Saturday, June 18, 2011

Navy Medicine Flies to Trauma Center During Chattanooga Navy Week

By Valerie A. Kremer, Navy Medicine Public Affairs

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (NNS) -- Erlanger Health Care System and Navy Medicine examined shared initiatives in emergency medicine and trauma care as part of Chattanooga Navy Week, Tenn., June 16.

Rear Adm. Donald Gintzig, Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, deputy chief medical operations and future plans, was the top Navy medical officer during the visit.

"We are honored Rear Adm. Gintzig visited our facility during Chattanooga Navy Week," said James Brexler, chief executive officer, Erlanger Health System. "It was a great opportunity to show our MEDEVAC transport capabilities and share best practices on patient care with the Admiral. In addition, it provided great insight as the care provided to service members on the battlefield is similar to the care we provide to our trauma patients every day."

During the visit, Gintzig was taken by helicopter to Erlanger Health Care System where he met with leadership, staff, and patients and toured the facility.

"As this region's trauma center, Erlanger sets itself apart in terms of a tertiary level referral center with their MEDEVAC capability to reach out to a wide population of those in need," said Gintzig. "Meeting with Erlanger leadership was a great exchange in discussing the similar roles in the care Navy Medicine provides to our patients."

During his presentation to staff, Gintzig shared how Navy Medicine's emergency medicine and trauma care is a critical piece of the chief of naval operation's maritime strategy. Along with traditional roles like deployments and projecting power abroad, Gintzig discussed how international partnerships and providing care through humanitarian assistance missions has further demonstrated how Navy Medicine's emergency medicine and research and development has made an impact on a global scale.

Erlanger, located in Chattanooga, Tenn., is a non-profit, academic teaching center affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Erlanger is also a Level-One Trauma Center for adults and the only provider of tertiary care services for the citizens of an entire four-state region, encompassing southeast Tennessee, north Georgia, north Alabama and western North Carolina. In addition it offers both emergent and non emergent care to Children's Hospital located on the Erlanger campus.

Navy Medicine is a global healthcare 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.

Chattanooga Navy Week is one of 21 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.

Wisconsin Guard aviators back on home soil

Wisconsin Army National Guard Public Affairs Office

The approximately 300 men and women of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment returned home today (June 17) to family, friends and welcome home celebrations in Madison.

"On behalf of the 5.6 million people here in the state of Wisconsin, welcome back to not only the land of beer, brats and cheese, but in the last year the home of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers," Gov. Scott Walker, commander-in-chief of the Wisconsin National Guard, said to Wisconsin's newest combat veterans. "We are so pleased to have the men and women of the 147th back ... It's important to remember that freedom isn't free."

The 147th "Iron Hawks" mobilized one year ago and deployed in September in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They were among the 50,000 U.S. troops to remain in Iraq after Operation New Dawn began, and were responsible for all aviation operations - including troop and cargo movements, medevac and attack missions - in United States Division-South, which covers nine provinces of Iraq, including the area south of Baghdad.

"Our nation, the United States Army, the Army National Guard and I owe you guys all a debt of gratitude that I can never repay," Lt. Col. Marty Pond, commander of the 147th, told his battalion as well as family and friends gathered for the brief welcome home ceremony at the 64th Troop Command headquarters in Madison.

"The accolades for the 147th keep rolling in," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Craig Krenz, state command chief warrant officer. Krenz acknowledged the battalion's recognition as the 2010 Army Aviation Association of America National Guard Unit of the Year for its accomplishments over the past 12 months.

Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin, also praised the 147th, noting that the battalion essentially replaced 2,000 aviators in Iraq as they assumed a larger role following the safe and responsible drawdown of forces during the transition from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn.

"They flew more hours and did the job better," Dunbar said. "It is extraordinary what you have done."

Lisa Brown, whose husband Spc. Adam Brown was among the returning Soldiers, savored the end of the deployment.

"It was a long year with him being gone," she said. "But now that I look back at it, it seems like it flew by. I'm just glad he's back."

The Soldiers were released from active duty following the ceremony, having already completed their demobilization at Fort Bliss, Texas before returning to Wisconsin.