholes to secure themselves. Enemy artillery rained down on the platoon caus-
ing many casualties. LT Henry was one of them.
I initially did not experience very much pain consider-
ing that a fragment went through the center of my
right foot, another through my right back, and I had
burns up my left arm. Most people suspected it was a
105mm artillery round. I didn't have any remnants of
shrapnel left in me; everything that hit me went through
The corpsman couldn't get my shoes off, but he
packed the wounds to try to slow the bleeding and
wrapped my chest as well. Then I was hauled in a pon-
cho back up the hill. A gunship, which was flying in sup-
port of our mission, dropped down and picked me up.
They threw me on the floor and a gunner put his foot in
my back to hold me in. We then flew about 2 miles back
to Khe Sanh.
When we got there, the helicopter landed right outside
the door of the aid station and men ran out with an empty
litter and pulled me onto it. From the time the helicopter
hit the ground, no more than 1 5 seconds went by before
they were out, had me on the litter, and had me back
down into a shaft leading into the aid station [Charlie
By virtue of having been at Bethesda, I was well experi-
enced with the Navy medical system and understood how
corpsmen, doctors, and nurses worked so well together.
When I was taken deep into this aid station at Charlie
Med, a very senior corpsman looked at me and saw I was
an officer. He said, "Well, Lieutenant, it looks like you're
going to have an occasion to use your Blue Cross/Blue
I looked up at him and said, "You know, Doc, when I
got my Navy doctors, I canceled my policy!" And that just
broke everybody up.
The medical staff took great pains to clear away the
boots and clothes and were able to attack the wound in an
effort to stop most of the bleeding, which was very serious.
They had a tremendous amount of work to do. The shrap-
nel that hit my foot went through my boot. I'm sure they
did a fair amount of debriding because just to get the boot
off my foot would have required a great deal of cutting
and hacking. Then they tried to remove the leather pieces
from my foot. It was a real mess.
I was probably at Khe Sanh for a few hours before they
took me out on another helicopter to Dong Ha. I recall
a huge concrete slab out at a triage unit with water hoses
I did not receive any shots for pain until I immediately
went into debriding surgery at 1 o'clock in the morning.
Mind you, I had been hit in the field about 2 o'clock in
The doctor singled me out to go in for surgery and said
that I was bound to have internal damage. I said, "Doc,
you picked the wrong one. I'm okay. I've had the upper
lobe of my left lung taken out. I know what it feels like to
have something wrong inside, and there's nothing wrong
He said, "It can't be. "The shrapnel round hit the big
muscle that goes down your back."
He took me into X-ray, and it turned out that I did not
have any internal damage.
The shrapnel had entered my chest underneath my
arm and went straight across my rib cage from right
to left from under the arm around to the back. It then
exited just before the backbone. It was like a fillet knife
had scraped the rib cage off. It was that close. The
doctor said that if that shrapnel had been an eighth of
an inch closer, it would have sent those bones into my
chest cavity and I wouldn't have had a chance. It actu-
ally didn't go inside the ribs at all. It just went through
the meat and took all the muscle out — tore that muscle
After the x-ray, they put me aboard a C-130 with a lot
of other casualties and headed to Phu Bai. From there,
they sent me to Danang to be evacuated from the coun-
try. I went to the 249th Army General Hospital in Tokyo
because the big Navy hospital in Japan — Yokosuka — was
Then I went through another debriding surgery. I
had "wound care" three times a day. The corpsmen or
nurses pulled out the gauze from the wounds, poured
in peroxide, and used tweezers or forceps to remove all
the dead skin or tissue from the foot. Then they would
It was quite a scary procedure because I had recalled
that one of our corpsmen had been seriously wounded
just south of Danang in mid-March, and he contracted
gangrene and died. It just had me horrified that I was
not getting correct wound care. I was insistent upon
having my wounds checked to make sure they stayed
clean. And it was a very painful routine to pull that
gauze from those wounds and have peroxide poured in
Hospital corpsmen stabilize a casualty at a battalion aid station.
I went home on an Air Force C-141 that had stacks and
stacks of litters against each side and down the middle. I
wound up at Millington [Naval Hospital Memphis] , TN,
which was the closest hospital to my home in Mississippi.
I was assigned to the SOQ [Sick Officers Quarters] . And
as was the practice, every time you changed hospitals a
doctor had to be present when the wounds were opened,
and he had to prescribe the new round of medications.
Nurses and corpsmen didn't have the authority to see the
first one. When I got assigned and was sent to the ward, I
kept screaming to get my wounds checked because it had
been a full day of travel, and I had not had my wounds
opened and looked at.
It was on a weekend when I got into the hospital, and
very few doctors were around. An internist was on duty,
but he didn't know much about orthopedic care. I know
that for a fact because where it used to take 1 5 minutes to
bubble those gauzes out of my foot, he reached down with
one hand and pulled that gauze out. This old hospital I
was in had the pipe running down the roof of the build-
ing. I thought I could reach that pipe when he grabbed
those pieces of gauze and pulled them out. It was pretty
I went through some fairly extensive surgeries. Hav-
ing previously had some surgery at Bethesda, I knew the
status of the hospitals. Bethesda was one of the best in
the world. I was sad that I didn't get assigned to go back
there. But, as it turned out, a young orthopedist from
Wisconsin named Dr. George Lucas was at Millington.
My foot was so destroyed that you could put your hand
or finger in the top of my foot and touch the bottom
layer of skin all the way across my foot. He brought the
bones back and overlapped them some way. I'm not
exactly sure what he did. Nevertheless, he reconstructed
my foot — which is unbelievable. The foot is intact but I
have a big hole right in the middle of it, and the center
of the arch to the front is turned outward. To this day it
still works although I experience some pain and swelling
from time to time. He was just a phenomenally talented
LCDR George Lucas was an orthopedic surgeon on the
staff of Naval Hospital Memphis, TN, located in Millington.
He graduated from medical school in 1961 and was drafted
into the Navy. When he arrived in Millington, Lucas had had
only 1 year of practice under his belt, but he was immediately
named chief of orthopedics. The physician he was replacing
had just left for Vietnam.
I acquired a lot of experience in orthopedics during
the 2 years I spent in Memphis. But I also developed an
interest in hand surgery at that time, and that's basically
what I've done ever since. Part of that interest was fostered
by the wounded from Vietnam who showed up at Milling-
ton. I began specializing in hand wounds and peripheral
nerve injuries when I was in the service.
At Millington, we received airevac patients practically
every day — and in every stage of injury. The most com-
mon injuries were compound leg fractures resulting mostly
from mines. But we saw a lot of upper extremity injuries
such as gunshot wounds that would knock out the medial
or radial nerve.
If the injuries looked like they were going to take
many months to heal, those people would be boarded
out and sent to a Veterans Hospital. But I did a fair bit
of reconstructive upper extremity procedures that could
be resolved in a few months, such as stabilization of hand
I was the only orthopedist who was fully trained,
although I usually had three other people with me. These
were guys who were just out of medical school and might
have had a year of internship. So the three or four of us
ran the service. The hospital at that point was manned
mostly by reservists since the regulars had gone to Viet-
As I recall, Bill Henry had a severe foot injury and actu-
ally lost a part of his foot, which was going to be a prob-
lem in terms of walking and running. That outlook was
devastating to him. We did some skin grafts and stabilized
his fractures but he lost part of his foot. I think he had
three or four procedures and achieved some mobility as a
result of our work.
I remember one interesting sidelight about this
patient. I came from Wisconsin. I had trained in
Wisconsin and was practicing in that state when I got
drafted. Three or four newly minted nurses who had
just finished nursing school were at Millington at the
time. The Navy had sponsored their education so they
owed the Navy a few years. They showed up at Mil-
lington and because they were from Wisconsin, I got
to know them rather well. Henry ended up falling in
love with one of these girls and married her. They were
married while he was still in our custody and I went
to their wedding. It was a Catholic wedding and they
had to kneel at the altar. When they finally stood up
and marched out of the church, he was limping. I said,
"Gee, Bill, you're going to ruin my reputation by limp-
ing in front of all these people."^
Answers to SG Quiz page 5: 1. William Wood. 2. 5-USS Presley Rixey, USS J. Rufus Tryon, and three ships named William Wood.
3. 2-Presley Rixey and Ross Mclntire. 4. Thomas Harris and Andrew Jackson, Jonathan Foltz and James Buchanan, Presley Rixey
and Theodore Roosevelt, and Ross Mclntire and Franklin Roosevelt. 5. Thomas Harris and War of 1812, William Wood and Mexican
War, Percival Rossiter and Philippine Insurrection, Donald Arthur and Gulf War, Michael Cowan and Somalia, Donald Custis and
World War II, James Palmer and Civil War. 6. William Paul Crillon Barton. 7. William Grier, born in Ireland. 8. Ten. 9. Eight from the
state of Pennsylvania. 10. Presley Rixey appeared in "President McKinley" (1899). 11. William Barton and USS Brandy wine; James
Palmer and USS Hartford Wilkes Expedition; Jonathan Foltz and USS Niagara; Joseph Beale and USS Hartford did not serve on
any of these cruises. 12. Phineas Horwitz. 13. William Wood was given the rank of Commodore with the title of Surgeon General
in 1871. 14. William Van Reypen in 1899. 15. Robert Brown (Mclntire received a temporary third star in 1944 because of his role as
White House physician). 16. C. 12 years (William Whelan 1853-1865. Dr. Whelan died in office). 17. A. 18 days (Dr. Newton Bates died
of pneumonia 18 days into his term).
On Call In Hell by CDR Richard Jadick, MC,
USN. Penguin Books, New York, NY. 2007, 275 pages.
The setting is the 2004 Battle of Fallujah, Iraq,
the site of the most brutal urban warfare American
troops have faced since the Marines recaptured Hue
City from the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong dur-
ing the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. The book
provides the perspective of LCDR Richard Jadick,
then a 38-year-old former Marine officer turned Navy
physician. With 2 years of Navy postgraduate surgi-
cal training. Jadick had stepped away from a "safe"
regimental surgeon position to return for his second
"on-the-ground" tour in Iraq as the medical officer
with the 1,000-man 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regi-
ment (1/8). His narrative is a candid, unglorified, and
gut-wrenching account of the devastation and horrific
circumstances that compelled a group of young inex-
perienced Navy corpsmen to "come of age" amidst the
combined impact of death and human destruction.
Their encounter with urban warfare involved their
friends and comrades, all mixed with both the sounds
of exploding ordnance and the sights of random body
parts. Punctuating the horror were the smells of cord-
ite explosive, blood, human excrement, and scattered
This is not just another book outlining the heroic
details of military conflict. Rather, it is a chronicle
of an adaptive concept not yet ingrained in warfare
doctrine, but what should be a realistic necessity in
urban warfare. In Fallujah, Jadick's unit decided to
move medical and resuscitative care to a level far
forward of the doctrinal battalion aid station and set
up the equivalent of an emergency room right in the
middle of the battlefield. They did this because the
time required for traditional means of casualty extrac-
tion would have been excessive considering the narrow
alleyways and buildings comprising the complex
urban setting where they were operating. Even though
1/8 experienced the most intense combat, they were
able to save more than 30 Marines who would likely
have died on the long tortuous route back to surgical
centers behind the lines. And they accomplished this
amidst the hundreds of casualties generated by the
The medical team achieved this success not only due
to the committed efforts of 1/8 s corpsmen but because
the team was much closer to the action. The decision
to insert the forward aid station was theirs. It was only
later that senior officers began to inquire as to why Ma-
rines from so many units ended up being cared for by
the 1/8 medical team. How did they survive this ordeal
under intense and hostile fire while still rendering far
forward medical care with skill and dignity. And this
despite their own fears and physical exhaustion? The
answer, self evident to any reader, is clearly leadership!
Jadick relates that during combat planning for Fal-
lujah, the operations officers all met, and likewise the
battalion combatant commanders all convened. All
pondered the plan until everyone knew it "inside and
out." Yet despite spending almost 7 days together as a
unit at Camp Fallujah prior to the invasion, the doctors
were never invited to sit down together, as officers, with
the leaders to discuss an overall scheme of maneuver
for casualty evacuation. Instead, a plan was presented
to them which they were expected to follow. Why was
a meeting not held to discuss a regiment-level medevac
plan with the battalion surgeons? Why didn't the com-
bat arms officers trust their medical officers sufficiently
to include their input? (It is of historic interest that in
preparation for the U.S. intervention in Grenada in
1983, combat support planners, including medical rep-
resentatives, were likewise excluded from initial opera-
tional planning. Consequently, no estimate of logistical
support was completed prior to execution, and the
required medical support system never developed.)
Jadick posits an existing collateral issue: an instinc-
tive lack of confidence among the war fighting com-
bat arms officers regarding the leadership capabilities
of Navy medical officers. One wonders whether some
personnel already possess the required leadership
capabilities. Can these skills otherwise be taught in a
classroom and reinforced by electronic tutorials as are
utilized in military schools and professional acquisi-
tion programs? These questions leave the reader with
much to ponder with respect to Navy medical recruit-
ing and retention.^
CAPT Arthur M. Smith, MC, USNR (Ret.) is Professor of Sur-
gery (Urology) at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, and
Adjunct Professor of Surgery, and Adjunct Professor of Military and
Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the
A Look Back
Navy Medicine 1951
On an inspection tour in South Korea, Surgeon General H. Lamont Pugh reunites with his son. "I'd gladly trade my rank for
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