Sunday, August 24, 2014

Navy Doc Sails Into the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes'

By Lisa Johnson, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

DULUTH, Minn. (NNS) -- Navy Medicine leadership met with Minnesota's top medical professionals, public safety officials, and academic leaders to discuss the Navy's importance to global economics, Navy Medicine's capabilities and commitment to patient care during Duluth Navy Week 18-22 Aug.

Rear Adm. Kenneth Iverson, deputy chief, Medical Operations, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery was the top medical officer representing Navy Medicine during the week.

"I grew up in Minnesota, so it was truly my distinct honor and privilege to serve as the lead for Navy Medicine during Duluth Navy Week," said Iverson. "Minnesota has a rich history of supporting our military service members. Duluth Navy Week is a great opportunity to give back while also highlighting our Navy's capabilities for those who desire to be a part of our team."

During a visit to St. Luke's Hospital, the admiral met with hospital leaders and physicians involved in care for traumatic brain injury patients, followed by a presentation to the hospital staff.

"Visits such as Rear Adm. Iverson's are extremely important to St. Luke's as they are informative and used to educate physicians and staff on critical health care topics," said Linda Basara, St. Luke's director of education. "In addition, this visit supported our mission of 'the patient above all else' by showing us Navy Medicine's focus to serve those entrusted to its care."

During his presentation, the admiral informed the staff how Navy Medicine fits into the Navy's commitment to worldwide readiness and stability.

"We learned how expansive and crucial Navy Medicine is for its beneficiaries," said Basara. "The aspects of expeditionary care provided in the air, on and below the sea, and on land, were fascinating. The garrison health care, wounded warrior care and the humanitarian assistance/disaster response demonstrate the 'Global Force For Good' in real action."

During his two days of outreach, Iverson met with the Essentia Health chief operating officer and leadership team, visited the Duluth Vet Center, took a tour of the VA Clinic in Superior, Wisconsin and met with firemen, police officers and first responders in the Duluth metropolitan area.

"I graduated from the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis," said Iverson. "I've visited Duluth many times in my younger days and I was thrilled with the opportunity of returning to this city for an opportunity to share the Navy and Navy Medicine missions."

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 ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

Duluth 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.