Page 1

Vol. 26

No. 7

February 20, 2014

Children’s Dental Health Month: Good Oral Hygiene Should Begin Early in Life By Cynthia Hilsinger NMPDC Public Affairs Officer Teaching children good oral hygiene habits is a combined effort between dentists, parents and children. This was the focus of the community outreach effort on Feb. 6 by the Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) with Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS) residents and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) pediatric staff. February is Children’s Dental Health Month. During this time, NMPDC provides free dental screenings along with face-painting, prizes and games on a walk-in basis for kids. This was highlighted during the Feb. 6 event in the America Building, 4th floor, Pediatrics Clinic. The tooth fairy informed parents and children about the event, organized to provide educational fun. “This was a fantastic opportunity for both of my children,” said Melissa McClean. “We had a meeting with the dentist for the first time,” she added. “This [annual event] is a fun day where [children] can play, get prizes [and learn] about dental health,” said Dr. Sepehr Rajaei, a pediatric dentist. “The more we see a patient the more we can build a good experience,” he explained. “I love it. We went two years ago and I saw they were having the [dental fair] again, so I brought my son this time,” said Asta Hargus. Dr. Clayton Cheung, pediatric dentist at WRNMMC, believes the information provided at the fair was vital in deterring future dental health issues. “There is nothing more frustrating or more tragic than seeing something that could have been prevented,” said Cheung. The American Dental As-

Photos by Cynthia Hilsinger

Learning how to brush teeth was a topic for children during Navy Medicine Professional Development Center Dental Health Month community outreach effort at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Pediatrics Clinic on Feb. 6.

Melissa McClean brought her children to see the dentist, her 7-month-old had his first dental visit. sociation and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a child’s first dental visit by his or hers first birthday. The pediatric dentists at NMPDC recommend parents brush their children’s teeth with a soft toothbrush un-

til they are old enough to tie their own shoes. They also recommend brushing children’s gums using a soft toothbrush, and flossing regularly. Cheung also explained the

See TEETH page 10

Face painting and the tooth fairy greeted Aiden Hargus following his dental screening.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Journal

Bethesda Notebook

Commander’s Column Resilience … finding the means to carry on when a situation is fraught with difficulties. It’s become the anthem for the staff of Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) over the last seven months for multiple reasons and I couldn’t be more proud to serve with them! What makes this team so special and resilient? It begins back in the morning hours of a particularly stormy night back in July. Imagine coming in to work one morning and being met by the Emergency Management personnel from Walter Reed and they tell you there is a problem upstairs in the tower. No elevators and they’re flooded too. Eighteen flights of stairs later, we discover water is freely flowing down the walls; the ceiling is laying in wet, soggy pieces over all the furniture and this happening not in one office or two, but on two floors and working its way down two more. Three days later, a small fire broke out the night of July 16 and the fire suppression system added more water to already wet areas. All staff had to move from floors 15, 16, 17 and 18 to secure several years worth of PII files as well as move the information technology (IT) servers that support the command and part of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Resource Management function to another location. While this occurred, the building air handlers were shut off to prevent mold spores from spreading. Resilience and adaptation was the key. We were able to use the Everbridge Messaging System to alert staff of changes in work location or to telework as needed until we could relocate. The leadership used telework and flexible schedules to move staff to lower floors in building 1, other buildings at Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) or other telework locations. The move, made difficult by elevator outages and civil service

Published by offset every Thursday by Comprint Military Publications, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, Md. 20877, a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Navy, under exclusive written contract with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. This commercial enterprise newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the military services. Contents of The Journal are not necessarily the official views of, nor endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the Department of Navy. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense or Comprint, Inc., of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without re-

Code White Exercise

There will be a Code White/Active Shooter exercise on Feb. 27 at Walter Reed Bethesda. Code White is used to notify personnel of an active shooter. During the 15-minute exercise, movement in the hospital should stop, and staff and departments must take shelter in place. For more information, call Christopher Gillette at 301-295-3115.

furlough schedules, did not interrupt the mission as NMPDC continued operations. Additionally, the command had to relocate the entire NMPDC IT servers to a dry and airconditioned location. We had staff coming in round the clock to keep portable air conditioning operational in the server room until an elevator was operational to move the servers. NMPDC Chief Information Officer, Carla Halmon and her team notified their contacts at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and were able to relocate the network servers to building 27, while also setting up additional staff members to be telework capable. We were able to relocate more than 100 staff members to different locations around NSAB and within WRNMMC in the course of one week. The command was fully mission ready and working as if we’d never experienced a flood or fire. Resilience … the NMPDC team knows how to persevere through tough times. They did it through their supportive teamwork, positive attitudes, innovative ideas and sometimes, sheer muscle and endurance. We’re back in our original spaces finally, and glad to be home. But, one thing I watched this team do so many times over the course of this endeavor - active duty, civilian and contractors – picked each other up, emotionally as well as physically, and displayed resilience that was unbreakable. That is truly what taking care of shipmates (or battle buddies, etc.) is all about. I’m so proud to serve with this team of dedicated professionals as we continue to live the anthem of resilience in both our professional and personal lives. Remember, resilience can help us move mountains! Capt. Carey M. Sill Commanding Officer, Navy Medicine Professional Development Center

gard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. Editorial content is edited, prepared and provided by the Public Affairs Office, Naval Support Activity Bethesda, Md. News copy should be submitted to the Public Affairs Office, Building 11, lower level, Room 41, by noon one week preceding the desired publication date. News items are welcomed from all installation sources. Inquiries about news copy will be answered by calling 301-400-2488. Commercial advertising should be placed with the publisher by telephoning 301-921-2800. Publisher’s advertising offices are located at 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, Md. 20877. Classified ads can be placed by calling 301-670-1700.

Navy Medical Corps Ball

The 143rd Navy Medical Corps Ball will be held March 8 at 6 p.m. in the Bethesda Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Md. All services, ranks and civilians are invited to attend. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker. For cost and ticket information, go to https://sites. or email

Prostate Cancer Support Group

The Prostate Cancer Support Group convenes at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center the third Thursday of every month. The next meeting will be held today from 1 to 2 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the America Building, River Conference Room (next to the Prostate Center), third floor. Spouses and partners are invited. Military ID is required for base access. For more information, contact retired Col. Jane Hudak at 301319-2918 or

Ask Your Leadership

‘Ask Your Leadership’ is a staff communication tool for you to view and post questions or comments for official responses from the Walter Reed Bethesda command leadership. The tool is on the WRB Intranet page. Click on the Town Hall/Leadership Forum icon, then click on ‘Ask Your Leadership.’

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda Commanding Officer: Capt. David A. Bitonti Acting Public Affairs Officer NSAB: John Epperson Public Affairs Office NSAB: 301-400-2488 Staff Writers

Journal Staff

Sarah Marshall Sharon Renee Taylor Cat DeBinder Ryan Hunter Katrina Skinner

Managing Editor

MC2 John Hamilton

NSAB Editor WRNMMC Editor

MC3 Brandon Williams-Church Bernard Little

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Office of Media Relations 301-295-5727 Fleet And Family Support Center 301-319-4087

NSAB Ombudsman Michelle Herrera


Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Hotline


Visit us on Facebook: Naval Support Activity Bethesda page: Walter Reed National Medical Center page: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences page: Uniformed-Services-University-of-the-HealthSciences/96338890888?fref=ts

The Journal

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Integrative Cardiac Health Project Promotes Heart Health Year Round and exercise, Vernalis explained. The program views the body as a system, because it’s not in “parts.” Therefore, all matters must be addressed to alleviate any health concerns, such as high blood pressure, one of the risk factors for heart disease. Vernalis described the integrative program as a “one stop shop,” because it tends to many patient needs under one roof, on the second floor of Building 17. “We’re very happy

Photo by Sarah E. Marshall

During a recent Integrative Cardiac Health Project (ICHP) workshop, registered dietitian Joy Halsey, left, and clinical dietitian Nancy Tschiltz, cook up a healthy meal. ICHP offers a unique model of care that focuses on comprehensive cardiovascular risk reduction, and promotes overall health. By Sarah E. Marshall WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer An innovative program at Walter Reed Bethesda is promoting heart health month year round by offering a personalized and integrative approach to heart health care. The Integrative Cardiac Health Project (ICHP), developed in 1999 at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a result of a 10-year research grant, is charged with reducing cardiovascular disease and chronic illness amongst military personnel, explained retired Army colonel, Dr. Marina Vernalis, ICHP’s executive medical director. Now located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the program’s interdisciplinary team focuses on a balanced spectrum of care and prevention for heart disease and diabetes, she said. Nurse practitioners, cardiologists, sleep and stress reduction specialists, registered dieticians and health coaches combine to implement ICHP. “The vision of ICHP

is really in line with the [Military Health System] strategy, and that is to have lifelong health for our nation’s warriors and their families,” Vernalis said. “We create tools that are personalized and empower patients to achieve their personal health goals.” Military beneficiaries, at least 18 years of age, can enroll in ICHP either through a provider or self-referral, Vernalis said. Participants who enroll in the program do so in addition to their already-established medical care. The program also works in collaboration with their primary care providers, she said. ICHP participants attend a series of individual appointments, assessing their lifestyle, as well as their risks for and family/medical history of heart disease, explained Dr. Mariam Kashani, ICHP’s chief scientific director. They receive a tailored, lifestyle prescription, based on four pillars: nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management. Medical professionals representing each of these pillars help create beneficiaries’ personalized care plan, and

use a coaching platform to engage the patient, Kashani explained. “We have achievable milestones that we establish per appointment, and that’s customized based on the patient,” Kashani said. “We stage the patient for success, because we know one size doesn’t fit all.” Participants also attend an interactive workshop where members of the ICHP team offer educational presentations on each of the four pillars, emphasizing the connection between sleep, stress management, nutrition and exercise, on an individual’s health. Kept to a small size of about 10-16 people, the workshops also include a healthy cooking demonstration, where dieticians prepare a meal, offering tips on how to make food healthy and tasty. Focusing on portion control, they suggest using herbs instead of salt, incorporating a variety of vegetables and limiting foods with saturated fat. The integrative program is evidencedbased, focusing on the connections between nutrition, sleep, stress


with the things we do,” Vernalis said. ICHP has proven to be successful, Kashani added. More than 450 service members and their families having completed the program, and it continues to be entrenched in heart health research, as it’s involved in a number of ongoing clinical investigations. “Our outcomes show t h a t i t ’s w o r k i n g,” Kashani said. “We’ve had considerable success.” For retired Army col-

onel Gary Berry, who participated in the program in 2008, the ICHP likely saved his life, he said. After his cardiologist suggested he enroll, Berry lost 45 pounds. “I can do a great many more things easily and readily than I did in March 2008,” Berry said. “I technically knew all of this before I participated, but I never knew how to put it all together for myself. The supervised coaching in each area, the ‘Integrative’ ‘I’ in ICHP, is the key.”


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Journal

WRNMMC Director Hosts Town Hall Health Care Partnership, Code White Exercise, Fitness Test Top Discussion By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) partners with Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (FBCH) in northern Virginia, and other medical treatment facilities (MTFs) throughout the region to provide patientfriendly, high quality health care. This partnership will be enhanced as the future of military medicine becomes more cooperative, said WRNMMC Director Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Jeffrey B. Clark during a series of town hall meetings on Feb. 11. Clark referred to WRNMMC and FBCH as “one team” and “partners” in the National Capital Region (NCR) MultiService Market (MSM) network, led by Rear Adm. (Dr.) Raquel Bono. The NCR Medical Directorate includes a number of military health care facilities throughout the region, caring for approximately

Photo by Bernard S. Little

Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Jeffrey B. Clark, director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, briefs staff on the medical center’s purpose and its partnership with Fort Belvoir Community Hospital to provide patientfriendly access to high quality health care. 500,000 beneficiaries. Walter Reed Bethesda’s purpose within this network is to provide “patient-friendly access to high quality health care for all we are privileged to serve,” Clark explained. He claimed

WRNMMC is the “NCR/MSM’s academic medical center” and the “flagship of our Military Health System. [Therefore], we should partner to think about the entire market as opposed to Walter Reed Bethesda or

FBCH working independently.” He explained this means determining “where it is best for patients to receive their patientfriendly care.” The general said patients will continue to come to Walter Reed Bethesda for “complex” tests and procedures, but for those beneficiaries with less complex needs, WRNMMC surgeons and other specialists will go to other MTFs within the NCR closest to the patient to provide the necessary “proactive patient-friendly care. We will continue to do more and more of that,” he added. As one team, WRNMMC and FBCH directors, senior enlisted advisors, chiefs of staff, directors, senior enlisted leaders, assistant directors, department chiefs, service chiefs and non-commissioned officers-incharge of services will meet regulary, Clark continued. The WRNMMC director added he recently met with Navy Capt. Jennifer Vedral-Baron, FBCH director, to discuss improving

unfilled appointment rates, operating room utilization rates, inpatient occupancy rates and deferrals at the facilities. Following the general’s presentation at the town hall, Christopher Gillette, WRNMMC emergency manager, discussed the Feb. 27 Code White exercise at Walter Reed Bethesda. “When our patients and visitors come here their expectations are that they’re going to receive world-class customer service and patient care,” Gillette said. He believes beneficiaries and staff should have the same expectations concerning their safety and security at WRNMMC. “Our staff is going to rapidly take charge, provide guidance and direction to oversee their safety and security.” According to Gillette this is the purpose for the Code White (Active Shooter) Drill scheduled at WRNMMC and Naval Support Activity Bethesda

See TOWN HALL page 10

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The Journal


Thursday, February 20, 2014



Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Journal

Uniform Services University of Health Sciences Completes its First Active Shooter Training By Ryan Hunter NSAB Public Affairs staff writer The Uniform Service University of Health Sciences (USU) recently completed the Active Shooter Preparedness and Response training. The training, made mandatory by USU President, Dr. Charles L. Rice, for the approximately 3,000 military and civilian personnel at USU, was conducted in preparation for the upcoming active shooter exercise. The drill, a culmination of the Solid CurtainCitadel Shield Exercise, will be conducted later this month. Responses to the drill will be practiced with other base tenants, such as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Navy Medicine Professional Development Center and the Navy Exchange; however USU will host the active shooter training scenario. “As a whole, we’ve never gotten a chance to participate in this kind of drill or training before,”

Photo by Ryan Hunter

Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (left) John Palomina, a Naval Support Activity Bethesda security forces officer, poses as the acting active shooter in the upcoming Feb. 27 active shooter drill. To make base residents aware that he does not pose a threat, the active shooter will be wearing a bright yellow safety vest and a bright red handgun replica. Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (right) Stephen Lane, poses as one of the safety observers and responders. These officers will be wearing bright yellow billed caps. said Sharon Holland, deputy vice president for external affairs and the director of alumni affairs at USU. “It gives us an opportunity to have our

staff, faculty and student population participate in a base wide exercise and have a baseline understanding on how to respond to a situation that

is occurring far too often.” Master-at-Arms 1st Class George Sangriu, Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) Security Department training

leading petty officer and Auxiliary Security Force Coordinator, conducted all 11 classes. During the training, he directed attendees to consider three actions when faced with the threat of an IED or active shooter on base: run, hide or fight. Running is the quickest way to escape most dangerous situations, said security officers; however, fleeing is only an effective option if a safe exit route can be established. To accomplish this, class attendees were advised to be observant and cautious of potential assailants. The training described these persons of interest as: those wearing large concealing clothes in the summer or carrying heavy or strange smelling backpacks and parcels. Security officers also suggested those onboard the base should be familiar with fire exits, entry ways and the general layout of not only their offices, but any public location on base they frequently visit. “You need to

make sure you’re running away from danger, not towards it,” said Sangriu. “You need to be aware of potential threats [and exits] wherever you are.” In the initial stages of attack it can be difficult to pinpoint the location of a threat on base, making it impossible to know where a threat is located and conversely how to plan the best route for escape. In these situations, hiding, commonly known as sheltering in place, is the optimal solution. During a real active shooter event, it is estimated that for the majority of base residents this will be the most advisable action to take, which is why it was main focus of the training. When initiating an organization’s shelter in place plan, safety managers advised training attendees to first secure their areas, by locking or barricading doors with furniture. Once an unassailable enclosure has been created, turn off

See USU page 10

Nurses Readied to Deliver World-Class Health Care By Sharon Renee Taylor WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer Nine active duty Soldiers and 15 Army Reservists recently completed the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) 68C Practical Nurse Course (PNC). Class 13020 will graduate today in the Memorial Auditorium. “This class in particular has shown fortitude and dedication to achieve their goals,” said Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Roots, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and PNC program instructor for the course. The student Soldiers completed a rigorous, t w o - p h a s e, 5 4 - w e e k training program that began at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. The classroom curriculum included

anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, along with microbiology as well as 1,400 clinical hours in specialty areas such as the Medical-Surgical Unit, Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Units, along with Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The purpose of the program is to prepare LPNs for safe and effective care in support of the Department of Defense’s mission to preserve the fighting forces. Working toward promoting the wellness of Warriors and their families, as well as supporting the delivery of warrior and family health care is key to all those entrusted to their care, according to Roots. “This program is different from its civilian counterpart — it’s more fast-paced, more condensed and provides approximately 20 per-

Photo by Sharon Renee Taylor

Army Reservist Spc. Jany Resendez (right) practices a new procedure in the intensive care unit as Navy Hospitalman Steve Stevens (left) oversees. Resendez said she found the schedule, course work and exams for the 68C Practical Nurse Course challenging but rewarding. cent more clinical hours than civilian registered nurse (RN) and LPN programs,” he said. Students in Class 13020, agreed. Army Sgt. Joseph Blankenship, Spcs. Jeremy Keith, Jany Resendez and Pfc.

Christian McGowan said they found the schedule, course work and exams challenging, but rewarding. “Going through this course has given me the confidence to know that I can be a nurse,” Mc-

Gowan added. “It has also reinforced my desire to do so.” Army Sgt. Tristin Murphy worked as a nursing assistant for four years in the civilian nursing sector before enlisting in the Army. In 2009 he deployed to Iraq as a medic for a year. He served as the noncommissioned officer-incharge of the dermatology clinic at WRNMMC before he enrolled in the LPN course. “It’s been a rollercoaster. Also, knowledge-intensive and really fulfilling to interact with patients,” Murphy said. He said there’s one experience during the course that he’ll never forget — helping deliver a baby by a C-section. “I was actually really nervous, I didn’t know what to expect and it’s a brand new life in your hands — it was definitely unfor-

gettable,” explained the sergeant. Roots explained the program prepares the students for post-graduation with a transition into practice period where they work one-onone with a designated preceptor for 80 hours. The instructor said WRNMMC graduates complete the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) at a pass rate of approximately 94 percent, while the civilian NCLEX-PN rate is around 84 percent. “This is not a testament to the instructors, but to the quality of nurses coming out of the program,” Roots said. According to the staff sergeant, some of the new graduates will transfer to combat support hospitals or mili-

See NURSE page 10

The Journal

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Drugs, Drinking and Driving Don’t Mix

Spreading the Message of Prevention Through Comedy By The Army Substance Abuse Program Comedian Bernie McGrenahan recently offered a special performance for the Walter Reed Bethesda community, focusing on deterring alcohol and substance abuse by sharing his own personal battles with drinking. The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) hosted the presentation by McGrenahan, who travels the globe entertaining the armed forces by using comedy to appeal to his audience. He teaches that drugs and alcohol can kill, and seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of courage. The progam also works to increase the awareness for the dangers of impaired driving by hosting special events, offering topic related training and providing daily prevention tips installation wide at Naval Support Activity Bethesda. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Hamilton According to the Centers for Disease Comedian Bernie McGrenahan Control and Prevention, approximateperforms at a recent live show ly 30 people in the United States die in at Walter Reed National Mili- motor vehicle crashes that involve an tary Medical Center, discussing alcohol-impaired driver every day, or topics such as the prevention of approximately one death every 48 minutes. Nearly half of the drivers who are alcohol and substance abuse.

killed in alcohol related crashes also tested positive for illicit drugs. It’s because of these numbers, ASAP welcomed McGrenahan’s performance at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). He supports using “comedy as a bridge” to the serious topic of alcohol and substance abuse. “I hope that through the laughter [audience members] will establish a little bit of a relationship with me. Then they allow me to be serious so I can tell them about my life and where I came from, what I did, where it took me, what I lost and what it took to build me back up to get resilient and focused again.” McGrenahan said he started drinking, about when he was in the eighth grade. By the time he was 26, he had been charged with three counts of driving under the influence and served six months in the Los Angeles County jail. Along the way, his brother, Scott, an aspiring model, had also begun to abuse alcohol and drugs. “He had everything going for him, but he was on the same road I was – drinking and being irresponsible,” McGrenahan said. “I could see it in him, but not myself,” he added.

After confronting Scott about his substance abuse, the brothers fought, McGrenahan said. Frustrated and angry, Bernie said he then sought solace in the bottle at a local bar. Coming back from the bar, Bernie said he saw police cars, an ambulance and a crowd of his neighbors gathered on the front lawn of his mother’s home. He was met by his younger sister, Debbie, who told him Scott had committed suicide, shooting himself through the heart. Even the death of his brother didn’t stop McGrenahan from drinking. That happened during his six-month stint in the L.A. County jail. “My mom was the only one to visit me and I swore to her that I would stop the reckless behavior,” McGrenahan said. “I have been sober now for 25 years,” he added. Speaking to members of the U.S. Armed Forces has become his passion, McGrenahan said. He urges service members who may have challenges with drinking or drugs to seek help, which is available on base from chaplains, their command and the ASAP

See COMEDY page 8

Binding Wounds, Fighting to Serve: African-Americans in Military Medicine By Sharon Renee Taylor WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer This is the first of a two-part Black History Month series on African-Americans in military medicine. “Our nation is a tapestry of strength woven with people of all backgrounds and origins. We must take ownership of what we do to cultivate … a workforce that is ready, technically savvy, relevant and motivated,” explained Vice Adm. (Dr.) Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy Surgeon General on diversity and inclusion. Military medicine today reflects both diversity and inclusion now more than ever before in its nearly 200-year history. In June 2013, Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Nadja West became the first female AfricanAmerican two-star general in the Army Medical Command. In September 2007, retired Vice Adm. (Dr.) Adam Robinson, the first African-American physician to serve as commander, National Naval Medical Center, became the first African-American Surgeon General of the Navy and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). In November of the same year, Navy Mas-

Navy Department Library

A company of African-American recruits march at Camp Robert Smalls. By 1943, African-Americans were finally allowed to serve as hospital corpsmen. ter Chief Laura A. Martinez became the first African-American and second woman to serve as Force Master Chief and director of the Hospital Corps. Before West, before Robinson, before Martinez — Joseph Anderson, a 16-year-old African-American Loblolly Boy (precursor to Hospital Corpsmen) served on the schooner USS Eagle in 1800, according to Andre Sobocinski, a BUMED historian. Former slaves Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Susie King Taylor, and Ann Stokes, nursed Soldiers and Sailors during the Civil War. The U.S. Army Medical Department Office of Medi-

East Carolina University

African American Registry

Susie King Taylor, photographed in 1902, was a former slave who nursed wounded Union Army Soldiers during the Civil War, and taught those who could not read or write. In 1863, Alexander T. Augusta became the first Black surgeon in the U.S. Army, commissioned a major in the 7th U.S. Colored Troops. cal History cites as many as 181 black nurses, both female and male, served in convalescent and U.S. government hospitals in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina during the Civil War.

Slaves nursing the military

Learning to read and write as a slave, Taylor proved invaluable to the Union

Army when she nursed wounded Soldiers and taught those who could not read or write, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). The 1st South Carolina Colored Volunteers hired her as a laundress in 1862. She wrote about her life during the war

See MEDICINE page 8


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Journal

COMEDY Continued from 7 program. “Whatever you are drinking for — the pain, the turmoil, the stress — you just compound it 10 times worse by adding alcohol,” he said. His presentation was well-received by those who attended. “It was a great show and he gave a truly inspirational message of personal triumph over adversity,” stated Lt. Col. Christine Christensen. First Lt. Angela Mansingh agreed, adding, “You have such a powerful story; thank you for sharing it with us today. I appreciate your honesty and courage.” For more information about the ASAP, call Jenny Sexton at 301-2958115. The Walter Reed Department of Pastoral Care is also available at 201-295-1510 during normal working hours, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., or via the Command Duty Office at 301-295-4611

MEDICINE Continued from 7 with the Colored Troops in a book published in 1902. Fugitive slaves, known as “contraband,” worked for the Union Army and Navy as nurses, cooks, laundresses and laborers. The NLM refers to Ann Stokes this way when she was taken aboard the USS Red Rover in 1863 and hired as a nurse. Stokes is cited as being the first African-American woman to serve on board a U.S. military vessel and among the first women to serve as a nurse in the Navy.

African-American Surgeons in War


In 1863, Alexander T. Augusta became the first Black surgeon in the U.S. Army, commissioned as a major in the 7th U.S. Colored Troops, according to the African American Registry (AAR). After two white assistant surgeons complained to President Abraham Lincoln, the president was forced to transfer Augusta to Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. Working as a medical examiner, Augusta received the same pay as a black enlisted man, $7 a month. The surgeon petitioned the assistance of a senator to receive the pay he argued he deserved. In 1865, he received the rank of lieutenant colonel. Five African-American contract surgeons served the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War, between 1898 and 1901, according to John M. Hyson Jr., a former director of archives and history at the National Museum of Dentistry at the University of Maryland Dental School. Hyson’s manuscript in Military Medicine Magazine tells the story of Lyman Beecher Bluitt, Arthur McKinnon Brown, James Webb Curtis, William Chapman Warmsley, a Buffalo Soldier

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Hamilton

Bernie McGrenahan greets service members, showing them pictures of his brother Scott who committed suicide after struggling with substance abuse. after hours. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to assist civilians, family members and retirees, at 301-400-0077.

and Allen Alexander Wesley. Hyson explained that contract surgeons were civilians who never mustered in the Army, had no tenure, received less pay and allowances than the regular assistant surgeon (first lieutenant), had no possibility of promotion, ceased to be paid if sick or disabled and were ineligible for medical benefits. “The role played by African-American contract surgeons during the SpanishAmerican War has been a neglected aspect of the war’s medical history,” he wrote. “These men left their civilian practices, as did their white colleagues, to serve in the U.S. Army for relatively (even for the time) little compensation. After the war, as ‘civilian employees,’ they were not even eligible for a pension. Patriotism motivated their call to arms.” Hyson told how each had been denied appointment application for permanent commission. A 1904 memorandum from Army Surgeon General, Brig. Gen, Robert M. O’Reilly, “opposed to the appointment of colored men as military surgeons.” In 1917 the Medical Corps changed its official policy. By 1918, there were approximately one thousand black line officers and 250 black medical and dental corps officers, according to Hyson. During World War I and II, military medicine saw an increase of AfricanAmerican nurses and corpsmen. In 1944, the Army commissioned its first black nurse. An executive order ended segregated units in the military. An African-American medic emerged from the Vietnam War with the Medal of Honor in 1965. The 1970s brought trailblazing African-American medical officers that included a psychiatrist as well as a transplant surgeon. Read about more historymakers that fought to serve their country and provide care to its service members in part two of this Black History Month series in next week’s Journal.

The Journal

Thursday, February 20, 2014

WRNMMC Nurses Attend Leadership Training Conference By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer Four Walter Reed Bethesda Army and Navy nurses, along with the medical center’s director of nursing services, recently attended the 2014 CJ Reddy Leadership Training Conference at Fort Belvoir, Va., earlier this month. Request for attendance at the conference is coveted and competitive, requiring military medical personnel to be nominated and vetted prior to receiving the course invitation, according to organizers of the leadership training conference, held Feb. 4-7. Army Col. Risa Ware, Navy Lt. Maricar Aberin, Army 1st Lt. Danielle Rofrano and Army 2nd Lts. Kathryn Duke and Aaron Hunter were among the 42 Army Nurse Corps, two Air Force Nurse Corps and four Navy Nurse Corps officers to attend the conference, organized to promote junior officer leadership development. “Participants were nominated and hand selected by their command to attend this highly competitive leadership conference,”

Courtesy photo

From left, Navy Lt. Maricar S. Aberin, Army 2nd Lt. Kathryn Duke; Army Col. Risa Ware, director of nursing services at Walter Reed Bethesda; Army 2nd Lt. Aaron Hunter; and Army 1st Lt. Danielle Rofrano attend the 2014 CJ Reddy Leadership Training Conference at Fort Belvoir, Va., earlier this month. said Aberin, deputy director for the clinical nurse transition program at WRNMMC. “The selection process is based on outstanding clinical and leadership performance, as well potential to fulfill challenging positions currently and in the future,” she added. “I gained knowledge on how leadership can affect patient care in so many ways,” Rofrano said of her experience. “The most important aspect of the

training, in regards to patient care, was learning the Operating Company Model (OCM), which gives patients the ability to go to any military treatment facility and receive the same care and have the same experience. Patients can feel lost and confused when they go to a new facility, but the OCM can help alleviate the discomfort in transitioning somewhere new.” Rofrano, the assistant service chief of Ward 4E at WRNMMC,

added she found discussion at the conference about Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho’s Performance Triad, “invigorating.” The components of the triad – activity, nutrition and sleep (ANS), seek to improve the health of service members, civilian and families, and have a significant impact on the readiness of the force. “If we incorporate [the ANS] lifestyle into our own lives, then we can pass preventative measures to fellow staff and patients,” Rofrano said. “Making sure staff members and patients are getting enough sleep, eating healthy and having activity in their lives are very important to living a healthy lifestyle.” “As the Navy representative for the command, I got the opportunity to get a better insight on what our sister service, Army Nurse Corps, has in developing their future leaders in the Nurse Corps,” Aberin added. “It has been reinforced that as we move from a health care system to a system for health, all the services should work together on health promotion and wellness, rather than medication management. Moreover, it was also highly stressed that we should live by the performance triad.


This triad is also in line with [Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Director] Brig. Gen. Jeffrey B. Clark’s Prosperity Plan encouraging WRNMMC staff to practice [healthy lifestyles].” The CJ Reddy Leadership Conference began in June of 1992 by the Army Nurse Corps to prepare officers for challenging leadership positions. During the course, officers are provided the opportunity to meet and work with Army Nurse Corps officers in key leadership positions. At this year’s conference, speakers included the Chief of Army Nurse Corps, Maj. Gen. Jimmie O. Keenan and retired Brig. Gen. William Bessler, former chief of the Army Nurse Corps. The conference was named after Col. Charles J. Reddy, who served as an Army Nurse Corps Officer for 30 years, with experience in clinical practice, education, administration, support and research. Reddy was most recognized for his leadership qualities and eagerness to develop junior leaders throughout his career.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

TOWN HALL Continued from 4 (NSAB) on Feb. 27 – the practice sheltering-in-place procedures. He encouraged NSAB and WRNMMC staff to review emergency guidance (3020.02 Active Shooter Policies and Procedures) prior to the annual Code White exercise and regularly throughout the year, adding “the time to do that is not [during an emergency].” During the 15-minute exercise on Feb. 27, Gillette said staff should educate patients and visitors about the Code White (Active Shooter) Drill. “Inform them that the exercise is to ensure their safety and security while at our hospital, and thank them for their patience and participation.” He said staff should move personnel from lobbies and general waiting areas into interior spaces and “shelter-in-place immediately” during the exercise. Staff should also assign patient care providers to rooms based on patient acuity level; close all doors (lock and/or barricade them when possible); turn off all lights, close blinds, turn off computer screens; silence cell phones; spread out and disperse as much as possible using multiple rooms (and

The Journal not huddle together); and remain hidden until the all clear message is given or secured/evacuated by law enforcement personnel. “We’re not going to ask you to stop patient care during the exercise, we just want you to do it behind closed doors,” Gillette said. Also at the town hall, Walter Reed Bethesda Chief of Staff Navy Capt. Sarah L. Martin discussed upcoming annual physical fitness tests for Sailors and Soldiers. “If you are in uniform, it is your responsibility to take the physical readiness test (PRT),” she said, adding it’s a biannual requirement. Martin said directorates are assigned a time period for their personnel to take the PRT, which will occur on NSAB in May after the service member has passed his or her body composition assessment (BCA) in April. The town hall concluded with departing WRNMMC Command Master Chief Terry Prince thanking staff for making his tour here as the medical center’s senior enlisted leader, amazing. “We’ve had a fantastic run of leaders who represent the finest in military medicine, and that’s what you [the WRNMMC staff] are. You made it happened and I’m humbled by the experience [of being the WRNMMC’s SEL].”

USU Continued from 6 lights; power down electronics, like computers and cell phones; shut blinds and windows; and hide quietly to detract attention. “Whether you’re in the auditorium conducting a class, in the cafeteria getting a meal or in a surrounding facility adjacent to the area, you want to hide and remain in a state of non-movement until an all clear signal is given,” said Janelle Massiatte, the director of installation training at NSAB. If base residents and staff find themselves in unavoidable contact with an active shooter and running and hiding are not viable options, engaging attackers directly may become necessary. Security officers emphasized that this action not be taken lightly and should only be utilized as a last resort. “Once you commit to making that move, don’t back down,” Sangriu said. “At the end of the day you want to be the one standing — not the bad guy.” However, those who chose to fight are reminded that they are neither vulnerable nor helpless. “No, you don’t have

NURSE Continued from 6 tary medical centers; others will return home to their reserve units and practice on the civilian side. Many plan to pursue degrees and become physician’s assistants or registered nurses, like Army Sgt. Luke P. Kerley, who intends to enroll in an RN program. “This course has given me the necessary prerequisites to be admitted into the program,” the sergeant said. Army Spc. Ian Campbell, a reservist for more than three years, plans to complete his bachelor of science in nursing degree when he returns to Springfield, Mo. He said the hands-on training providing direct patient care in many different medical units at Walter Reed Bethesda has been the most rewarding part of the course, unlike the experience

TEETH Continued from 1



possibility that cavities can be contagious. She said an adult who has cavities can transmit those aggressive bacteria from their mouth to their child, through kissing, testing the temperature of their child’s food using the same spoon to feed the child, and cleaning their child’s pacifier in their own mouth. There will be another community outreach event on Feb. 28 at the Child Development Center on Naval Support Activity Bethesda. This will be another chance to teach dental technicians, residents, and parents the importance of baby teeth, how to care for them, and de-

a gun or a knife on your hip but there are things you can use as weapons to save your life and the lives of others: a broom, mop, stapler or anything within reach,” said Sangrui. According to Massiatte, the training has been a success. “It wasn’t just an opportunity to visualize and practice responding to potential threats, but it was the perfect platform for [leaders at USU] to begin discussions about safety, security and antiterrorism processes needed should an event like this occur at their institution. Being situated on a military compound does not exclude the University from being a potential target.” The Active Shooter drill will take place Feb. 27. The exercise will be initiated with the sound of a loud emulating an IED blast; followed by simulated active shooter activity. Those onboard NSAB can expect to hear an announcement over the installation’s emergency notification system, also known as the Giant Voice speaker system. The expected action from base tenants would be to institute their shelter in place plans for approximately 15 minutes. Additional information on the exercise and preparation instructions will be provided as the event approaches. he would receive in a civilian nursing program. Medical school may be in his future, according to Campbell. He said he is also considering becoming a nurse practitioner. “Nursing is one of those careers where you can really do anything and everything that you want,” Campbell explained. The class pioneered the satellite magnet program to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in northern Virginia, providing nursing care while assigned to the Mother-Baby Unit, Labor and Delivery, and Post-Partum wards, according to Sgt. 1st Class Steven Brown, an instructor for Phase II of the course at Walter Reed Bethesda. According to Brown, WRNMMC will pilot a joint service program for enlisted nursing students. Four Navy Corpsmen plan to join Army nursing students in the course, beginning in May. (Editor’s note: Army Spc. Heika Bergman contributed to this article.) velop a positive experience for the child at a dental screening. NMPDC has the Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS) under its command umbrella, which is the only Department of Defense-centralized site for postgraduate dental education and conducts dental specialty training in their clinics located on NSAB. All specialty training programs at NPDS are fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and graduate between 20-25 dental officers per year with specialty board eligible training in endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, orofacial pain, oral and maxillofacial pathology, dental public health, and comprehensive dentistry. For more information about NMPDC, visit: navmedmpte/Pages/default.aspx.

The Journal

Thursday, February 20, 2014



Thursday, February 20, 2014


The Journal

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