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Transformation, readiness topics of Navy surgeon general’s visit to Portsmouth

Navy Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, visits Naval Medical Center Portsmouth's Branch Health Clinic Norfolk, Mar. 5, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kris Lindstrom) Navy Surgeon General, Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, visits Naval Medical Center Portsmouth's Branch Health Clinic Norfolk, Mar. 5, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kris Lindstrom)

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FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, emphasized readiness as Navy Medicine’s future focus during visits March 4-6 in the Portsmouth, Virginia area.

“Military medicine, including Navy Medicine, is undergoing some of the most significant changes we have seen in decades,” Faison wrote in a recent blog. “From changes mandated by Congress, to Department of Defense-directed reforms, we have an opportunity to successfully navigate these changes and create an improved Navy Medicine to support our Navy and Marine Corps.”

Traveling with Master Chief Charles Hickey, deputy director of the Hospital Corps, Faison discussed the scope of Navy Medicine’s transformation with internal and external stakeholders including the deputy commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Vice Adm. Bruce Lindsey, during an office call March 5. 

During the trip, Faison outlined Navy Medicine’s future organization and focus on readiness with personnel at the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Branch Health Clinic Norfolk, and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

For almost 18 years, warfighting has occurred largely on land, where the United States has had significant control over the battlefield and access to massive logistics support. In military medicine, that has translated to rapid evacuation of injured personnel during the so-called Golden Hour, when trauma patients are stabilized and airlifted to the next level of care. This system directly resulted in unprecedented survival rates.

Future conflicts may look very different, starting with the possibility of battle at sea.

As a result, Navy Medicine is altering its structure to ensure a ready medical force – uniformed medical personnel who have the skills necessary to save lives in operational environments – and a medically ready force – the health of Sailors and Marines.

Currently, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery – Navy Medicine’s headquarters – and its subsidiary regional commands are structured to manage the Navy’s Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) around the globe. 

These MTFs and the health care they provide are transitioning to the management and administration of the Defense Health Agency (DHA) in phases. This process started Oct. 1, 2018, with Naval Hospital Jacksonville. Navy Medicine is committed to working hand in hand with the DHA to execute a successful transition and minimize the impact to delivery of care.

Simultaneously, Navy Medicine is standing up Navy Medicine Readiness Training Commands (NMRTCs), co-located with MTFs. At a local level, these NMRTCs will execute Navy Medicine’s responsibility to assure capable medical personnel, and healthy, deployment-ready Sailors and Marines.

“We are developing the command structure to maintain operationally relevant skills and abilities, and ultimately meet our readiness mission,” Faison said to personnel at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. “There is great benefit when we do this transformation right.”

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

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