Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Friday, August 30, 2013

Naval Hospital Appoints New Ombudsman

By Hospitalman Jeyzon Fernandez Jimenez
Public Affairs Staff/Editor
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms proudly welcomes Mr. Bright Opoku as the new Command Ombudsman.
What is an ombudsman?

An ombudsman is a volunteer, chosen by the Commanding Officer (CO), on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

An ombudsman is also a spouse of an active duty or selected reserve member assigned to the command who serves as the official liaison between the command and its families. The ombudsman assists the CO in maintaining the morale and welfare of the command’s service members and its families.

According to OPNAVINST 1750.1G, the Ombudsman Program was introduced to the Navy by z-gram 24 on Sept. 14, 1970, by Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr. A z-gram is a list of policy directives issued by Zumwalt while in office as the CNO (from July 1, 1970 to
July 1, 1974).

Zumwalt adapted this program from a 19th century Scandinavian custom originally established by the king to give ordinary private citizens an avenue to express their grievances to high government officials.

To support the command’s mission and improve family readiness, the ombudsman acts as an advocate for families and Sailors. He helps to disseminate accurate information regarding command policies, services available, resource referral and deployments.

He is a confidential point of contact for families and Sailors and refers them to the appropriate agency for questions, concerns, aid, or intervention. The ombudsman is an effective resource for hearing about the welfare of command families.

To clarify, the ombudsman is not a trained counselor or social worker, but can show you the way to solving your problems or getting assistance.

Furthermore, Ombudsman Appreciation Day is on Sept. 14 (or the Friday preceding the 14th, if it falls on a weekend). Since the 14th is of significance to the history of the program, commands are authorized to celebrate the event at any time deemed appropriate during the month of September or as soon as possible thereafter.

As a confidential point of contact for family members of the military staff, Mr. Opoku, the ombudsman, can be used as a reference and referral guide. For situations that need assistance, he is able to provide you with information on various resources around the base that may help.

Resource connections for Sailors and family members such as the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), located at the Village Center (Bldg. 1551), provides financial assistance in difficult times; the DStress hotline, (877) 476-7734 / Dstressline.com, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emotional support; and the TRICARE Service Center, which provides health care services such as appointment scheduling and Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) registration, are just a few of the many resource links that are listed in the Ombudsman Newsletter, which is generated and published every two months via the command emailing platform.

You may contact Mr. Opoku by phone at (760) 910-2050, or by email at nhtpombudsman@yahoo.com.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Change of Executive Officer at Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

By Hospitalman Jeyzon Fernandez Jimenez
Public Affairs Staff / Editor
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

The Executive Officer, CAPT Cynthia J. Gantt, Nurse Corps, United States Navy was relieved by CAPT Angela S. Nimmo, Nurse Corps, United States Navy.

The command was officially established as Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms in 1988 under the command of then CDR G. Russell Brown. Newly commissioned LT Cynthia J. Gantt became the first Family Nurse Practitioner assigned to the command; it was also her first “job” as a plank owner of the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital in 1991.

CAPT Cynthia J. Gantt, NC, USN, FNP-BC, Ph.D., a recipient of the American Hospital Associations (AHA), “2010 Federal Health Care Executive Award for Excellence,” was selected by Rear Adm. Elizabeth Niemyer, Director of the Navy Nurse Corps for the Executive Officer position at Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms.

CAPT Gantt comes from Temple City, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles. There she attended Temple City High School and then went on to earn an Associate Degree from Pasadena City College.

She then earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from her alma mater Sonoma State University, graduating cum laude and was the valedictorian speaker at the commencement ceremony. CAPT Gantt also later returned to Sonoma State University and earned a Master’s in Science degree as a Nurse Practitioner.

Furthermore, as a memorable experience, CAPT Gantt met her husband, Robert Gantt, here at Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital. CAPT Gantt is eternally grateful for the inspiration and opportunities that she has received from her family, the United States Navy, military leaders and the mentors that she has learned from over the years.

In a previous interview with Daniel M. Barber, Public Affairs Officer (retired), CAPT Gantt emphasized the importance and value of an education. CAPT Gantt started at a community college and worked her way up to earning a Ph.D.

“‘I’ve told folks more than once, if I can do it, you can do it...Truly the value of an education, no matter how long they are in the Navy, whether they become a Master Chief Petty Officer, or if they are interested in becoming an officer, is...an absolutely valuable thing to have...and is a life-long process,’ said CAPT Gantt.”

CAPT Gantt’s leadership philosophy strongly highlights a few important and fundamental elements: positive leadership, trust and collaboration.

Regarding leadership, CAPT Gantt added, “I trust the folks that I lead and I want to be trusted by them. I firmly believe that leaders should be mentors and particularly that mentors or leaders are generous with their knowledge, and as much as possible, and with their time.”

The newest Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms’s Executive Officer is CAPT Angela S. Nimmo.

Her official biography denotes that she is the daughter of a retired Naval Officer. CAPT Nimmo graduated from a Department of Defense (DoD) High School in Naples, Italy. She received her Bachelor of Science from University of Memphis, College of Nursing in 1986.

She then completed a pediatric internship program at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn. and worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for two years.

She obtained her commission as an Ensign in 1988, and completed her first tour on the oncology unit at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. During this tour she deployed on the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort supporting Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

Her next duty station was at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy where she worked in a variety of settings including emergency room, in-patient ward, and Labor and Delivery.

Her next tour was at the Naval Health Care New England, Newport, RI. as Division Officer for one of the Family Practice Clinics.

She then became Department Head for Home Health and Health Promotions and established an ambulatory wound care clinic. She was then accepted into the Duty Under Instruction (DUINS) Program, completing her Master of Science degree and Clinical Nurse Specialist degree in Medical Surgical Nursing from University of Maryland, Baltimore graduating in May 2000.

She focused on specialized advanced wound care during her graduate studies. Upon completion of her degree she returned to National Naval Medical Center where she was the Department Head for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. During this tour she once again deployed on the USNS Comfort supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The next tour of duty was the Naval Medical Clinic Quantico, Va. as Department Head for Primary Care and the Ambulance Services.

She reported to Naval Hospital Jacksonville in July 2006, as the Department Head for Maternal Infant Unit and Labor and Delivery.

In April 2008, she became the Associate Director for Medical Services, and in Aug. 2009 she became the Director of Medical Services. She was also the Director for Nursing Administration at United States Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan.

CAPT Nimmo is a board certified wound care specialist at the fellowship level with the American Board of Wound Management. She is a member of the Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nursing Society and Phi Kappa Phi.

Her personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards) and Navy Achievement Medal (two awards).

CAPT Nimmo is married to her husband Paul, of Charleston, W. Va., and they have two children, Madelynn and Alexander.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Behavioral Health is Moving to New Relocatable

By Hospitalman Jeyzon Fernandez Jimenez
Public Affairs Staff / Editor
Robert E. Bush Naval HospitalNaval Hospital

Twentynine Palms’s Behavioral Health Clinic will be moving into a new temporary “Relocatable.”

The location of the clinic will be Bldg. 1658 R1, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC).

The move is currently planned for early August 2013.

Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan H. Locke, Medical Service Corps, a Clinical Psychologist from New England who arrived onboard in August 2012, currently works in Deployment Health as the Department Head.

Locke received his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Grinnell College in 1990, his Master of Science (M.S.) in counseling psychology from Northeastern University in 1994, and his doctorate in clinical psychology from Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in 2003. Locke actively oversees the moving process of the Behavioral Health Clinic.

Why is the move important to patients at the hospital? Locke said that the move will make it easier for many behavioral health patients to go to their appointments.

Because mental health services will be offered at a new separate location, patients will gain the benefit of having a little more privacy.

Additionally, due to the increase of space at the new location, patients may have more treatment options. Parking may become easier for the patients as well.

The impact that this move would create on patients is that those having additional appointments at the hospital will need to allow more time in their schedules to travel to their other meetings.

Relocating will impact staff members by gaining much more space to work in and a bit more autonomy, but will also mean that staff members will not have access to the galley or the locker rooms at the hospital.

Furthermore, attending regular meetings at the hospital may become a little more challenging for the staff.

Future plans to again move, this time into a permanent infrastructure, are underway for year 2015.

When asked what services and / or programs do Behavioral Health currently offer to patients, Locke said, “The staff is planning on continuing to offer very similar services to what it has offered in the past.

These services include individual and group treatment, a variety of talk therapies, medications, crisis services, post deployment health re-assessments (PDHRAs), traumatic brain injury (TBI) evaluations, among others.”

Will the clinic expand such services and/or programs in the future? “We are looking into increasing the number of therapy groups we offer, and we will be switching the leadership of some of these groups between Mental Health and Deployment Health,” said Locke.

To avoid confusion and for clarification purposes, “Behavioral Health was divided into two smaller departments, now called Mental Health and Deployment Health. Mental Health is made up of primarily active-duty providers. Deployment Health is mostly compromised of civilians and has three components: The Post Deployment Health Re-assessment Program, the Traumatic Brain Injury Program and Counseling Services. The Deployment Health Department’s main purpose is to assist service members with conditions related to deployments, while Mental Health offers a broad range of services that complement those offered by Deployment Health,” said Locke.

For care during business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., call the front desk at (760) 830- 2724/2935. In the event of an after-hours crisis, call 911.

The Behavioral Health Clinic also covers the Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms’s Emergency Medicine Department, which is open 24 hours and can be contacted at (760) 830-2354.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hospital Corps Celebrates 115 Years

By Hospitalman Jeyzon Fernandez Jimenez
Public Affairs Staff / Editor
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

The Hospital Corps 115th birthday celebration will take place June 17. Many of the Hospital Corps employment opportunities have evolved over the years. Hospital Corpsman work in an extensive number of career fields.

There are approximately 270 Hospital Corpsman on staff at Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms.  

Hospital Corpsman First Class, Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Andrea Nicole Turner from Denver, Colo., is the Director of Medical Services’ (DMS) Leading Petty Officer (LPO) and one of the two Respiratory Therapy Technicians at the hospital. Turner’s stepmother, who was a nurse, influenced and sparked her interest in the medical field. When Turner decided to join the Navy, she told the recruiter of her interest. As a result, the recruiter suggested Hospital Corpsman as a career option for Turner.

When asked what her most memorable experience to date in the Navy, she said, “Honestly, there is not one particular experience that stands out to me. My entire career has been memorable and I take little bits from every experience, and those little bits have made me the person I am today.”

As a medical professional, she believes that to be a Respiratory Therapy Technician, “definitely takes drive and dedication to learn the job, and keep yourself trained up on the constant changes of procedures, techniques, medicine, etc.

Respiratory Therapy is a vastly growing field.” Some of Turner’s aspirations are to complete her bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Therapy, the possibility of applying to a Physician Assistant (PA) school, and advancement in the Navy.

Additionally, one piece of advice that she gives to junior Sailors is, “Set yourself up for success. The Navy has several opportunities available at your disposal. Work towards your degree, study for advancement, get involved in the Command and Community, and keep yourself educated on the ever changing military policies and procedures, instructions, etc.”

Hospital Corpsman Second Class Patrick M. Malone of Waukon, Iowa, is an Optician who checked onboard the hospital in May 2010. He currently works at the Optometry Clinic.

Malone has many memorable experiences. But the one that is the most memorable to him was in 2005 when a tsunami impacted the shores of the island country of Sri Lanka in South Asia. Malone, who was 19-years-old at the time, had recently checked onboard a ship. Malone and other Sailors from his command were actively involved in providing medical humanitarian assistance to the victims of Sri Lanka. “I was there for two months straight...doing just regular sick call, helping them with disposal of waste, etc,” said Malone. The look on the victims’ faces is something that continues to be unforgettable to Malone. 

Another memorable experience was when he reported to Italy in 2008. He used this opportunity to go on a two week backpacking adventure with a friend throughout Southeastern Europe. During his backpacking trip, he enjoyed visiting the legendary Count Dracula’s Bran Castle in Bran, Romania.

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Alison B. Raphael from Montville, N.J., is an X-Ray Technician who arrived onboard in July 2012. Raphael shared that her reasons for becoming a Hospital Corpsman were linked to her medical education background obtained through some years of nursing school. One of her most unforgettable experiences in her naval career was graduating from X-Ray C School.

“I had grown so close with everybody that I went to school with. And we really grew such a gorgeous relationship...When it was time to say goodbye, it was like a bitter-sweet experience for me because these were the closest friends I had built since I've been in the military, especially in such a short period of time. But, obviously, we can’t stay in school forever,” said Raphael. 

Another memorable experience in her career was when she was nominated Blue Jacket of the Year at her previous command in Sicily, Italy. So, what does it take to be a X-Ray Technician? Raphael emphasized that it takes a lot of patience, motivation, being good with patient care, plenty of drive and energy.

Raphael’s future career ambitions are to continue with her x-ray education, plus she plans on opening a private pre-school. Raphael’s advice to Sailors, “Try not to get caught up in an identity crisis. To realize that you don’t have to be two completely separate people inside and outside the uniform. That’s where a lot of people, I feel, get stuck in a rut; they get in trouble because they feel like they have to be perfect in uniform. And then, once they take it off, then they want to kind of revert back to, maybe, old habits. And that’s my biggest advice; just to keep it with you outside of work as well, so that you don’t fall in that identity crisis category,” said Raphael. 

Hospitalman Christopher J. Moran of Las Vegas, Nev. is a Surgical Technologist who arrived on board December 2011. Moran pointed out that his reasons for joining the Hospital Corpsman rate are because he enjoys taking care of people and likes helping them become healthy. Moreover, Moran said a memorable experience throughout his career has been on him noticing that assisting surgeons in the operating room is an opportunity that many people his age do not have in the civilian world. He started assisting surgeons at the age of 19 when most of his friends had just graduated high school or were commencing their college path.  

What does it take to be a Surgical Technologist? Moran believes that it takes dedication, integrity, plenty of studying, and knowing what is right and wrong. One of his future goals is to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to work on his premedical education. His advice to fellow Corpsman highlights the importance of being persistent and not to become discouraged when one has done something wrong. Rather, he emphasizes to use such mistakes as a learning experience.

“I hold the care of the sick and injured to be a privilege and sacred trust...I dedicate my heart, mind, and strength to the work before me. I shall do all within my power to show in myself an example of all that is honorable and good throughout my naval career.” These words, taken from the Corpsman Pledge, constitute what the Hospital Corpsman continuously and traditionally live by. Hospital Corps, thank you for your continuous Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, and Service. Happy 115th Birthday Hospital Corps.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Navy Nurse Corps

By Ensign Devon Cassidy, NC
Multi-Service Ward
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

       The Navy Nurse Corps was established by Congress on May 13, 1908.  At the time, there were only 20 female nurses. These twenty nurses became known as the “Sacred Twenty”.  They were the first females to formally serve in the US Navy.  At the beginning of World War I, the Nurse Corps grew from 20 to 160 members who not only worked in hospitals and clinics on the home-front but were also deployed to overseas military hospitals and with special combat support operating teams.  By November 1918,  there were 1,550 active duty Navy Nurses. 

       In 1920, Navy Nurses received orders for shipboard positions aboard the USS Relief. During World War II, Navy Nurses who served aboard the USS Solace were responsible for treating casualties from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  By 1945, 11,086 nurses were serving in over 40 Naval Hospitals, 176 Dispensaries and 6 Hospital Corps Schools. The first Navy Flight nurses served in Iwo Jima and Okinawa during medical evacuation flights in 1945. During the Cold War, Navy Nurses continued to serve aboard the Hospital ships providing care to sailors and marines. After the Cold War, the Nurse Corps took on a new mission to aid in humanitarian relief and disaster support. With the Gulf War in the 1990’s, two hospital ships supported the fleet and fleet hospital facilities ashore. Today, Navy Nurses are deployed all around the world supporting humanitarian relief efforts and combat missions with  Fleet Surgical Teams, hospital ships, aircraft carriers and boots on the ground with Marine and Army forces.

       In 1944, Navy Nurses were formally recognized as commissioned officers.  The Navy Nurses were officially distinguished as a permanent staff corps in 1947. The first male nurse officer was commissioned in 1964. Today, there are over 4,000 active and reserve Nurse Corps officers serving from Ensign to Rear Admiral. The primary mission of the Nurse Corps today is to provide quality nursing care and promote the health of uniformed personnel and their family members.  Nurse Officers today serve in  leadership  roles, integrating compassion with discipline and preventative health  promotion with wartime readiness.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Continuing the Communication Channels

By Dan Barber
Public Affairs Officer
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital

My career as the Public Affairs Officer at the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital will end May 31 when I retire, but my relationship with the Hospital will continue… albeit as a health care consumer… hopefully on a very limited basis.

As such I will continue my curiosity to know what is going on at the hospital?  When flu shots and other health services will be given to retirees like myself?  What the hours of operations are for the clinics and ancillary services?  Who replaced my Primary Care Provider? Why can’t I get an appointment when I want one? How do I give praise to a great Corpsman who provided me with a wonderful experience?... You noticed that I included all the important basic communication questions… Who, What, When, Where Why  and How.
To this end, the command has established “Communications” as one of its strategic initiatives. Each directorate here has assigned a Public Affairs Representative who is responsible for ensuring that information is fed to one of the communications channels the hospital uses. These communications links include:
*   “The Examiner” which is published each month and inserted into the base newspaper “The Observation Post” normally on the first Friday of each month. “The Examiner” is also published on the hospital’s Facebook page;
*  Closed Circuit TV programming used to inform and educate patients in health care issues;
*  Social media which includes Facebook, Twitter and a Health Blog. Every day Monday-Friday the day’s available appointments for the Blue, Gold and Pediatric Clinic Medical Home clinics are published on Facebook before the clinic appointment lines open at 7:15 a.m;
*  Information is also fed to the Combat Center’s Joint Public Affairs Office (G5) to be included, as needed, in the Speedcall email message system and on Combat Center radio and television broadcasts; and
* A huge communications channel that cannot be overlooked is the Face-To-Face “2-step communications method.” The hospital has a very active Customer Relations program with representatives in each department and clinic of the hospital. Patients with any issue they would like to discuss from a complaint to praise, should seek one of these representatives out for assistance. If not satisfied with the help received with one of these reps, they can contact the Customer Relations Officer, (CRO) who is HMC Tamara Marks, who can be reached at 760-830-2825. Chief Marks is a special assistant to the Commanding Officer, Captain Jay Sourbeer, MC. The Customer Relations Officer and clinic reps also provide input to the Comunications team so educational information can be developed to help patients or command staff.
The leadership of the Naval Hospital as well as Navy Medicine is constantly searching for a way for patients as well as medical staff to provide feedback to the leaders so they can make informed decisions to help in providing the best possible health care service.
The Naval Hospital’s Communications team is headed up by Lt.j.g. Ashley Robertson, NC. Robertson recently met with his team to discuss other communications strategies that can be used to reach the command’s beneficiaries. One of the Public Affairs Reps, Hospitalman Kylie Guest, Surgical Services Directorate, pointed out that we need to push our social media communications out to our younger beneficaries who are “wired” into instant communications through their smart phones. A plan was to set into motion with that suggestion to create some strategies to get the younger population of the Combat Center to “log on” to learn about services at the hospital.  I recently discovered what a “QR” does, because I finally buckled to peer pressure and purchased a smart phone… so I will be creating some posters where patients can take a photo of our QR with their smart phone to automatically log on to our social media sites. This will be done as soon as I can figure out how to use my smart phone, other than making or receiving phone calls, to create a QR with the QR App… maybe I’ll just get HN Guest to create it.
Feedback is also encouraged. The Facebook, Twitter and Blog sites each have the capability to receive that feedback… instantly. The only thing the hospital would like to see is for users to provide constructive criticisim or even positive feedback about a good experience with the hospital.  Personal attacks should be avoided as the social media sites are constantly monitored and can be viewed by anyone .
Good ideas are always welcomed, and many times incoporated into the health care services provided to patients.
Because of the hospital’s dedication to the protection of patient privacy personal patient information will never be discussed on social media. For private consultation, beneficaries should book an appointment with their health care team by calling 760-830-2752 or by calling the Customer Relations Officer at 760-830-2825. Another option beneficaries of the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital have is “Relay Health.” Customers can log on to this secure site to communicate directly with their health care team at the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital… check it out: https://app.relayhealth.com/Registration.aspx?Status=new