By Valerie A. Kremer, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
ST. LOUIS (NNS) -- Navy Medicine leadership met with St. Louis' top civic, veteran, and corporate organizations to discuss shared medical initiatives and Navy Medicine's role in the chief of naval operations' navigation plan, as part of St. Louis Navy Week April 29 to May 1.
Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle, chief of staff, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and director, Navy Nurse Corps, represented Navy Medicine during the week.
"It is an honor to be able to develop meaningful conversations with St. Louis' top medical personnel as part of St. Louis Navy Week since we speak the common language of medicine," said McCormick-Boyle. "It is great to be in St. Louis which has a strong heritage of supporting the military and to be able to show them what their Navy does on a daily basis, protecting sea lanes around the globe."
Of the nearly 330,000 active duty Sailors across the Navy, more than 5,400 come from Missouri, McCormick-Boyle noted. The area is also home to more than 7,700 retired Navy veterans and about 1,370 Reserve Sailors.
During the week, McCormick-Boyle visited the John Cochran Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center where she met with leadership and staff to discuss the importance of readiness and the similarities between the Navy's Medical Home Port model and the VA's Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) model.
"As we go forward and provide top medical care to our Sailors and Marines, we look to you for that warm handoff as our Navy Medicine family members come into your communities and health care system," said McCormick-Boyle during her meeting with VA leadership. "Programs like Medical Home Port and PACT will help to create a seamless transition in health care models for our Sailors and Marines."
During her presentation, McCormick-Boyle discussed Navy Medicine's critical role in supporting the warfighter and providing medical care to their families, retirees, and veterans. Through the discussion, the parties stressed the importance of continued research and development initiatives for wounded warrior care, the significance of patient identification technology, and heralded the work both continue to do to provide outstanding care to the nation's wounded warriors.
McCormick-Boyle also visited the St. Louis University Hospital during the week where she met with leadership and staff to discuss health care efficiencies, emergency medicine and Navy Medicine's role in the maritime strategy.
"We must focus on preventive care and readiness to ensure our patients are provided the means and teams of health care professionals to attain this goal," said McCormick-Boyle. "It takes many hands to keep our communities healthy. We know there is not a single model of care that fits all, therefore, we must work together, civilian and military, to learn from one another, in how to provide the best health care possible."
During her presentation, McCormick-Boyle noted the effectiveness of the recent Navy Medicine hospital optimization study in pinpointing efficiencies and improvements to best maximize resources during fiscal constraints and changing patient loads.
"It was an honor to have Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle visit the St. Louis University Hospital," said Phillip Sowa, CEO, St. Louis University Hospital. "We had the great experience to partner with Navy Medicine during Hurricane Katrina. We were glad to hear about the best practices today and how both military and civilian hospitals are looking towards more efficiencies as we move forward.
" During a visit with leadership and staff of the St. Louis Department of Health, McCormick-Boyle discussed Navy Medicine's humanitarian assistance missions and disaster response efforts both internationally and in the United States.
"When the world has a disaster, Navy Medicine is ready to answer the call," said McCormick-Boyle. "We don't need an address to meet our mission. Anything you can do in your local hospitals, we can do on one of our hospital ships, only we can come to you. As in your communities, it is important to have the right people with the right skills, and right supplies, at the right time to meet the mission."
McCormick-Boyle noted the importance of jointness between governmental and non-governmental organizations, the other services, and international support when a disaster strikes, but also in preventive medicine and public health initiatives.
"We were so honored to have Rear Adm. Rebecca McCormick-Boyle come and speak to the St. Louis Department of Health," said Pam Walker, director, St. Louis Department of Health. "It was interesting to learn about the many similarities between our daily mission in St. Louis and Navy Medicine's public health, disaster response and research initiatives. It is important to develop these conversations so we can learn from one another."
Other events during the week included meetings with leadership and staff of Express Scripts, Inc.; emergency personnel at the St. Louis Fire Department; St. Louis' top business leaders at the Science Center; and local governmental leaders at the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.
Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ship, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.
St. Louis Navy Week is one of six Navy weeks across the country this year. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they make in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.
For more news from Navy Medicine, visit www.navy.mil/local/mednews/. For more information about St. Louis Navy Week, visit http://www.navyoutreach.org/programs/navy-weeks/st-louis/.
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