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USNS Comfort to Receive 60 More NMCP Staff

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100120-21
Release Date: 1/20/2010 11:10:00 PM

By Deborah Kallgren, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs

NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- An additional 60 staff members from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth left Jan. 20 to join the USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) to maximize the full capabilities of the hospital ship in providing medical care to injured Haitians.

The 60 doctors, nurses and corpsmen departed Portsmouth for NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and on to Comfort.

They will join 129 doctors, nurses, corpsmen, pharmacists, culinary specialists and administrative personnel who departed the Portsmouth medical center Jan. 15, and have been on board Comfort since the ship left Baltimore for Haiti Jan. 16.

Approximately 550 medical staff are on board Comfort. The additional staff are intended to expand the hospital ship's capability to 1,000-bed capacity, providing numerous medical services including primary care, trauma care, pediatric care and orthopedic care upon arrival in Haiti.

In an email from USNS Comfort, NMCP's Mission Commander, Cmdr. (Dr.) William Scouten, said, "NMC Portsmouth is well-represented. Corpsmen and officers, alike, are readying the ship and are distinguishing themselves as leaders. It is an exciting time and we anticipate playing an important role in saving/sustaining lives. We are intent on helping to rebuild and restore safety and peace to a people whose bodies and homes are broken.

"We are steaming ahead and anticipate our arrival in Haiti," Scouten added.

NMCP Deputy Commander Capt. Craig Bonnema said, "All medical center services are continuing. We have deployed a large number of our staff in support of this vital relief mission, and we continue to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We are committed to ensuring safe, quality care for all of our beneficiaries through the medical center and our network partners," Bonnema added.

For more news from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, visit www.navy.mil/local/NMCP/.



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