Story by PO2 Kris Lindstrom on 05/14/2019Capt. Jason Lewis passes the torch of officer-in-charge (OIC) of Branch Health Clinic (BHC) Norfolk to Cmdr. Darla Dietrich during a change of charge ceremony, May 10. Lewis is relieved after three years as OIC and assumes position of Director for Administration at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP).
Dietrich had previously served as Director for Administration at Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Director for Healthcare Business at Naval Hospital Naples, Italy.
Capt. Christopher Culp, NMCP's commanding officer, was the guest speaker for the ceremony, and praised the challenges and successes of Lewis, who not only was the OIC of BHC Norfolk, but also in charge of BHC Norfolk Naval Shipyard, BHC Naval Weapons Station Yorktown and TRICARE Prime Clinic (TPC) Suffolk.
"The four clinics you lead, they have a size, they have desperate locations and they have an impact that make it simply demanding for all who try to chart its course," Culp said. "The clinics that you lead just this past year provided 365 day access to the fleet. Each day, you saw 670 people report to work; at least one of whom, not many, is always deployed. Each day on average, you saw 900 medical appointments, 300 dental appointments. Each day on average, you filled 1,000 prescriptions and 1,700 labs. You processed 700 X-rays, each day, every day, on and on."
Prior to reading his orders and officially relinquishing his charge, Lewis thanked everyone for attending as well as a special thank you for the Sailors working at the clinics that made them successful at providing high level care.
"As part of NMCP, we share in the motto First and Finest.'" Lewis said. "The hospital clearly owns the first part being a continuous operation since 1830. But make no doubt, the finest applies to the staff of the Branch Health Clinic here in Norfolk, the Dental Clinic here in Norfolk, TRICARE Prime Clinic Suffolk, Naval Weapon Station Yorktown and Norfolk Naval Shipyard Clinic. It has been a privilege to be your OIC. Thank you for everything you have done. This has been a great assignment."
After taking charge of BHC Norfolk and the sister service clinics, Dietrich spoke about what a privilege it is to set the course and lead the prestige clinics.
"It is my honor to be your new officer-in-charge," Dietrich said. "Your reputation as was mentioned by these fine gentleman and the leadership, it's exceptional. The excellence you provide in care and readiness is the gold standard of where we need to be. You are our greatest asset and we recognize that from a command leadership level. I look forward to getting to know all of you, and recognizing and understanding the commissions of each healthcare team and administrative team that works with us. We will continue to meet our mission together as a team. No matter what uniform we wear; whether it's a military uniform, scrubs or civilian attire, we are one team and together we can do it."
As the U.S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating military hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally-acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, along with the area's 10 branch health and TRICARE Prime Clinics, provide care for the Hampton Roads area. The medical center also supports premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman for future roles in healing and wellness.