NEWS | Dec. 17, 2019

Republic of Korea Navy Surgeon General Visits Navy Medicine West

By Regena Kowitz Navy Medicine West Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO, Calf. -- Capt. Jung Tae Park, Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy surgeon general visited Navy Medicine West (NMW) headquarters, Dec. 11, and met with Mark Boman, chief of staff, to discuss mutual medical interests.

During the visit, Boman gave Park an overview of NMW that included discussion about military treatment facilities in the Indo-Pacific region, joint training exercises, and medical research and development activities.

"From global health engagement initiatives to medical research, there are many opportunities for expanding partnerships and building stronger relationships with the ROK Navy,” Boman said. “It was an honor to meet Capt. Park and talk to him about the different ways our medical personnel can collaborate and work together."

Navy Medicine’s presence in the Republic of Korea includes Branch Health Clinic Chinhae, whose parent command is U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan. The clinic provides primary, urgent, and emergent care to active duty service members and their families.

While visiting San Diego, Park had the opportunity to see how the NMW team keeps Sailors and Marines mission-ready and Navy Medicine personnel trained and equipped as he toured local commands.

At Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), Park visited the surgical simulation center and the tele-critical care center to see state-of-the-science training and health care delivery.

The simulation center allows health care providers to train in a virtual patient care environment using simulated patients to keep skills current and conduct team training. The tele-critical care center leverages information and communication technologies so that providers at NMCSD can care for critically ill patients in geographically isolated locations, ensuring quality care anytime, anywhere.

Park also visited USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), one of the U.S. Navy’s two hospital ships that are platforms to provide afloat, medical and surgical facilities in support of the military. Mercy, which has 12 operating rooms and a full complement of ancillary services (radiology, laboratory, and pharmacy), also supports global health engagements and provides humanitarian assistance and disaster relief around the globe.

Finally, Park stopped by the Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), one of eight Navy Medicine research and development laboratories that falls under the purview of NMW, and toured the warfighter performance lab, a 6,000 square foot facility houses an environmental chamber, two-bedroom sleep lab, and immersive virtual reality system.

NHRC’s research focuses on three core areas—operational readiness and health, military population health, and operational infectious diseases. Whether scientists are addressing human performance factors to reduce injuries and increase resilience, maintaining the psychological health and well-being of service members, or protecting warfighters from dangerous diseases, NHRC’s goal is to keep warfighters healthy and increase survivability.

“I’m glad Capt. Park had the opportunity to experience the breadth of activity that occurs throughout the Navy Medicine West region,” said Boman. “The incredible work our team does, ranging from bench to battlefield research that improves the health and performance of our warfighters to delivering health care that keeps our service members medically ready, ensures our Navy-Marine Corps team is always ready to fight tonight.”

Navy Medicine West leads (NMW) Navy Medicine’s Western Pacific health care system and global research and development enterprise. Throughout the region, NMW provides medical care to nearly 700,000 beneficiaries across 10 naval hospitals, two dental battalions, and 51 branch clinics located throughout the West Coast of the U.S., Asia, and the Pacific. Globally, NMW also has oversight of eight research laboratories across the U.S. and overseas that deliver high-value, high-impact research products to support and protect the health and readiness of service members.