Page 1

Vol. 25

No. 16

April 25, 2013

Staff Member Recalls Boston Tragedy By Sarah Marshall WRNMMC Journal staff writer Army Capt. (Dr.) Chelsea Brundage ran her 32nd marathon last week, the Boston Marathon. The senior resident in Walter Reed Bethesda’s Physical Medicine and Readiness department aspired to run the event for years and finally qualified for this year. “It was one of my lifelong dreams,” she said. To qualify for the Boston Marathon, Brundage trained vigorously, running several miles a day, several days a week. She finished the 26.2 mile course, which she described as “hilly,” in about 3 hours, 55 minutes. Though she had her heart set on a faster time, her biggest regret was not being able to help the victims injured by two explosions that went off near the finish line – about 10 minutes after she completed the race. “It was a surreal feeling. This is what we do, this is what we are trained to do as Army doctors,” Brundage said, who has been on active duty six years and deployed to Afghanistan. “We train to respond to blasts. We train to stabilize traumatized patients.” During the Boston Marathon on April 15, pandemonium erupted when two explosions detonated near the finish line, killing three people and injuring roughly 200 others. Meanwhile, thousands from around the world were in town, to run or watch. Brundage had just joined her husband, Jacob, and was getting her race blan-

Courtesy Photo

Army Capt. (Dr.) Chelsea Brundage, runner number 13129, has run 32 marathons. Her latest was the Boston Marathon last week. ket, some food and fluids, when she heard the first blast. She was about 200 yards away. “It sounded like a cannon,” she said. “The first blast was much louder than the second. Being Patriots Day, I’m thinking, this cool, historic city is doing something in that regard.” Others around her seemed to believe it was the same scenario, at first. She soon noticed people around her crying uncontrollably. She said she asked someone, who was clearly distraught, what happened. “They said those were

bombs that went off,” she said. “My heart sunk.” By that time, Brundage was about a mile from the scene, and there was no getting through the massive line of people on either side of the finish line to try and use her skills. At Walter Reed Bethesda, she treats amputees, as well as traumatic brain injury patients. She provides care for spinal cord and musculoskeletal injuries, as well as chronic pain. “I would’ve run back in a heartbeat to help,” she said. She explained the crowd was too large, and not mov-

ing. “By then, I knew there were people taking care of them.” First responders and civilians close by did not hesitate to react, she said, putting bandages and tourniquets on the victims, pulling bleachers off people, and whisking people away on wheelchairs and stretchers. “I don’t quite understand why things happen, but the best of America seems to come together amidst tragedy,” she said. While she wishes she was closer to have helped, Brundage added, “I’m grate-

ful I was not close enough to be injured.” She went on to note the efforts of the first responders, Army reservists and civilians, who were so quick to react. Many injuries could have been worse had it not been for their quick coordination of care, Brundage said. Brundage added she plans to run for the victims and responders in the next Boston Marathon. “I’m planning to run next year, and running my heart out,” she said, adding, “My

See BOSTON page 6


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Journal

Bethesda Notebook

Child Abuse Prevention is a Community Goal As we near the end of Child Abuse awareness month, let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of protecting children, as this was not always a priority in our great country. The American Humane Society website tells the story of Mary Ellen Wilson, an abused child, who was rescued by Etta Wheeler, a concerned citizen in 1874. The neighbors heard Mary Ellen’s cries from across the hallway where the child resided in Hell’s Kitchen, New York and reported this to Wheeler. Wheeler was able to visit the home and observe the child’s inadequate clothing, bruised and scared arms and legs. When she reported the abuse to authorities, they were reluctant to intervene based on current laws. Wheeler decided to appeal to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). An attorney for the ASPCA took the case to court and Mary Ellen was rescued from her abusive home. One hundred years later, in 1974, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act established reporting laws and states were encouraged to fund abuse prevention. As a strong, family-oriented, military community, there are things we all can do to break the cycle of abuse. We are all responsible for intervening and reporting suspected child abuse. It can be hard to report a friend, coworker or even say something when we witness a parent lashing out at a child in public. However, by not saying anything, we lose out on an opportunity to offer support to a parent who may need it and to ensure the safety of the child being abused. Parenting can be challenging, especially when families are experiencing multiple stressors. The Family

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-

Teen Employment Orientation

Naval Support Activity Bethesda is hiring a few teens this summer, and an orientation is scheduled for April 29 at 6 p.m. in Clark Auditorium in Building 10. The opportunity is open for teenagers 14 to 18 who meet Navy Youth Program patron eligibility requirements per 1700.9E. Applications are available at the MWR Human Resources Office in Building 153, rooms 145 and 146, and applications will not be accepted before the orientation. For more information, contact Horace Franklin, school liaison officer at 301-295-7849.

Advocacy Program (FAP) is here to support families during times of stress and to help parents choose effective strategies for promoting a healthy and nurturing family. As a member of the military community, whether you are active duty, a provider or personnel, you are also an advocate for the children of our community. As such, your role as a mandated reporter is an integral one in breaking the cycle of abuse. By making a report, you are helping FAP build and support healthy families in our community. FAP is here not only to assist families experiencing stress and abuse, but also as a resource to you. Staff can assist you in your mandated reporting responsibilities and/or provide you with vital information and support regarding family abuse. If you’re interested in learning more about child abuse and domestic violence, please contact us to schedule a briefing for your command, unit and/ or department. FAP offers groups, individual, couples and family counseling to active duty service members and their families. To make a report of suspected child abuse or domestic violence, please call FAP at 301-319-4087 during business hours and 301-312-5531 after-hours and on weekends. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or learn more about what services are available at the Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC), please feel free to call us or stop by our office in Building 11. Kimberly Lahm Counseling & Advocacy Supervisor Naval Support Activity Bethesda FFSC

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 301-295-1803. 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.

Wounded Warrior Town Hall

The acting commander of Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical and commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Bethesda will host a joint town hall on May 2 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Building 17’s gymnasium. A resource fair following the town hall will be held by vendors.

National Prayer Breakfast

Walter Reed Bethesda’s Department of Pastoral Care hosts its National Prayer Breakfast on May 2 from 7 to 9 a.m. in the Warrior Café in Tranquility Hall (Building 62). For more information, call Chaplain (Capt.) Jeremiah Catlin at 301-295-1510.

Hairball Awareness Day

The National Museum of Health and Medicine observes National Hairball Awareness Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the museum, located at 2500 Linden Lane in Silver Spring, Md., at the Fort Detrick Forest Glen Annex. Admission to the museum is free. The museum has in its collections, 24 veterinary and three human hairballs or “trichobezoars,” many on display. For more information, call 301-3193303 or email mil.

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda Commanding Officer: Capt. Frederick (Fritz) Kass Public Affairs Officer NSAB: Joseph Macri Public Affairs Office NSAB: 301-295-1803

Journal Staff Staff Writers MC2 John Hamilton MASN April Beazer Sarah Marshall Sharon Renee Taylor Cat DeBinder David A. Dickinson Jeremy Johnson MCSN Brandon Williams-Church Managing Editor

MC2 Nathan Parde

WRNMMC Editor Bernard Little Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Office of Media Relations 301-295-5727

Fleet And Family Support Center WRNMMC Ombudsman Julie Bondar NSAB Ombudsman Jojo Lim Hector

301-319-4087 443-854-5167 703-901-6730

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Naval Support Activity Bethesda page: Walter Reed National Medical Center page: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences page:

The Journal

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Customer Service Training Enhances Skills, Enforces ‘What I Do Matters’ By Sarah Marshall WRNMMC Journal staff writer To enhance customer service and overall patient satisfaction, more than 300 staff members at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) recently completed training aligned with the medical center’s mission and vision. The new, 90-minute training stems from the command’s Strategic Plan, which sets forth the command’s vision of creating extraordinary experiences for patients, families and staff, as well as the command’s mission, to lead military medicine through patient-centered care. The plan also endorses the principle that each person at the command makes a difference; hence, the name of the training: What I Do Matters, explained Sara Berschet, WRNMMC Customer Service program manager, who led the training. The course is “the foundation for achieving service

excellence in our organization,” Berschet explained, adding that it provides staff strategies on handling and resolving difficult situations. “The goal is to empower staff to achieve service excellence and understand its impact on the quality of care we provide and achieve high patient satisfaction, as well as positive relationships with staff,” Berschet said. “People come to understand the goals our organization is trying to reach and the importance of building relationships.” During the training, staff had an opportunity to participate in team-building activities and group work, reviewing what is “good” customer service versus “bad,” and learning the importance of access to care along with the standards of professional excellence, Berschet said. The course also highlighted the ONE TEAM concept, which focuses on taking ownership of your work and enforcing teamwork as well as communication, she added. The departments first

to complete the training thus far are the Information Technology Department (ITD) and Diagnostic Radiology Service, including front desk personnel, as well as staff from MRI, CT, Ultrasound, the Breast Imaging Center (Mammography), Diagnostic Imaging (X-Ray), radiologists and radiology residents. Both departments had nearly 100 percent staff participation, Berschet said. Out of the 172 Diagnostic Radiology Service day shift staff members, 157 participated – roughly 90 percent, according to Marivic “Vicky” Brennan. The patient safety advisor and patient advocate in the Department of Radiology helped facilitate the training for staff to ensure maximum participation. The training for the department began Feb. 7, and was held in the morning and afternoon several days throughout the month through March, Brennan said. “It was conducted almost

See SERVICE page 8

Photo by Sarah Marshall

Marivic “Vicky” Brennan, a patient safety advisor and patient advocate who works in the Department of Radiology, recently helped ensure nearly all Diagnostic Radiology Service day shift staff completed “What I Do Matters” customer service training.

Research Week Highlights Ingenuity at Nation’s Medical Center By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Journal staff writer

Photo by Sharon Renee Taylor

Army Capt. Difu Wu, a third-year resident in Pathology at Walter Reed Bethesda, practices laboratory techniques under the watchful eye of Janet Kapur, a research medical technologist in the department of Research Programs which recently launched a new, four-week molecular biology short course.

Walter Reed Bethesda’s Department of Research Programs (DRP), under the auspices of Education, Training and Research (ETR), hosted Research and Innovation Week April 16-22, highlighting the work of residents, fellows and staff at the Nation’s Medical Center. Medical research heroes were recognized during the inaugural Aware for All Day event on April 16. “Rear Adm. (Dr.) Alton L. Stocks, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) commander, opened the ceremonies, and we had hundreds of attendees in the hall of the America Building,” said Deborah Murphy, Ph.D., one of the coordinators for the week’s events. She added Aware for All Day was to recognize and thank volunteers who participate in the research, which allows Walter Reed Bethesda “to move

military medicine forward and improve the health of its beneficiaries.” Stocks has established research as one of the primary pillars supporting WRNMMC’s strategic plan and core mission of patient care. DRP also held Aware for All Day to recognize the “cutting-edge” and diverse research conducted at Walter Reed Bethesda, with activities such as the Vision Center of Excellence, National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Defense and Veterans Center of Integrative Pain Management and Murtha Cancer Center participating in the event. A poster exhibit and competition on April 17-18 was part of the week’s events. Posters of research projects by residents, fellows and staff at Walter Reed Bethesda were exhibited in Building 9 as part of the Bailey K. Ashford (BKA), Robert A. Phillips (RAP) and Case Report poster competitions. Award-winning research

projects were highlighted during a day-long research symposium on April 19. The symposium featured presentations by physicians who earned the BKA clinical and laboratory awards, and the RAP staff/fellow laboratory and clinical and RAP resident laboratory and clinical awards. Army Col. (Dr.) Michael R. Nelson, deputy commander for ETR at WRNMMC, called the symposium “truly outstanding” and said he “learned a lot” from projects including the effects of intimate partner violence on infants, and the treatment for the prevalence of heterotopic ossification in the combat wounded. Other research concerned treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease; the relationship between obese adolescents and allergic disease; the use of a nonthermal or cold plasma for cancer treatment; and development of a protocol to help

See RESEARCH page 7


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Journal

WRNMMC Resiliency Team Offers Support For Everyone By Jeremy Johnson NSAB Public Affairs staff writer

Photo by Jeremy Johnson

U.S. Public Health Service Commander Dwayne Buckingham, Resiliency and Psychological Health service chief at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), conducted training on “Positive Leadership” April 11 for members of the WRNMMC Junior Officers Council.

The Resiliency and Psychological Health team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) has been busy recently, responding to multiple tragedies that have affected staff at both the hospital and Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB). According to U.S. Public Health Service Commander Dwayne Buckingham, the Resiliency service chief, incidents involving suicide and homicide have an impact on how people perform due to the associated stress. “Resiliency is about adversity and dealing with that,” he said. Part of the Resiliency mission is being available to counsel personnel. To meet that need, one of the services they offer is a limited number of 45-minute counseling sessions that are not documented. Buckingham says the purpose of these sessions, up to three in total, is to provide a safe space without stigma.

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“What we want,” he explained, “is to have a place where people who are otherwise healthy can come and talk without worrying about the impact it might have on their career. The three sessions is a general rule, it isn’t absolute. What we’re more concerned about is determining whether people need more help, and getting that for them if they do.” Within medical environments like WRNMMC, he noted the so-called caretaker syndrome can become an issue, but no matter what the source of stress may be, the idea is to help the member deal with it and deescalate those feelings. He added that although the sessions are primarily aimed at “taking care of the caretakers,” they are open to anyone who works or resides at NSAB. In times of crisis, the Resiliency staff is specifically trained to help personnel deal with trauma and grief. Dr. Matthew Dodson, an occupational therapist and

See SUPPORT page 10


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The Journal

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Charting Your Career: Mentoring Benefits Military, Civilian Staff By Cynthia Hilsinger NMPDC Public Affairs Officer Charting a career during uncertain times just got easier when Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) held a Speed Mentoring Fair April 16 for enlisted, officer, and civilian staff. A popular and growing program for NMPDC, this is the third quarterly speed mentoring event and the first with a mentor invited from outside the command. Capt. Lee Cornforth, NMPDC’s commanding officer, introduced Master Chief Maria Fernandez, senior enlisted leader for Deputy Commander for Administration at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “During this event, you can connect with many potential mentors that can help guide you, and not just here. Mentors can stay with you beyond today - perhaps the rest of your career and beyond. I stay in contact

with mentors I met nearly 27 years ago at my first duty station. You are never too senior or too junior to benefit from mentors,” said Cornforth. “Mentoring exposes individuals to the different avenues to reaching goals, which should make it easier for individuals,” said Capt. Kathleen Michel, NMPDC’s executive officer, and mentor. Charting your career requires exposure to information and insights about programs and opportunities and mentoring is congruent with NMPDCs vision. NMPDC provides vision, oversight and execution for Navy Medicine’s continuum of learning, preparing medical department personnel for increased responsibilities as military and professional leaders and provides oversight for Navy Medicine staff education and training program functions. Civilian and military subject matter experts representing all medical staff corps and many specialties were avail-

Photo by Cynthia Hilsinger, Navy Medicine Professional Development Center Public Affairs Officer

Chief Hospital Corpsman Albert Hance (front left) offers advice to Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Arnel Galapir during a recent mentoring session. able for questions and guidance at the fair. Civilian employees sought mentoring from William Robinson, Deputy Graduate Medical Education. “I gave my time in hopes that from my experiences and

acquired knowledge that my colleagues, active and civilian will be better able to achieve their career goals and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families,” said Robinson. Capt. Glenn Munro, Di-

rector of NMPDC’s Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS) and a mentor, spoke with participants at the fair on a wide variety of topics related to careers in dentistry and other clinical specialties. The NPDS is the only Department of Defense centralized site for postgraduate dental education which conducts dental specialty training and provides a wide variety of specialty dental care in its clinics. Navy Medicine Professional Development Center, located in Bethesda, Md., is the cornerstone of Navy Medicine’s professional development training and education mission; maintaining collaborative relationships with more than 100 military and civilian higher learning institutions while supporting 3,000 federal uniformed service, civilian, and allied foreign military members annually. For more information about NMPDC, visit: sites/navmedmpte/Pages/ default.aspx.




Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Journal

NSAB FFSC Promotes Healthy Living with Military Youth Health and Fitness Fair

Treasurer Rios will be here doing a note exchange, so if you bring in an old dollar bill, she will give you a new dollar with her signature on it.” With sequestration at the forefront of everybody’s mind, the fair can offer some respite during a difficult time. “Events like this keep morale up,” said James. “Right now is a very stress-

ful time for families with a lot of the sequestration talks going on. But it is also a time to motivate our military families. Children are often forgotten about during deployments, but they serve too. A lot of times their parents are gone serving for their country so we want to make sure that they have an opportunity to enjoy themselves, have fun, be healthy and active, while at the same time learning information that is good for them and good for their parents to know about their kids. We definitely want to keep the morale high for the installation.” The fair can be seen as an opportunity for personnel on board the installation to interact with one another and have fun outside the working environment, while learning healthy habits. “I think it’s important for the kids to interact together as a military community,” said Franklin. “It’s an opportunity for the various branches of the service to come together and just have fun playing together. That social interaction is missing a lot of times because we’ll sit in front of the computer. We’re trying to get our kids moving to fight that obesity rate that we have in the United States.” For more information about the youth health and fitness fair, contact FFSC at 301-319-4087 or by email at, subject line: health and fitness fair.

encouragement for all individuals with limb loss or disability. They can lead much more fulfilling lives, and live a very high quality of life,” he added. Fortunately, much of the knowledge gained from the military during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has already been distributed throughout the medical community, he said. While the military seems to lead in treating blast wounds, Pasquina attributes significant advancements in care to the collaboration between the military, academia, and the VA, as well as the civilian community. According to Pasquina,

many military providers participate in national educational programs and serve on national committees. Additionally, civilian trauma centers across the nation, including those in Boston, have staff members who have been trained by the military, he said. “We hope that the advancements in the last decade will continue to help not just service members, but civilians, and in this case, those casualties from Boston,” Pasquina said. “There’s no question, events like this bring us all closer together, whether it be as a society or in the medical community.”

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton NSAB Public Affairs staff writer In celebration of the month of the military child, Naval Support Activity Bethesda’s (NSAB) Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) is hosting a family fun day that emphasizes health and fitness. The 2nd Annual Youth Health and Fitness Fair will be held Saturday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fitness Center in Building 17 and is open to all service members, family members, retirees, civilians and contractors at no cost. “The goal of the event is to get kids out and get them active, get them away from sitting in front of a TV and get them moving with various physical activities – things they might not be familiar with,” said Horace Franklin, school liaison officer at FFSC and coordinator for the event. “We’re going to have a fitness test and different things to get them out and moving.” In support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, the fair is designed to offer parents and their children a variety of outdoor activities that promote a physically fit lifestyle. “Some of the activities that will be available at the fair include: kayaking demonstrations, cardio kickboxing and bean bag tosses,” said Kaprece James, life

BOSTON Continued from 1 thoughts and prayers are certainly with those family members and individuals.” Dr. Paul Pasquina, chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Walter Reed Bethesda and the Uniformed Services University, also offered condolences to the victims and their families. The retired Army colonel noted those who were injured will undoubtedly face challenges over the course of what will likely be a protracted recovery, and they will require an integrated

Courtesy graphic

skills trainer at FFSC and coordinator of the event. “There will also be a lot of music and games at the different venues. Each table will have a variety of activities and they will all be age appropriate.” New events for this year include a child identification program and a note exchange by the 43rd treasurer of the United States, Rosie Rios.

approach to their care, involving physical and emotional treatment. Thanks to advancements in medicine and technology, though, odds are they will one day come out on top of their injuries, he said. Pasquina explained service members and civilians who have been injured overseas from blast injuries, have not only survived, but have gone on to thrive. “We can get great hope and inspiration from them as well,” he said. “Today, we have prosthetic components that weren’t available 10 years ago. We have advances in socket technology, computer-based pros-

“We currently have more than 25 organizations participating,” said James. “This year we are going to include a child identification program. There will be a group coming out here to print IDs and do fingerprints for parents, that way in case anything happens to a child, the parent will be able to give that information straight over to the police. Our biggest thing is:

Photo by Sarah Marshall

thetic components, as well as motorized lower limb prosthetics,” he said. These developments offer “great

The Journal

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Staff Experiences Holocaust Through Survivor’s eyes By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon WilliamsChurch NSAB Public Affairs staff writer The opportunity to meet and talk with a Holocaust survivor is quickly disappearing. According to the United Jewish Appeal’s website, the average age of a Holocaust survivor is 79. But, with the emotional and physical strains experienced by these men and women, who knows how much longer they will live to tell their stories. On April 10, the Multicultural Committee of Bethesda got their opportunity to hear a survivor’s story firsthand. The committee took a bus trip to observe the “Days of Remembrance” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Congress recognizes the “Days of Remembrance” as the nation’s annual tribute to the Holocaust. The theme of 2013, as designated by the museum, was “Never Again: Heeding the Warning Signs.” As stated by the Holocaust museum, “we remember all those who lives were lost or forever altered by the Holocaust. And we are challenged to think about what might motivate us to respond to warning signs of genocide today. History teaches us that genocide can be prevented if enough people care enough to act. Our choices in response to hatred truly do matter, and together we can help fulfill the promise of ‘Never Again.’” The Defense Equal Op-

RESEARCH Continued from 3 patients with in vitro fertilization. Nelson said, “From top to bottom, all the research projects were patient focused. Research and innovation are part of our culture at Walter Reed Bethesda, and it deserves to have its own pillar [in the strategic plan].” Dr. Merrily Poth, a pediatric endocrinologist and keynote speaker at the symposium, discussed her research in Vitamin D, and stated evi-

portunity Management Institute encourages us to look back at the events of the Holocaust and understand the significance of why we need to remember the past so that occurrences like that can never happen again. Chairman of the committee and an equal opportunity advisor, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Zielske, assigned to the United States Army Element Troop Command North at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), organized and planned the trip for the committee. “The Bethesda Multicultural Committee coordinated with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to provide an opportunity for WRNMMC [NASB] personnel to tour the museum and get a chance to meet a holocaust survivor,” said Zielske. “Seeing this museum always hits me in a profound way and getting the chance to meet and talk with someone who was in a concentration camp is life changing. This is an opportunity I will never forget.” During the visit, the committee was able to embark on self-guided tours through the museum’s permanent exhibit and hear a presentation from a survivor. Nesse Godin, a native of Lithuania, shared images and stories from her experiences through the Holocaust. A prisoner from the ages of 13 to 17, Godin lived through the Siauliai, Lithuania ghetto, the Stutthof concentration camp, four labor camps and a “death march.” Godin attributes her survival to the grace of the dence shows its importance in bone and possibly cardiovascular health, as well as low levels of Vitamin D are associated with multiple sclerosis, and in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and small infants. The week’s activities concluded Monday with a summit of researchers from throughout the National Capital Region who shared information about current work and partnership opportunities. “I have a passion for doing research and working with the investigators here,” said Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Janine Danko of the Biomedical Research

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon Williams-Church

Participants from Naval Support Activity Bethesda and Walter Reed Bethesda join the Multicultural Committee of Bethesda to stand outside the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for a picture during their bus trip for the ‘Days of Remembrance.’ Lord and the kindness of the other Jewish women who helped her along her travels. To those women who helped her and lost their lives, Godin promised that she would not let them be forgotten. Following her survival, Godin has been committed to telling her story and speaking out against genocide, racism and prejudice. “The reason I got involved was to stop hatred and prejudice,” said Godin. “Every single day we can make a difference on somebody’s life and feel good about it. We cannot change what was then, but we can change what’s going on in the world now. We can-

not allow a tragedy like the Holocaust to ever happen again. We won’t see a race or a religion, but we will see a human being.” Hearing Godin speak of her experiences touched other service members that attended the museum. “I went to the Holocaust museum because we had an opportunity to speak with a survivor,” said Sgt. Daniel Abeyta, non-commissioned officer in charge at WRNMMC’s Ophthalmology Clinic. “Nesse was very nice and we even sang her happy birthday after she gave her presentation. It was touching and emotional. This is only the

third time I’ve been able to listen to a Holocaust survivor and I feel that this is an experience that future generations will miss out on. I try to take every opportunity to experience these things before it’s too late.” It’s important that we all take the time out to remember those lives lost by this tragedy and stress the significance of teaching nonracism and non-genocide to the younger generations and those to come. For more information on the Multicultural Committee of Bethesda, contact Sgt. 1st Class Jason Zielske at 301-400-3542.

Lab at WRNMMC. She added the Biomedical Research Lab supports numerous research projects at Walter Reed Bethesda, which has the most research protocols among all of the Department of Defense military treatment facilities. “War is the human state at its very worse; I hate war, but it’s a catalyst for positive medical change,” said Army Col. (Dr.) Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier, head of the Defense and Veterans Center of Integrative Pain Management, which seeks to improve the management of pain in military and civilian medicine. He added what is frequently tried, tested

and proven successful in the military, is often adopted by society at large. He pointed out that many of the first responders to last week’s Boston Marathon explosions knew to use tourniquets to help save the injured because of the military’s efforts in the care of combat wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, he said many of the injured from the marathon explosions will receive followon care and prosthetics the same as wounded warriors. Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mary Klote, DRP chief, has called Walter Reed Bethesda “the hub of all multi-site research that’s going on in the Mili-

tary Health System.” Conducting research enhances a person’s skill set, enables the individual to publish work and become noted in a particular area of expertise thereby opening opportunities for promotion and to present at professional meetings, she explained. Research work benefits the patient and the institution, Nelson said, adding medical centers that focus on research, education and teaching enhance their ability to provide world-class care and develop the innovators of tomorrow’s medicine, which is the legacy of Walter Reed Bethesda.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

SERVICE Continued from 3 every week to ensure adequate coverage when other staff were attending the training,” she said. Brennan attributed their department’s success in completing the course to the large number of staff members involved. “Without the support of Dr. [Jason] Schroeder and [Radiology] leadership, as well as the participation with Ms. Berschet, we would not have been able to get to the 91 percent training attendance,” Brennan said. Dr. Schroeder, chief of Diagnostic Radiology Service, agreed it was a collaborative effort, acknowledging Brennan’s dedication, coordinating the training for their entire department.

The Journal “The training was to help the team realize the importance of customer service, and how it impacts the overall quality and impression of patient care,” he said. Out of the ITD’s 226 employees, nearly 100 percent completed the “What I Do Matters” training, having started the course in December, and completing it April 3. ITD’s Deputy Chief Information Officer, Lt. Marion Vanzie, said the training allowed their staff to practice and enhance their customer service skills. Vanzie commented on their department’s enthusiasm, and “willingness to better serve our customers and to better serve each other,” asking, “If you can’t take care of internal needs, how can you properly serve the external customer?” “The ITD has an important role in the care that is given to our present/past service members and their families, but our direct customers are the members of the [Walter Reed Bethesda]

staff,” Vanzie said. “The positive impact that our ITD team has received from this training is a better understanding on how we, as a team, can better serve our internal and external customers … Now we can go out and serve our customers internally and externally with the same customer service mindset and purpose.” Of the two departments finishing the training, Berschet said, “It is truly an outstanding achievement. The positive effects result in higher patient satisfaction, greater patient safety, [and] enhanced relationships with patients, family members and staff,” she said. “It is important that all of our staff have this information.” Navy Capt. David Larson, deputy commander for Clinical Support Services, shared similar sentiments. As part of the Service Excellence pillar of the Strategic Plan, we strive to meet and exceed patient and staff expectations, said Larson, who is also pillar champion for Service Excellence. Larson added that the training highlights good customer service habits that can be used by everyone on a daily basis to enhance patients’ experience. “Even if staff [members] don’t directly interact with patients as part of their job, their taking care of fellow staff members throughout the hospital makes it easier for those that do take care of patients to provide that extraordinary experience,” Larson said. “What I Do Matters” training will be open to staff May 14 and 28, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the BRAC/Journey room. It will also be available May 24 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., same location. To reserve a seat, email sara.b.berschet.civ@health. mil.

Walter Reed Bethesda Clinic Holds Uniform Inspection

Photo by Sharon Renee Taylor

Army Staff Sgt. Don Berry, senior enlisted leader for the Department of Medicine at Walter Reed Bethesda, takes a closer look at a Sailor’s uniform during an early morning inspection, April 19.

For more news from other bases around the Washington, D.C. area,



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Thursday, April 25, 2013


Naval Support Activity Bethesda Cleans Up During National Earth Week

Photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Parde

Cdr. Burr Vogel, public works ofďŹ cer at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, briefs participants before the Base Cleanup event Tuesday. Approximately 40 service members, staff and volunteers participated in the Base Cleanup.

William Ortega Ortiz, installation energy manager, picks up a discarded piece of newspaper from the creek bed during the Base Cleanup event.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Journal

Observances Focus on Sexually SUPPORT Transmitted Infections Awareness Continued from 4

By Sgt. 1st Class Gladys Fraticelli Public Health, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center April is Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Awareness Month, also called Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month. The signs and symptoms of an STI are often more insidious and can go undetected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular STI tests every three to six months for sexually active people,

and ideally before and after engaging in intercourse with a new partner. While abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent an STI infection, condoms can reduce the risk. Condoms are available in the Preventive Medicine Clinic, Building 7, 2nd floor. For more information about safe sexual practices, or to schedule a sexual health training session, contact Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kristofer Gonzalez at 301-319-8372, 1st Lt. Jennifer Bryant at 301-3198809, or the Preventive Medicine Clinic at 301-400-0075.

the section chief for Occupational Therapy Traumatic Brain Injury, says this has recently been useful for his own team. “The services were quite helpful during the recent loss of a long-time patient and friend. They provided a ‘team debrief’ to assist us in processing some of the emotions we were feeling, and helped everyone understand that the feelings of loss, confusion and anger we were experiencing were normal reactions to abnormal circumstances.” He added that the mission of taking care of “caretakers” is important. “As healthcare providers,” he explained, “sometimes the worst thing we can conceive of professionally is the loss of a patient under our care, however, the team helped myself and my team realize that while patient care is a priority, ‘Care for the Caregivers’ should be a priority as well. The assistance we received not only helped us process our loss, but it allowed us to be better prepared as a team to continue to do the job we love, as well as to be more effective in supporting the family and loved ones of our patient and friend who is no longer with us.” Understanding that even undocumented visits can be intimidating, the team doesn’t wait for everyone to come to them. They do daily “wellness checks,” walkthroughs of the hospital, to see how people are doing. Therapy dogs often accompany them. Buckingham says this proactive approach pays off as a measure of intervention by letting people know the hospital cares about their mental wellness. “I was out one day and asked a young officer how he was doing. He responded by saying, ‘It


doesn’t matter because nobody cares.’ I sat there and talked to him, and found out that he really needed someone to talk to. We have the flexibility to do these wellness checks in real time and spending 30 minutes with that gentleman made a significant difference.” Resiliency’s reach isn’t limited to WRNMMC, Buckingham said. They also provide training off the grounds of NSAB. “For instance,” he explained, “we just did grief training down at Ft. Belvoir, and we’re scheduled to do burnout prevention training down at the Pentagon.” Buckingham says burnout, a condition marked by emotional exhaustion due to stress from working with people under difficult or demanding conditions, is a growing problem in the military as the current force continuously adapts to do more work with fewer resources. “People have a tendency to focus on their professional lives,” he observed. “If we don’t take care of ourselves, physically and mentally, we can’t do that effectively or successfully.” The training provides tips for creating environments where burnout can be reduced and supervisors can be more cognizant of its impact on their staff. Expanded training is part of their mission because WRNMMC’s fulltime Resiliency service is the only one in existence in the military health care system. “We’re unique,” said Buckingham. “Other hospitals have resiliency, but it’s not the same kind of expanded service we offer.” Though they are unique, he continued, they don’t work alone. “We work in collaboration with other resources to provide redundancy and create more opportunities for people looking for help.” This includes working with pastoral care, Fleet and Family Support Center and the Employee Assistance Program.

The Journal

Thursday, April 25, 2013



Thursday, April 25, 2013


The Journal