Story by Douglas Stutz on 09/17/2019Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB), along with branch health clinics on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, Naval Station Everett and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, will transition to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Oct. 1, 2019.
To support NHB's transition, Navy Medicine is establishing a co-located Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC). Navy Medicine, through the NMRTC, retains command and control of the uniformed medical force, and maintains responsibility and authority for operational readiness. This includes the medical readiness of Sailors and Marines, as well as the clinical readiness of the medical force.
The NMRTC will improve the ability of NHB to meet the needs of operational commanders. Survivability of Navy and Marine Corps personnel in the future warfighting environment requires a medical force that's ready to immediately deploy and save lives.
NMRTCs will report to Naval Medical Forces Atlantic (NMFA) and Pacific (NMFP), formerly known as Navy Medicine East and West, which in turn are accountable to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
Capt. Shannon J. Johnson, who assumed command of NHB on Aug. 2, 2019, will serve as both the MTF director under the DHA, and the NMRTC commanding officer under Navy Medicine. As NMRTC commanding officer, Johnson is the plank owner of the new structure and means by which Navy Medicine will perform its wartime mission.
"Our NMRTC will preserve command and control of the uniformed medical force, provide a single point-of-contact for our Navy fleet and Fleet Marine Force, and allow us to continue to support our operational commanders. The operational readiness of every member of our Navy Medicine team is paramount to combat survival. We are committed to readiness and to ensuring a ready medical force and a medically ready force," said Johnson.
The change in administration, management and control will be seamless to patients service members, retirees, and family members with little or no immediate effect on their experience of care.
"Our commitment to provide the best in safe, patient-centered care will not waiver during this realignment. Our mission remains the same, which is keeping Sailors, Marines and their families healthy, ready and on the job," stated Johnson.
To achieve Congress' requirements in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the DHA will assume administration and management of all military treatment facilities (MTFs). This transition will increase efficiency by eliminating duplication, and enhancing standardization and consistency across the military services.
For the foreseeable future, all facilities' names will remain the same, and will maintain their Navy affiliation.
While DHA will be responsible for health care delivery and business operations, Navy Medicine will retain principal responsibility for operational readiness of the medical force.
NHB supports more than 60,000 military families in West Puget Sound, shaping military medicine through training, mentoring, and research to ensure a ready medical force and operationally ready force.