Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Defending the Homeland: NMRTC Bremerton ensures Operational Readiness and a Medically Ready Force

Three healthcare workers wearing masks Rear Adm. Blake L. Converse, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, recently contacted Capt. Shannon J. Johnson, Commanding Officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton, on behalf of his submariners, thanking her command’s leadership and Sailors for their support to the Pacific Submarine Force during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. (Official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

‘Swabbie’ might be older generational slang for a Sailor, but current Navy Medicine swab testing support for the Fleet has been timely, as well as progressive.

Navy Rear Adm. Blake Converse, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, recently contacted Navy Capt. Shannon Johnson, commanding officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Bremerton, on behalf of his submariners, thanking her command’s leadership and Sailors for their support to the Pacific Submarine Force during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

“Through these uncertain times, your team took care of my Sailors in a disciplined yet compassionate manner,” wrote Converse. “It is clear that NMRTC Bremerton has every Sailor in their best interest. Your efforts contribute to the submarine force’s mission readiness.”

Supporting mission readiness has long been a responsibility for the ready medical force of NMRTC Bremerton, ensuring that Navy ship, squadron, shore and submarine personnel are collectively a medically ready force and operationally fit to perform and deploy when called upon.

According to Navy Cmdr. Robert Uniszkiewicz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton COVID-19 lead and Public Health Emergency Officer, the effectiveness of  the swab testing for the submarine fleet homeported in the Pacific Northwest is a direct extension of the protective measures implemented at all commands to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Image of Hannah Carlson wearing a mask
Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Hannah Carlson, assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton's Urgent Care Clinic, oversees daily clinical duties during the command's ongoing effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Carlson's efforts the past months have her highly regarded as the linchpin for the UCC.  (Official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer)

“Testing is not as important as physical distancing, wearing facial coverings and proper hygiene practices, explained Uniszkiewicz. “However, with these measures in place, large scale surveillance testing has provided another layer of confidence that our units preparing to deploy are both ready and safe to do so.”

The swab testing itself is unique simply because having a foreign object inserted into the nasal passage is not a common experience. The hospital corpsman inserts the swab – similar to a longer version of a Q-tip – deep into a person’s nose where it is whirled around for several seconds to collect secretion sample necessary for testing.

Taking the sample is just the initial step. Uniszkiewicz noted that NMRTC Bremerton has not been alone in the task of ensuring units are ready to deploy. It’s been a team-effort across the board with a number of support layers in place.

“Our testing efforts would not be possible without the collaboration with Madigan Army Medical Center laboratory. Additionally, serviced commands are stepping up by conducting their own contact tracing for which our Preventive Medicine team has conducted training. For large scale testing, it has been a tri-service effort to meet the demands for supply, transport, and tracking in order to preserve (COVID-free) ‘bubbles’ around units before deployment, during deployment, and after deployment when they return,” explained Uniszkiewicz.

At NMRTC Bremerton, there are noticeable safeguards added, e.g., waiting room seating has been changed to be six feet apart and areas to stand are also marked six feet apart. Per Department of Defense directive, it is also mandatory for all staff, patients and visitors to wear either a facial covering or mask. Only one visitor is allowed per patient and frequent cleaning of ‘high touch’ areas is now standard procedure, even more so that in the past. Although non-urgent surgeries have resumed and face-to-face encounters have gradually increased, virtual appointments are continuing to be offered.

Screening and testing protocol is also in place for all those eligible for care at NMRTC Bremerton.

“Screening upon entry to the facility is an invaluable mitigation strategy to keep COVID-like illness out of the hospital proper and direct it toward our Urgent Care Center and tents.  This, along with universal use of facial coverings, reassures our patients, their families, and our staff that we are dedicated to keeping them as safe as possible within our facilities,” Uniszkiewicz said.

The screening process really begins prior to an appointment as patients are contacted for pre-screening checks. Once a person arrives at the command, there are staff directing traffic flow to guide them. They are directed through the screening process which begins with a series of questions. Depending on the replies, the patient will be directed to either a treatment tent or testing area, or given the ‘green light’ to enter the hospital following the protective measures in place.

Additionally, before entering the hospital or clinic, if a person does not have a facial covering, they will be provided one to wear at all times when in the hospital.

At NHB/NMRTC Bremerton and across the Navy, medical providers and staff are ensuring patients are properly cared for in the COVID-19 environment, while still maintaining operational readiness.

You also may be interested in...

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Article
6/4/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab.

Approximately 800 Army Reserve soldiers from the U.S. and Europe participated in DEFENDER-Europe 21.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

Mental Health Panel Discusses Impact of COVID-19

Article
6/3/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask speaking on a panel

Walter Reed Bethesda hosts mental health panel to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Mental Health Awareness Month | Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Based on data, MHS experts encourage vaccines for adolescents

Article
6/1/2021
Sister and brother smiling at each other

With the Pfizer vaccine approved for youth ages 12 to 15, MHS adolescents are lining up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Children's Health | Vaccine Eligibility

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

MHS Minute May 2021

Video
5/28/2021
Image of MHS Minute Carousel

In this month's MHS Minute, the DHA's commitment to transforming military health continues. The DHA officially established the Tidewater market in SE Virginia, serving over 200,000 patients. The MHS is standing up 19 markets like Tidewater to allow healthcare providers to better meet the needs of their patients by improving coordination between facilities in the area.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | MHS GENESIS | Health Readiness

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 Vaccination Card Second Shot

Infographic
5/27/2021
Graphic saying that keeping track of your vaccination card is important. Includes a helpful tips section, a link to www.tricare.mil/covidvaccine, and what to do when you didn’t get your vaccination card or don’t have a copy. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right of the page.

Keep track of your vaccination card. Tips include keeping your card on you and taking a picture of it as a backup copy.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Costs and Documentation | Coronavirus

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

ADVISOR brings support to medical personnel in austere environments

Article
5/27/2021
Photo of Michael Kile, LPN, the operational readiness program manger

The Military Health System offers the Advanced Virtual Support for Operational Forces program, or ADVISOR, for remote military medical professionals.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Combat Support | Health Readiness

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | National Capital Region Market

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 68

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.