WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, visited Navy Expeditionary Medical Support Command (NAVEXPMEDSUPCOM) March 20 and Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity (NOSTRA) March 21.
The visits included all hands calls with the staffs, facility tours, lunch with junior Sailors and meetings with command leadership.
Faison spoke of the commands' roles in maintaining the health and well-being of Sailors and Marines not only today, but into the future.
"Survival in the maritime domain depends most critically, and most importantly, on the training, preparation and experience of the hospital corpsman," said Faison. "The hospital corpsman is the most important person on the medical team for combat survival."
Faison also discussed the future of the Navy's medical footprint aboard Navy ships and the need to preserve clinical skills to maintain a high survival rate in future conflicts.
Faison said the training hospital corpsmen presently receive is constantly evolving and improving. He went on to talk about ways Navy leadership is looking to partner with civilian hospitals to allow corpsmen to advance the readiness of future medical professionals throughout the Fleet.
"We've got a Personnel Qualification Standards program to get [corpsmen] into the Operating Rooms and the Intensive Care Units and the clinics to give [corpsmen] the patient experience," said Faison.
Sailors in attendance expressed their appreciation for Faison taking the time to meet with and discuss the importance of their role during future conflicts in an expeditionary environment.
"Navy medicine goes beyond being in the hospital and being in clinics," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Shantell Allen, a Sailor assigned to NAVEXPMEDSUPCOM. "We have different units. We have people that are forward deployed on humanitarian missions. I think it was really important for [Faison] to come out and see the expeditionary side of Navy Medicine."
Navy Medicine is a global health care network of more than 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 ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.
NAVEXPMEDSUPCOM is a tenant command at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown-Cheatham Annex. The team consists of military, civilian and contracted personnel responsible for designing and building modular, scalable, expeditionary and fully-functional medical facilities that can be packed up and deployed anywhere in the world.
NOSTRA, also located at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station in Virginia, is one of 24 labs in the Optical Fabrication Enterprise (OFE) that fabricate eyewear for all eligible personnel. The OFE also includes eight Army fabrication labs. As DoD's "tertiary" fabrication site, NOSTRA has the people and equipment needed to fabricate the most complex prescriptions filled in the military. NOSTRA is also the training site for Navy and Army personnel training to become laboratory and clinical opticians through the Tri-Service Optician School.
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