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Floating Hospital Helps Hundreds in Haiti

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070904-10
Release Date: 9/4/2007 4:15:00 PM


By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler Jones and Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Fields, USNS Comfort Public Affairs

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (NNS) -- Joint service and non-governmental volunteers attached to Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) provided humanitarian medical assistance to hundreds of patients in Port-au-Prince on Sept. 3.

U.S. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service and non-governmental organization Project Hope volunteers offered a variety of services, including primary adult and pediatric care, dentistry, optometry and immunizations at the Elizabeth Germain Hospital as part of Comfort’s ongoing humanitarian deployment.

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Janet A. Sanderson visited the site to speak with patients and medical personnel, praising the team for their hard work and dedication to Comfort’s mission in Haiti. Sanderson also noted that the United States plays an important role in the health care of Haitians.

“It’s very important for Haitians to see up close and personal what the United States does for them,” said Sanderson. “We have a major assistance program here in the health care sector, but sometimes you don’t see that. So today, on the TV, on the radio, and talking to families, they’ll be able to see what the United States can do for Haiti and for Haiti’s children.”

Capt. Linda Brown-Vidal, a nurse corps officer and Comfort site leader at the Elizabeth Germain hospital, said the joint-service teamwork between members of the uniformed services and Project Hope played a pivotal role in the success of the mission.

“Today was like a well-oiled machine,” said Brown-Vidal. “Everything was great – the staff worked very well as a team. The assessments of patients, their consultations and everything in between were in sync.”

Comfort is in Haiti as part of the ship’s first full-scale humanitarian deployment, which has brought it to Latin America and the Caribbean to provide medical assistance to patients in a dozen countries. The ship’s four-month deployment is in support of the U.S. Southern Command’s Partnership for the America’s initiative, strengthening the bonds between the United States and the Latin American and Caribbean region.

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