SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Naval Branch Medical Clinic Wahiawa and Desmond T. Doss Health Clinic have teamed up to fight an invisible enemy: COVID-19. The Army and Navy have worked together during medical crises in Hawaii since at least 1941, when the old Schofield Hospital was the first facility to care for casualties from the attack on Pearl Harbor. The collaboration continues today.
Both clinics are part of the Hawaii Military Health System, which integrates Army, Navy and Air Force military health care assets on Oahu to guarantee beneficiaries a patient-centered combined health care system.
COVID-19 is bringing the branches of the military together to help fight a pandemic that is racing around the world. When COVID-19 reached the island of Oahu in March, NBMCW and DDHC stood ready to serve the current needs of beneficiaries.
The collaboration commenced when Lt. Cmdr. Schadaq Torres, a nurse practitioner and the chief of NBMCW, brought in four Navy corpsmen to assist DDHC’s Acute Care Clinic after COVID-19 cases began to rise.
“Despite the uncertainty we are currently facing, this has been a great opportunity for the Navy medical team from Wahiawa,” Torres said. “With the continued transition into DHA(Defense Health Agency), we have more opportunities to work alongside with our sister services.”
The Navy corpsmen mostly work with active duty patients but while at DDHC they’re working in a family practice setting, giving them a change to develop new skills in working with patients and beneficiaries of all ages.
“This opportunity demonstrates the efficiencies and collaboration that come from a Joint Hawaii Military Health System focused on providing a platform for all Oahu beneficiaries,” said Col. Dave Zimmerman, DDHC commander. “The COVID pandemic has provided the medical community a unique ability to train in a joint environment and learn from each other to enhance our collective readiness. This partnership has improved our healthcare delivery system, improved our readiness, and enhanced our ability to flatten the curve and win the war against COVID-19.”
We can all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home except for essential travel
- Maintain social distancing—6 feet
- Wear a simple cloth face cloth in public areas
For more information: www.tricare.mil/coronavirus