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Comfort Provides Medical Care at School

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070920-09
Release Date: 9/20/2007 1:09:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joan E. Kretschmer, USNS Comfort Public Affairs

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (NNS) -- Personnel from hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) provided medical care to local citizens of Port-of-Spain at the Moulton Hall Methodist Primary School, Sept. 19.

Patients had access to primary care, pediatrics, optometry, immunizations, laboratory and pharmacy services at the school.

“This is a great way to use the ship, its services and equipment on board,” said Lt. Johnny Ramos, a medical logistics officer aboard Comfort and the site leader for the mission at the school. “We have been spreading good will throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. I love it. I have been attached to Comfort for three years in January and I have another year left.”

The patient flow has picked up steadily throughout the week at the school, with communication about Comfort’s medical services fueling response throughout Port-of-Spain. Patient flow matches the pace that Comfort’s medical staff is accustomed to. Comfort’s medical staff at the school will provide services for close to 1,000 people.

“The first day when people saw us they knocked on the door and asked us what we were doing here and we told them, ‘we are providing free medical care.’ Then they asked if they could tell other people about Comfort’s presence and we said ‘yes, please do,’” said Hospitalman Tyler Zurcher, a medical administrator attached to Comfort. “So word of mouth did a lot.”

The services provided by Comfort have amazed local citizens.

“I think this is a blessing for the people in Trinidad,” said Marshal Daniel, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago. “To be honest, I came here not knowing what to expect. I didn’t know about all that Comfort set up. It has been quite impressive.”

The local citizens are not the only ones that have been excited about Comfort’s mission.

“So far, I think this has been an amazing experience,” Zurcher said. “I can’t compare it to anything else I have ever been a part of. It’s definitely an honor to be here.”

Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical care to patients in a dozen countries.

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