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Vol. 24

No. 50

December 20, 2012

WRNMMC Sailors of the Year:

Top Four Sailors of 2012 Selected

Official Navy photo

Official Navy photo

Official Navy photo

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Yeoman 2nd Class Santana A. Jonothan T.Tarkowski Jessica L. Bowie Vallejo By Sharon Renee Taylor WRNMMC Journal Staff Writer Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) named the command’s top Sailors of 2012 during a ceremony held in Memorial Auditorium Dec. 10. Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jonothan T. Tarkowski, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the medical center’s Cardiac Telemetry Ward, received recognition as the Senior Sailor of the Year, and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica L. Bowie, the leading petty officer in the Optometry Department, was named Sailor of the Year. The Junior Sailor of the Year title went to Yeoman 2nd Class Santana A. Vallejo, the leading petty officer in the Awards Department, and Hospitalman Kelcey D. Heath, the leading petty officer in the medical center’s Assisted Reproductive Center, was tapped as Blue Jacket of the Year. With a total of 28 Sailors competing for one of the four different award categories at the Nation’s

largest military treatment facility, the selection process was tough, explained WRNMMC Command Master Chief Terry Prince. He said a number of others who were not nominated are performing Sailor of the Year-level activities every day throughout the command. “It was very difficult to decide — it always is — and that represents the outstanding young men and women we have working at Walter Reed Bethesda, and is a testimony to the facility as a whole,” said Prince. Tarkowski said he was surprised when he was tapped as Senior Sailor of the Year. “It was a very tough competition,” he said. “Any one of us could’ve very easily been the winner.” In August, Tarkowski received honors as Senior Sailor for the third quarter in August. In addition to his work on the Cardiac Telemetry Ward, the Hospital Corpsman 1st Class also serves as the Deputy Commander for Nursing Directorate Career Counselor, and the 2012 Command Assessment Team Leader, as well as a command financial spe-

cialist. He is slated to lead a group of medics and physicians who will provide health care at a first-aid station during the Presidential Inauguration in the District next month. “It’s truly an honor to represent the medical center as Senior Sailor of the Year and provide mentorship to the junior Sailors and Soldiers here I work with and who are part of the command,” said Tarkowski. Sailor of the Year Bowie was cited for her steadfast dedication to the command and exemplary performance of duties. The leading petty officer in the Optometry Department “expertly led eight Sailors and Soldiers delivering world-class health care to more than 30,000 patients,” according to her award. Credited with professionalism, personal initiative and selfless devotion to duty, Bowie dedicated herself to sailorization efforts that resulted in a 75 percent improvement in career development board compliance, according to her award certificate. “I am so honored and excited to represent those I serve with at WRNMMC as the Sailor of the Year.

Official Navy photo

Hospitalman Kelcey D. Heath

It is still sinking in and I’m just thankful for having such great guidance and opportunities this past year,” Bowie explained. Determination and motivation are infectious, as well as critical to her team at Walter Reed Bethesda, she said. “When you believe [in] what you do, you unknowingly influence others to believe, and they will work harder, become problem solvers and become invested in the mission. I’ve been awarded the Sailor of the Year because of the team I work with.” Bowie called her father, Blaine Wentlent in Buffalo, N.Y., the most influential person in her life. “Since I was a little girl, he has always spoken words of love, greatness, and motivation that have stuck with me,” she said. “When I joined [the Navy] seven years ago, I had no idea what type of journey was ahead of me,” said Bowie, who explained serving others is her true passion. “It has been a true blessing to serve my country, and this award is a representation of

See AWARDS page 7

The Journal

2 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bethesda Notebook

Commander's Column The holiday season is upon us. While we enjoy the season, amidst the added excitement, crowds and stress we need to also remember the importance of safety. Unfortunately, this time of year the holiday period’s accompanied by a rise in crime and accidents. These can often be prevented. As you enjoy this wonderful season, I urge you to make safety a priority. Carry only small amounts of cash, and if carrying a credit card, keep it separate from your cash and your keys. Carry your purse close to your body and ensure it is zipped. Park in well-lit areas close to stores, and make a note of where you parked so you know exactly where to go when you leave. These are all measures that will aid in keeping you and your belongings safe. In addition, take your keys out before leaving the store. Leave well before closing so you can be sure to walk out with a larger crowd. Store packages in your car out of sight, or in the trunk, and be well aware of your surroundings. These are safety measures you can employ. For those who are traveling this season, get the proper amount of rest and prepare before beginning your journey. Ensure that everyone is buckled up. If you’re driving long distances, allow for frequent stops to give yourself a break. Respect road conditions and switching off with another driver will also lend to the safety of you and your loved ones. As always and most importantly, if you plan to drink, please do so responsibly. This includes, but is not limited

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

Caroling on the Wards

The Department of Pastoral Care will feature caroling on the wards in Building 9 on Monday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. For more information, call Chaplain (Capt.) Sergio I. Daza at 301-295-1433.

to, establishing a designated driver or calling a cab. If you’re hosting a party, make sure to offer plenty of food, and alcoholfree beverages, such as soda, juice or water. Look out for your loved ones and friends, and make sure no one drives home intoxicated. The stresses of the holidays can make some feel overwhelmed. If you feel like you’re struggling, and the stress is too much to bear, please do not hesitate to ask for help. Talk to a friend, family member, or co-worker who can offer solace. If you see someone else is having a hard time, reach out to them, and let them know you care. If you fear for their safety, or the safety of others, notify your chain of command immediately. We have a number of resources and services here on base that can help. Lastly, but equally important, please make sure you’re taking time off to rejuvenate. You’ve worked hard this year and there are many accomplishments here at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, that showcase the fine work you’ve performed and we cannot afford to lose you. As I continue to say and truly believe, “What You Do Matters.” So relax, have fun and enjoy the holidays safely!

Festive Christmas Meals Planned

Walter Reed Bethesda’s Festive Christmas meal will be held Dec. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Café 8901 in Building 9, lower level. The meal will include shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, sliced asiago chicken roulade, carved beef strip loin with au jus, baked salmon with mango salsa, sautéed vegetable ribbons, fingerling potatoes, and an array of cakes, pies and other desserts. The cost of the meal is $7.50 ($6.40 for dependents of E-1 to E-4). For more information, call Charlita Mayhand at 301-295-5360. The Warrior Café will also host a Christmas meal on Dec. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The meal will be a traditional all you can eat Christmas buffet. The meal is free for Warriors, $15.50 for all other adults. Children ages 5-10 are $6.50, and children under the age of five are free.

CFC Extended

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), originally scheduled to end Dec. 15, has now been extended through Dec. 31. Donations can be made online through Dec. 31. Between that date and Feb. 4, donations can be made using pledge forms obtained from your department's CFC keyworkers. For more information, contact Capt. Michael Baker at, or Sgt. 1st Class Don Berry at

Silver Spring Metro Shuttle to End

The Silver Spring Metro Shuttle will be discontinued effective Jan. 1, 2013. In an effort to assist staff members who have relied on this shuttle in the past, assistance with "Commuter Solutions" is available by contacting the Naval Support Activity Bethesda Transportation Office, at 301-319-3818.

Commander sends, Rear Adm. Alton L. Stocks MC, USN Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

patronage without regard 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.

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 MC3 Dion Dawson Sarah Marshall Sharon Renee Taylor Cat DeBinder David A. Dickinson Jeremy Johnson

Managing Editor

MC2 Nathan Parde


Bernard Little

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


NSAB Ombudsman Jojo Lim Hector


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The Journal

Thursday, December 20, 2012


JTF Capmed Chief Awarded Legionnaire of the Year By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton NSAB Public Affairs staff writer Chief Hospital Corpsman Stacie Sullivan was selected as the American Legion Post 86’s 2012-2013 Legionnaire of the Year during an annual Veteran’s Day celebration recently. The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veteran’s service organization that supports past and present veterans and their family members. They are active in advocating for military members as well as veteran’s affairs and rights, and they are active supporters in the community and across the nation in terms of veteran activities. Sullivan is the executive assistant to the command senior enlisted leader of Joint Task Force National Capital Region, but in her off duty hours spends her time helping veterans and service members as a Legionnaire, a member of the American Legion. Selection as Legionnaire of the Year came as a bit of a surprise to Sullivan, who was unaware that she was even in the running, but attributes her selection to hard work, dedication and commitment. “I had no idea it was going to happen, I was not expecting it,” said Sullivan. “Legionnaire of the Year is like Sailor of the Year for the capital region. It’s just huge and there are no gift certificates and there are no savings bonds or anything that goes with it. But when you go through a whole year and your giving 110 [percent], going to every function, doing every meeting and trying to make sure things happen without any glitches, and somebody else or the other officers recognize you for what you’ve contributed by awarding you the Legionnaire of the Year, there’s nothing like it. It was very humbling.” Sullivan has been a member of the Legion for eight years and said her reason for joining was because of the welcoming atmosphere that Post 86 provides. “I was actually looking for a place to host a retirement party for a staff member and I walked into American Legion Post 86,” said Sullivan. “For whatever reason, that particular post felt like family. I went back two days later to talk about the deposit and what was needed to get the room and when I walked in, the people that were there from the first time remembered my name, that I was in the Navy and my job and where I worked. It’s almost like a second family for those of us that don’t have immediate family right here, a place to go whenever you have a crisis or when you want to celebrate some-

Courtesy photo

Chief Hospital Corpsman Stacie Sullivan (center) receives the Legionnaire of the Year award during an annual Veteran's Day celebration at Post 86 in Rockville, Md. recently. thing.” Senior leadership in Sullivan's command sees her as a competent leader, positively involved in her Sailors’ lives and the community. “She was very motivated, very supportive and very interested in taking care of other people," said Chief Master Sgt. Alexander D. Perry, command senior enlisted leader Joint Task Force National Capital Region. "When I saw her involvement with the American Legion, I thought it fit very nicely with the way she is as a leader and as a person. She epitomizes service and she cares very much about service members, their families and the activities of the American Legion.” Sullivan was selected as Legionnaire of the Year due in large part to her ability to take care of service members. "I think [Sullivan won the award] because she has been active and involved within the American Legion, the community here at Bethesda and across the capital region," said Perry. "She took care of veterans, wounded warriors here specifically, her command and the American Legion while some of the leadership was going through some of their own personal issues. She is just there for people whenever they need her. She’d give you the shirt off her back." Sullivan said being a part of the Legion has been a great experience and encourages anyone with a desire to serve veterans and service members to think about joining.


The Journal

4 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Automated Chemistry System Enhances Lab Results By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Journal staff writer

To better serve Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) beneficiaries, staff members of the Department of Pathology have started using a fully automated chemistry system in its lab. Army Capt. Karen Thomas, who was instrumental in acquiring the new multi-million dollar system and bringing it online at WRNMMC, explained it will further ensure an efficient workflow and reduce turnaround times for STAT (Short turn-around time) and routine work requiring a high rate of production. "The College of American Pathologists (CAP), considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance by lab professionals, recently inspected the WRNMMC lab, including the automated Chemistry Section. Even though this new major system was implemented only shortly before the inspection, the inspectors nonetheless confirmed that Capt. Thomas and her staff had validated all elements of system performance and completed numerous quality assurance checks to ensure safe and effective function,” according to Navy Capt. Larry R. Ciolorito, assistant chief of the Department of Pathology. He added the lab performs approximately 3.5 million tests annually, and transfuses approximately 9,000 units of blood products each year. “Of

the 3.5 million annual tests, over half will be performed on the new analyzer." Thomas explained the new automated system should result in more reliability in lab results because its pre- and post-analytics eliminate the need for manual manipulation of samples prior to analyzing and automated storage of samples occurs once they are loaded on the system. “Automated de-capping and re-capping also make the instrument safer for staff to use.” She added the new system integrates pre-analytical elements such as centrifugation and aliquoting, a very large inventory of automated testing, and post-analytical data analysis and reporting. Thomas explained the prior chemistry system had reached its life expectancy, necessitating routine service calls and causing downtime and delays. The multi-year, multi-million acquisition placed similar systems and capabilities at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (FBCH) are in line with the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region Medical’s guidance for standardization of services throughout the joint operating area. “Having the same platforms at FBCH and WRNMMC has enabled the National Capital Area (NCA) to provide consistent results between the two hospitals - methods for analytes, reference ranges, standard operating procedures, and lab test files are the same,” Thomas said. “Therefore, if a patient is drawn at one hospital on one day and

Photo by Bernard S. Little

Army Capt. Karen Thomas, core lab chief, checks samples for testing on the new automated chemistry system recently acquired by Walter Reed Bethesda's Department of See CHEMISTRY page 9 Pathology.


The Journal

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Happy Holidays from Naval District Washington by Rear Adm. Patrick Lorge, Commandant Naval District Washington As we approach the holiday season, let us take a moment to reflect on the past year and remind ourselves with the values we have as Americans and how fortunate we are to continue to safeguard this great nation. 2012 has been a magnificent year and I remain fortunate to serve as the commandant of such a diverse and significant region. I cannot thank you enough for the service and support


you have provided NDW and the Navy. The pride and professionalism you demonstrated each and every day was instrumental in carrying out our mission and making 2012 another successful year. As we bring closure to 2012, let's keep in mind our service members serving in harm's way around the world far from their family and friends. I ask that you keep them close in your prayers. And to our wounded warriors just returning home and recovering in treatment facilities, reach out to them and their families so they too experience

the joy and hope that this festive season brings. As you celebrate the holidays with your family, I encourage you to do so responsibly. Do not drink and drive, get plenty of rest before venturing out on the highway and watch out for your friends and shipmates. A few moments of forethought can ensure we all have a happy holiday and return safely for the start of another great year. May you and your family have a safe and joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year. God bless and my very best wishes for 2013.

The Journal

6 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Making the Most of the Year’s End in D.C. By Jeremy Johnson, NSAB Public Affairs staff writer

Washington, D.C. is densely populated with museums, parks and attractions available throughout the year. With a little research, anyone can plan a holiday in D.C. that includes a lot to see and do for minimal cost. Some of the most popular museums and attractions are free and located along the National Mall in D.C. The National Museum of American History offers exhibits on military history, the presidents, transportation history, energy and other special rotating exhibits. The National Air and Space Museum documents the history of flight and space travel. The National Museum of Natural History offers a look at geological curiosities like the Hope Diamond, and biological specimens from around the world including a live butterfly garden and living bee colony. The National Archives, housing the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Emancipation Proclamation, is also near the National Mall and free. Each of these attractions are open year-round with the exception of Christmas Day, Dec. 25. While it may not be possible to see museums on Christmas Day, there are still sites to visit. The United States Botanic Garden is free and open all year, including holidays. With the exception of the Washington Monument - under repair after an earthquake in 2011 - the Lincoln Memori-

al, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, U.S. National World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and other popular monument sites also remain open and accessible every day, including the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. For paid attractions, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Information, Travel and Tickets (ITT) office, located in Building 2, Rm. 1448, offers a list of discounted tickets and military-friendly attractions, including the International Spy Museum and Madame Tussauds wax museum. Alecia Pityk, manager for ITT, says they have access to a variety of resources, such as a discount code for Gaylord National’s seasonal attraction “ICE!” at National Harbor which runs from now until Jan. 6, 2013. “We have a discount code people can use when they purchase their tickets for ‘ICE!’ online,” she explained. “We’re also selling tickets for Harlem Globetrotters on Dec. 29. For information on these [deals], people just need to stop by or give us a call.” Traveling to and from any attraction in D.C. can be done via cab, bus or subway. The majority of the most popular attractions in the city are located within walking distance of a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) train station. Walter Reed Bethesda is located across the street from the Medical Center station on the system’s Red Line. Android, iOS and Windows Phone users can find applications for their smartphones that provide maps,

real time schedules and service alerts for navigating the Metro system. Printable maps and schedules are also available via download on Metro’s website. The system has already announced they’ll be running on Sunday schedules for Christmas and New Year’s days. For New Year’s Eve revelers this year, having a plan for late night transportation will be important. Metro will stop operating trains at midnight on Dec. 31. Partygoers who may have had too much alcohol to drive safely can get at least part way home, if not the entire way, through Sober Ride, a program run by Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP).

“No matter how much training and education you do throughout the rest of the year, there’s always a higher risk of intoxicated drivers being on the road this time of year,” said WRAP president Kurt Erikson. “Statistics show there’s an uptick of 40 percent on Christmas and 60 percent on New Year’s Eve. We still need a safety valve to keep those people off the road.” Sober Ride’s primary goal is keeping inebriated and “buzzed” drivers off the road by providing free rides home, up to $30, to passengers over the age of 21. The service is available now and runs every night, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., through Jan. 1, 2013.

Wreaths Across America Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Tyler Wilkinson, Naval Support Activity Bethesda Security Department, searches for a spot to place his wreath during the Wreaths Across America event Saturday. More than 100 service members volunteered their time to place wreaths on the headstones at Arlington National Cemetery, in recognition and appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice that the veterans made in service to their country.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John K. Hamilton

The Journal

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Radiation Safety Training Ensures Best Practices

bed, designed to allow radioactive material to drain off of it into a secure receptacle as the patient is being treated and stabilized. Once patients are in stable condition, they can go through the contamination process. Patients are deemed “contaminated” with a hand-held radiation detector, waved over their entire body to pick up radioactive material, he explained. Those who are conscious and capable of walking are then decontaminated by walking through decontamination showers inside the Emergency Department. There, they must remove their clothing, which is disposed of in proper, designated containers. Patients are then handed a clear bag, which contains a clean

towel, garments to change into and an identification bracelet to help track them through the process. A radiation detector is used to ensure they are decontaminated. Patients are then routed through “clean” areas to the appropriate clinics for further care. Walking through this process with Emergency Management personnel allowed staff members to ensure they had all the necessary logistics, such as the appropriate number of personnel, towels and even smaller details like the amount of masking tape. Brannon went on to note last week’s training was one of many held throughout the year and, as always, they were careful not to im-

pede on patient care. “This is an additional training to give them the real feel of the whole process,” he said. Members of the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) were also on hand at the training to observe and provide their expertise. AFRRI deploys worldwide and advises on radiological protection and health care in the event of a nuclear or radiological incident, said Col. Sidney Hinds, director of AFRRI’s Military Medical Operations. “One of our areas of expertise is advising and training personnel to remove radiological contamination that gets on or inside a patient,” said Hinds. “We work with Walter Reed Bethesda's Radiation Safety, Health Physics, and Emergency Departments, as well as, other local DOD medical facilities to understand what they do in these situations, how many patients they can handle, and what treatments and care the hospital is capable of providing.” Hinds went on to explain that while AFRRI lends its expertise in radiobiology, working with Walter Reed Bethesda helps them to better appreciate their capabilities. He also noted the training was also prudent in responding to an incident either on base or in the National Capital Area. “Walking through our current operating procedures with radiation health subject-matter experts and the [Walter Reed Bethesda] emergency response team helps to identify areas for improvement, clarify roles, and implement service-specific response regulations,” Hinds added.

both his wife Maria and three-yearold daughter Kaylee. His award cited that he expertly processed awards for more than 6,000 military and civilian personnel, handling all tasks with no supervision, saving the Navy money by managing an undermanned office. In addition to serving as awards manager in Manpower, Vallejo also serves as Secretary for the MultiCultural Committee, as well as a member on both the Command Assessment Team and the Coalition Sailors Against Destructive Decisions Team. The Blue Jacket of the Year, Heath, will celebrate three years in the Navy on Jan. 25. She has spent two years at WRNMMC. The leading petty officer in the Assisted Repro-

ductive Center was named Blue Jacket of the third quarter in August. Heath, “skillfully provided primary care support to 40 physicians,” according to her award citation, and “expertly enhanced the care to more than 3,500 beneficiaries and their families monthly.” “I’m very excited and honored,” she said about her most recent achievement. “I want to watch out for my other Sailors who want to go for it and support them,” Heath explained. Army Col. Ramona Fiorey, WRNMMC Chief of Staff, presented Tarkowski, Bowie, and Heath with Navy Achievement Medals in a separate ceremony held Dec. 13. Vallejo received a Navy Achievement and

Marine Corps Medal at the same ceremony. Tarkowski will go on to compete for top honors in the National Capital Region, January 2013. Once capturing the title for the region, the senior Sailor will compete at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) with senior Sailors from three other major regions: Navy Medicine West, Navy Medicine East, and Navy Medicine Support Command, according to Prince. If he wins, the Command Master Chief said Tarkowski will compete for Chief of Naval Operations Sailor of the Year, where if selected, he will receive meritorious promotion to Chief Petty Officer.

By Sarah Marshall WRNMMC Journal staff writer Walter Reed Bethesda’s Radiation Safety and Emergency Department hosted training Dec. 13, allowing staff members to review the medical center’s process of receiving contaminated patients in the event of radiological disaster. Static displays were set up in the Emergency Department, where staff members could walk through and review the process of bringing in potentially contaminated patients during a radiological event, said Radiation Safety Officer Charlie Brannon. A special, bright yellow lining was also laid down on sections of the Emergency Department tile, demonstrating how they would designate “contaminated” areas. The lining would act as a barrier to radiologic material, preventing it from seeping into the tile and further contaminating the building. Brannon explained the training gave staff members a chance to better understand how to ensure patients are properly decontaminated. It also provided an opportunity to determine where to set up triage areas, and assess how they would route contaminated patients, ensuring they safely receive the appropriate treatment, Brannon continued. “It’s important to train, so if an actual event does occur, they would be able to understand, and be prepared in handling those types of casualties,” Brannon said. During a radiological incident, or accident, patients must first be in stable condition before they are taken through the process of being decontaminated, Brannon explained. Contaminated patients in critical condition are brought to a special

AWARDS Continued from 1 my leaders within the past year and my Sailors’ and Soldiers’ hard work.” Vallejo said he was uncertain if he would be selected as Junior Sailor of the Year. When his name was called at the awards ceremony, he was surprised. “I was speechless, but I came up with some words to say,” he said. Vallejo thanked his chain of command for his nomination, as well as his father Santana, his mentor, who is just a phone call away in Brownsville, Texas. The Sailor expressed gratitude for the support of

Photo by Sarah Marshall

Mircea Ardelean waves a radiation detector over a mock patient, Sgt. Christopher Freeman, during radiation safety training in the Emergency Department Dec. 13.The training allowed staff members to assess best practices in responding to a radiological disaster. Staff from the Emergency Department, Preventive Medicine, Radiation Safety and the command DECONTeam worked together to review and practice procedures, like decontaminating patients, and determining where to stage triage areas.

The Journal

8 Thursday, December 20, 2012

Walter Reed Bethesda Offers Free Prenatal Classes By Bernard S. Little WRNMMC Journal staff writer Walter Reed Bethesda’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology offers free, ongoing prenatal classes to enhance the OB experience for beneficiaries receiving care at the military’s largest medical center. Classes include childbirth, a childbirth refresher (for couples who have had a child), infant care, breastfeeding and a sibling class for children of expectant parents. “It is recommended couples take the classes about a month before their due date, if possible,” said Christy Bergmann, a course instructor and Lamaze Certified Childbirth educator. “Taking the classes, regardless of how far along in their pregnancy a couple is, benefits them,” she added. Bergmann explained the six-hour childbirth class, for

expectant mothers and their partner, covers anatomy and physiology, recognizing contractions, when to call Walter Reed Bethesda, pain control, breathing, relaxation, partner’s role, comfort measures, signs of labor, stages of labor, pushing, variations of labor, epidurals, cesarean births and early postpartum symptoms. The three-hour childbirth refresher course covers many of the same topics, but is geared for couples who already have a child, Bergmann explained. “For expectant moms and their partners, the two-anda-half-hour infant care class covers newborn appearance and procedures, safety, when to call the doctor, infant behavior, how to cope with crying and sleeplessness, practice diapering, bathing, swaddling, [and] holding a baby,” according to the childbirth educator. She explained the breastfeeding class is also for ex-

Army photo by Julie Calohan

pectant moms and their partners, and focuses on the benefits of breastfeeding, when to start, how often to feed, the latch, feeding positions, signs of hunger, preventing engorgement, partner’s role, and offers handson practice. The class is two hours in duration. The two-hour sibling class is for children whose mothers are expecting. It introduces the child to the hospital and their mother’s hospi-

tal-stay through a tour of the Labor and Delivery unit, as well as the Postpartum Recovery section. “Children learn what babies are like, get to hold a ‘baby,’ watch a film about being a sibling, and make a gift for the new baby,” Bergmann explained. “Parents learn hospital policy regarding children attending the birth and are given tips on integrating another child into the family.” Bergmann continued by stating classes are held yearround in the Learning Center in the gynecology area of the OB/GYN Clinic. Childbirth and refresher childbirth classes are held on weekends. One refresher class is held each month. Breastfeeding classes are held either in combination with a childbirth class, or as a separate class. The once-amonth sibling class is held on a weekend day. The twice-amonth infant care classes are held on Friday afternoons. Classes are designed specif-

ically for WRNMMC patients, and instructors are either certified in the field they teach, or have at least four years of experience teaching in the field, Bergmann added. Referrals are not necessary to take classes, Bergmann added. Interested couples can sign up by calling 301-295-5552. The OB/GYN department also has a family-centered care initiative, “Centering Pregnancy,” which allows beneficiaries to choose to receive OB care in a group educational setting with a clinical facilitator, explained Col. Joseph Gobern, chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “The group has similar delivery dates, and have a common visit schedule and facilitator (provider) throughout their pregnancy,” he added. For more information about the Centering Pregnancy initiative, call Navy Lt. Cmdr. Virginia Hazlett at 301 319-5033.

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The Journal

Thursday, December 20, 2012

FFSC Hosts Date Night

CHEMISTRY Continued from 4 another hospital another day, the results will be comparable.” Training for employees who currently use the new system was initially conducted on site and is on-going, Thomas continued, adding approximately 25 staff members currently use the system on a 24/7 basis. She said the initiative is part of an effort by the Department of Pathology to move the lab to total automation. “This was an enormous undertaking for our staff at a time when we were still absorbing and managing the effects of integration,” Ciolorito added. “This was a multi-year process that included requirements development, significant facilities modifications, extensive staff training, and numerous adjustments to staffing and shift assignments. It would not have been possible without a truly joint and unified approach on the part of our staff, whose goal is the delivery of world-class patient-centered care,” he concluded.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dion Dawson

127 individuals, including service members, wounded warriors and their loved ones, attended a "Date Night” Nov.30,featuring casino tables, free food and a live band.The games included Texas Hold'em, Blackjack and Roulette. Free childcare was provided for couples with children.

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The Journal

10 Thursday, December 20, 2012


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The Journal

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The Journal

Journal 20 Dec  

Weekly NSAB Walter Reed Newspaper