Esteemed Shipmates –
It’s been far too long since my last message. Now that a majority of our enterprise has migrated to the new “health.mil” addresses, I want to take the opportunity to highlight some key points for our One Navy Medicine team.
As we celebrate the 247th anniversary of our U.S. Navy we can look back to the frigates, sloops-of-war and brigs that comprised our Continental fleet and see the very beginning of Navy Medicine. Although much has changed with military medicine, research, and technology, the basic fact remains: Navy Medicine will be right where we’ve always been – side-by-side with Sailors and Marines ensuring they are medically ready to fight today and tomorrow. In short, Navy Medicine’s North Star is Operational Medicine. This is our focus. It’s why we serve and wear the uniform. Our actions – and decisions we make – need to continue to align to our 4Ps (People, Platforms, Performance, Power) and advance our warfighting advantage.
In support of our operational medicine mission, I signed a new agreement last week with Cook County Health in Chicago that expands our military-civilian partnership. Over the next three years, we will have three fully billeted Expeditionary Resuscitative Surgical Systems (ERSS) teams embedded at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Following 9-month rotations, each team will undergo operational training through the Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute (NEMTI) before embarking on their mission sets. Our aim is to optimize ERSS trauma care, expertise, and skills sustainment for Navy medical personnel between and during deployments. Our ERSS Platforms will provide close to the point-of-injury support, afloat, undersea or ashore during contingency operations with minimal personnel and portable equipment. This capability significantly enhances medical flexibility in expeditionary and distributed maritime environments.
Meanwhile, our organic Fleet medical units are already out forward doing amazing work. Just recently on board the USS MESA VERDE during her SOUTHCOM deployment in support of UNITAS 2022, our One Navy Medicine team quite literally saved a fellow Sailor’s life. The combined efforts of the ship’s medical department and the embarked Fleet Surgical Team 8 quickly recognized a Sailor in extremis and expertly instituted life-saving measures including the medevac to a partner nation hospital. I was particularly excited to see that one of the most junior corpsmen involved, HM3 Neil Molinabaeza, was the one to first appreciate the criticality of the patient. Furthermore, HM3 remained at the bedside of the patient the entire time assisting the critical care team. HM3 Molinabaeza is a true example of the sacred trust we all have to care for our fellow Sailors and Marines. On this Sailor’s worst day, HM3 and his Navy Medicine teammates were at their best.
Finally, as you continue to progress in your own military careers – know that the work you do matters. You are part of a long line of brave, intelligent, and caring Navy Medicine professionals who deliver operational medicine – on, above, below the sea, and on the battlefield. Thanks for all you do. I have the upmost respect and admiration for your service and professionalism.
– SG Sends