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Comfort strengthens partnership with Grenada

Surgical staff transports a woman into the post-anesthesia care unit following her surgery aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort as the ship is anchored off the coast of St. George's, Grenada. Comfort is working with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national healthcare systems, including those strained by an increase in cross-border migrants. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall) Surgical staff transports a woman into the post-anesthesia care unit following her surgery aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort as the ship is anchored off the coast of St. George's, Grenada. Comfort is working with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national healthcare systems, including those strained by an increase in cross-border migrants. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall)

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The hospital ship USNS Comfort departed Grenada following the completion of the ship’s seventh medical mission in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, Sept. 21.

The Comfort team is comprised of military and civilian personnel from U.S. and partner nations, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Peru, as well as several non-government organizations creating a dynamic team capable of delivering medical assistance, humanitarian assistance, subject matter exchanges, and partnership building.

During the visit, Comfort’s U.S. Navy and civilian engineers provided a Grenadian hospital with cylinders of oxygen that were critical to helping patients. The engineers also worked hand-in-hand with hospital staff to repair the facility’s oxygen generation plant that had been inoperable for approximately two years.

“An oxygen generation plant is significant to the care of many patients,” said Navy Capt. Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer, Medical Treatment Facility. “This was something we could do to help support not only the hospital, but the people of Grenada.”

During Comfort’s six-day medical mission in St. George’s, 800 medical professionals of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and U.S. Public Health Service alongside eight partner nations, provided care for 5,060 patients at two separate shore-based medical sites and performed 96 surgeries aboard the ship.

“Men and women from Grenada and the United States working together for the betterment of the people – I think that is the most touching part of this,” said Nickolas Steele, the Grenadian minister for health, social security and international business. “That is the enduring message of us working together.”

This marks the first Comfort visit to Grenada and the seventh to the region since 2007. At each of the upcoming missions, the embarked medical teams will provide care aboard the Comfort and at two land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems, including those strained by an increase in cross-border migrants.

This deployment is a part of the U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Promise initiative and reflects the United States’ ongoing commitment to friendship, partnership, and solidarity with partner nations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

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