Back to Top Skip to main content

Global Health Engagement in action: Trinidad and Tobago

Navy Lt. David Cruz, Southern Partnership Station 2018’s Fleet Health Engagement Team officer-in-charge, speaks with a Trinidad and Tobago military professional as part of functional exercise Red Fish aboard a TTO coast guard vessel during Southern Partnership Station 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katie Cox) Navy Lt. David Cruz, Southern Partnership Station 2018’s Fleet Health Engagement Team officer-in-charge, speaks with a Trinidad and Tobago military professional as part of functional exercise Red Fish aboard a TTO coast guard vessel during Southern Partnership Station 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katie Cox)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

Each year, U.S. Navy personnel deploy to partner nations in the Caribbean including Central and South America as part of Southern Partnership Station to strengthen partnerships and improve interoperability. As part of SPS 2018, I was responsible for an eleven person Global Fleet Health Engagement Team (GHET) in Trinidad and Tobago (TTO).

The team conducted Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs) and engaged in functional exercises with the TTO Army, Coast Guard, police, firefighters, and civilians to enhance natural disaster and humanitarian crisis response capabilities. Our team shared U.S. Navy Medicine best practices and provided an overview of topics which ranged from public and environmental health to pre-hospital trauma care.

The most memorable moment of the exchange was a result of RED FISH 2018, a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief exercise where our partners responded to a simulated mass casualty event in the wake of a Category 4 Hurricane on Chacachacare Island. RED FISH 2018 was the capstone of our training and demanded a broad range of capabilities, including initial Search and Rescue for medical emergencies, patient stabilization, preventative medicine assessments and monitoring. Behavioral health is important to consider during disaster response. Behavioral Health training was provided by chaplains and psychologists. We witnessed our partners put their training to the test. For me, RED FISH 2018 demonstrated what Navy Global Health Engagement is all about – the ability to engage directly with our partners and work side by side to achieve similar goals.

As RED FISH 2018 successfully concluded, the team departed the country. Two weeks later, on Oct. 18-19, Trinidad and Tobago experienced torrential rainfall across the country. Their prime minister declared a national disaster as more than 120,000 citizens were affected by severe flooding.

I reached out to our partners in country to see how they were coping. TTO Force Surgeon Cmdr. Israel Dowlat described a nation reckoning with widespread devastation triggered by the flooding. Many military medical personnel had been activated to provide assistance.

Dowlat indicated that lessons learned during our recent engagement were “being utilized on a national scale” as the Coast Guard, police and firefighters collaborated with various organizations and agencies to navigate recovery efforts.

Our TTO partners conducted the initial search and rescue for medical emergencies and educated civilians to mitigate flood-related disease and infection. Preventive Medicine personnel deployed to assure adequate sanitation, ventilation, water supply and food storage at temporary shelters housing flood survivors. The TTO welfare team that had conducted exchanges with our chaplain deployed to provide psychological support to flood victims as well as TTO service members, many of whom had also been impacted by the floods.

“As you can see,” Dowlat said, “our exchange has already started to reap significant rewards. It is almost as if your training was God-sent just for this event.”

When natural disasters occur, it is critical that military medical responders are poised and ready to respond if called upon. Subject Matter Expert Exchanges exercised during GHE missions such as RED FISH 2018, bolster our partner’s ability to provide urgent care and foster coordination between the U.S. and our Partner Nations. This is underscored by Dowlat’s feedback during my call to check on the welfare of our TTO peers.

The tailored SMEEs used during RED FISH 2018 employed a small team construct were effective in building emergency response capabilities. U.S. planners worked extensively with the TTO Force Surgeon to ensure that topics covered were highly relevant to our partners and addressed their needs. Scenario-based training provided an opportunity for participants to exercise new skills in realistic scenarios. In addition, “Train the Trainer” activities enabled advanced responders to solidify knowledge and teach others.

The U.S. Navy’s Global Health Engagement missions are inherently collaborative. All participants: The Navy Medicine GHE community, the U.S. Embassy, TTO Force Headquarters, the participating TTO medical and civilian personnel, GHET members, and the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command Surgeon and Assessment Department are vital to training.

Navy GHE is focused on sustained dialogue with Partner Nations to solicit for and enhance collaboration to build on exiting partner health systems. Dowlat’s comments and recommendations assist in planned and continued high-value activities in the future.

“The GHET work during RED FISH 2018 demonstrated desired outcomes when working with our partners,” said Pat Shea, an assessment analyst with U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command. “Rather than simply stimulate a change in attitude, our TTO partners achieved a change in behavior that helped their citizens and our relationship with the TTO authorities which enhanced a Global Health operational approach.  This was evidenced in the skills used by TTO responders during the October flood.”

Navy GHE professionals work to identify and attain standards well-coordinated and confirmed with our Partner Nations.  Exercises such as RED FISH 2018 result in improved operational readiness for the U.S. and participating Partner Nations.  The SMEEs of RED FISH 2018 positively impacted the effective response in Trinidad and Tobago and resulted in mitigated human suffering.

As the U.S. prepares to engage in spring exercises with Partner Nations throughout the Caribbean to include Central and South America, the importance of Global Health Engagement Teams cannot be overstated.  Efforts to teach, train and trade skills assists in improved coordination and lasting friendships. I am hopeful to return to Trinidad and Tobago and look forward to talking with Dowlat again.

Lt. David Cruz is a United States Navy Environmental Health Officer with Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit 5 and an Associate in the Global Health Specialist Program.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Air Force medical team supports exercise in Panama

Article
5/29/2018
Air Force Master Sgt. Emeriles Curry, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron dental hygienist, provides dental care to a local man in the Coclé Province of Panama. To date, in 2-weeks’ worth of Medical Readiness Training Exercises, the teams working in conjunction with the Panamanian Ministry of Health, have seen nearly 4,700 patients. The medical team is participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which is a joint training exercise focused on medical, civil engineer and support service personnel’s ability to prepare, deploy, operate, and redeploy outside the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen)

The medical team has been working closely with Panamanian dentists

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability

USNS Mercy arrives in Vietnam for Pacific Partnership

Article
5/23/2018
The hospital ship USNS Mercy anchors in shallow water during a Pacific Partnership stop. (PP18). PP18’s mission is to work collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cameron Pinske)

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral HA/DR preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Airmen contribute to saving a life during New Horizons 2018

Article
5/17/2018
From left to right: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ariel Thomas, 346th Air Expeditionary Group medical technician, Master Sgt. Reina Blake, 346 AEG Office of the Legal Advisor superintendent, and Special Agent Alexandra Garced, Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent, stand for a group photo in Meteti, Panama. Blake, Thomas and Garced are credited with saving the life of a local Panamanian woman after she jumped from a bridge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen)

Airmen go above and beyond to save a local woman

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

New Horizons embedded health engagement provides unparalleled training

Article
5/15/2018
Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Charles Hutchings, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron pediatrician, explains information to a local woman near Meteti, Panama, April 17, 2018. Hutchings was part of an embedded health engagement team participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which will assist communities throughout Panama by providing medical assistance and building facilities such as schools, a youth community center and a women’s health ward. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen)

For medical professionals participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, hands-on training comes in the form of fully submerging into local clinics

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Multinational surgeons participate in first robot-assisted surgery onboard USNS Mercy

Article
5/7/2018
Surgical staff assigned to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy for Pacific Partnership 2018 and the Sri Lankan surgical team from Base Hospital Mutur connect the probes of the Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System to a patient during the first robot-assisted surgery while aboard the Mercy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams)

A joint team of multinational surgeons successfully completed a gall bladder removal, using a Da Vinci XI Robot Surgical System

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Navy audiologist contributes to Pacific Partnership

Article
4/17/2018
Navy Lt. Matt Thomas, an audiologist supporting Pacific Partnership 2018, examines a patient's ear during a community health fair at Yap Memorial Hospital in Micronesia. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Byron Linder)

One participant can claim to have the most firsthand experience with the Micronesian islands

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

In it together: Fighting global health threats takes partnerships

Article
4/12/2018
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of governments, industry, NGOs, academia, and international institutions to combat infectious disease threats. “We are up against a perilous rise in infectious disease outbreaks threatening the health and safety of our citizens, as well as threatening geopolitical stability,” stated McCaffery, emphasizing that global health security is an essential part of our national security. “The bottom line is that defense and security sectors have a real opportunity to use the GHSA framework to increase collaboration and converge our unique assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment," McCaffery said.

McCaffery discusses importance of Global Health Security Agenda in U.K.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

2018 Medical Support Operations Conference

Photo
4/11/2018
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of governments, industry, NGOs, academia, and international institutions to combat infectious disease threats. “We are up against a perilous rise in infectious disease outbreaks threatening the health and safety of our citizens, as well as threatening geopolitical stability,” stated McCaffery, emphasizing that global health security is an essential part of our national security. “The bottom line is that defense and security sectors have a real opportunity to use the GHSA framework to increase collaboration and converge our unique assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment," McCaffery said.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of governments, industry, NGOs, academia, and international institutions to combat infectious disease threats. “We are up against a perilous rise in infectious disease outbreaks threatening the health and safety of our citizens, as well as threatening geopolitical stability,” stated McCaffery, emphasizing that global health security is an essential part of our national security. “The bottom line is that defense and security sectors have a real opportunity to use the GHSA framework to increase collaboration and converge our unique assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment," McCaffery said.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

2018 Visit to U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon

Photo
4/11/2018
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery visits U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon and team to discuss the strategic context of global health in advancing shared security objectives with partner nations across the region.  The Department of Defense recognizes that Global Health Engagement activities play a key role to advance U.S. troop operational readiness, build interoperability, and enhance Security Cooperation.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery visits U.S. Africa Command's Command Surgeon and team to discuss the strategic context of global health in advancing shared security objectives with partner nations across the region. The Department of Defense recognizes that Global Health Engagement activities play a key role to advance U.S. troop operational readiness, build interoperability, and enhance Security Cooperation.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Preventive medicine saving lives

Article
3/28/2018
Navy Lt. Marcus McDonough and Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Adrian Weldon, assigned to Navy Environmental and Preventative Medicine Unit TWO, prepare a BG-Sentinel mosquito trap outside the Franklin D. Roosevelt School during Continuing Promise 2018.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brianna K. Green)

Public health is an essential part of daily life

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

USNS Mercy delivers medical supplies to Ulithi Atoll

Article
3/21/2018
Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy transits the waters near the Ulithi Atoll while en route to the Mercy’s first mission stop of Pacific Partnership 2018. PP18’s mission is to work collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific Region. Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams)

This is the first official engagement of Pacific Partnership 2018, where the Mercy will be sailing near Ulithi Atoll and using helicopters to deliver medical supplies

Recommended Content:

Emergency Preparedness and Response | Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Preventive medicine unit supports first USAFRICOM trilateral medical exchange in Angola

Article
3/14/2018
Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit Seven, located in Rota, Spain, provides theatre-wide preventive medicine support to Navy and Marine Corps forces and joint and combined military operations throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Exercicio PAMBALA 2017 represented the first time that the U.S. has been invited to participate in an engagement such as this in Angola

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

U.S. forces conduct a cooperative health engagement in Thailand

Article
3/14/2018
A child practices using floss during a cooperative health engagement at Watsomboonnaram School in support of Cobra Gold 2018 in Rayong province, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 16, 2018. A CHE provides an opportunity for service members to provide the local community with basic medical, dental and optometry care. Cobra Gold 18 is an annual exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand and runs from Feb. 13-23 with seven full participating nations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin Huffty)

Cobra Gold 18 is an annual exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Navy Medicine's engagement in global health

Article
1/25/2018
Navy nurse leading Chamorro student nurses in ward inspection (1948). The Navy became involved in the affairs on Guam in 1898. In 1911, Navy nurses established a training school in Guam to instruct Chamorro women in health and hygiene. (BUMED archives)

The Navy Medical Department performs a wide range of humanitarian operations, scientific research, and medical surveillance as part of a global health initiative

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

The Department of Veterinary Science institutionalizes Global Health Engagement training

Article
1/25/2018
U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Officers discuss dog handler medical training and physical examination techniques with their Sri Lankan counterparts. (Photo Credit: LTC Matthew Levine)

The Department of Veterinary Science at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School. Health Readiness Center of Excellence, is driving change by preparing Veterinary Corps Officers to plan and execute GHE activities in support of Theater Security Cooperation

Recommended Content:

Veterinary Service | Global Health Engagement
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 6

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.