Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

NH Guantanamo Bay Lt. named as Subspecialty Officer of the Year

Image of Navy Lt. Ara Gutierrez, Naval Readiness and Training Command Guantanamo Bay, was selected Navy Medicine’s Medical Technology Subspecialty Junior Officer of the Year for 2020. Navy Lt. Ara Gutierrez, Naval Readiness and Training Command Guantanamo Bay, was selected Navy Medicine’s Medical Technology Subspecialty Junior Officer of the Year for 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Dawn Grimes)

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain not only on frontline healthcare workers, but also the medical laboratory professionals who perform COVID-19 testing behind the scenes. Medical laboratory professionals who have rarely been in public view are now thrust in the spotlight.

For 2020, Navy Lt. Ara Gutierrez, Naval Readiness and Training Command Guantanamo Bay (NMRTC GB), was selected Navy Medicine’s Medical Technology Subspecialty Junior Officer of the Year.

”For our isolated duty station, getting supplies and resources as efficiently and quickly as possible is paramount in delivering patient care and it’s especially important for the laboratory department,” she explained. Gutierrez, who is the only military medical technologist on island explained, “We developed mitigation strategies to enhance chain of custody and reduce turnaround time for laboratory samples to get to reference laboratories.”

At the onset of the pandemic, US Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay (USNH GB), located aboard Naval Station Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba, turnaround time for the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 was 72 hours. Under Gutierrez’s leadership, the laboratory was able to reduce turnaround time to just 15 minutes.

“As of today, we currently have three methodologies to perform testing for COVID, one methodology to test for COVID-19 antibodies and two methodologies to test for the COVID virus.” Gutierrez explained, “The fact that we have multiple ways to test for COVID and COVID antibodies makes the hospital very self-sufficient and prepared if we ever run out of supplies for one analyzer since we would have redundancy in our capabilities.”

“Lieutenant Gutierrez’s accomplishments have been nothing short of exceptional.” stated Navy Cmdr. Shawn Weber, NMRTC GB’s Clinical Support Services director. “From her guidance in the medical laboratory to her leadership within the command, wardroom, Medical Service Corps Association, and diversity committee, she’s shown how highly capable she is. I’m extremely pleased and not surprised she was chosen.”

Gutierrez, who joined the Navy on the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, said she was genuinely surprised and honored to represent medicine’s "hidden profession”, when she learned about her selection.

“I just made Lieutenant last March and gave birth a month after. I didn't think that my efforts would be enough to compete, let alone be selected.” Gutierrez who has also served on the USNS Mercy and at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego in California continued, “Compared to others who didn't have to deal with maternity leave and balancing their daily work, military life, and being a first time mom I wasn't sure that I was enough.”

Gutierrez, started medical training in the Philippines. “While in school I felt there would be more opportunities for me to serve sick people and help my family if I attended school in the US.” To the Navy’s fortune, while in school, Gutierrez stayed with her uncle, a retired U.S. Navy chief.

“He mentored me about the possibility of being a Navy corpsman and a few weeks later I enlisted.” Celebrating her two year Guantanamo Bay anniversary this month, Gutierrez said she is happy and humbled to represent her team at NMRTC GB in this unique way.

“With how isolated our duty station is, our efforts might not as apparent, but this award really highlights the effort that is required because of our limited resources and challenging supply chain.” She added, “It’s an all-in effort by our laboratory department and I’m honored to have been able to contribute for our patients.”

You also may be interested in...

Report
Jan 1, 2007

MSMR Vol. 14 No. 3 – June 2007

.PDF | 567.38 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: "Healthy deployers":Nature and Trends of Health Care Utilization during the Year prior to Deployment to OEF/OIF, Active Components, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2002-December 2006; Update:Deployment Health ...

Report
Jan 1, 2007

MSMR Vol. 14 No. 4 – July 2007

.PDF | 583.03 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Mental health encounters and diagnoses following deployment to Iraq and/or Afghanistan, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001-2006; Hormonal contraceptive use among female service members, active components, U.S. Armed ...

Report
Jan 1, 2007

MSMR Vol. 14 No. 6 – September/October 2007

.PDF | 649.71 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Routine screening and referrals for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005, U.S. Armed Forces; Relationship between influenza vaccination and subsequent ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 9 – December 2006

.PDF | 361.14 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Body Mass Index (BMI) among 18-year old Civilian Applicants for U.S. Military Service 1996-2005; Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, U.S. Armed Forces, January 1998-September 2006; Incident Abnormal Findings Within 30 ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 5 – July 2006

.PDF | 233.07 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Heat-related injuries, U.S. Army, 2005; Hyponatremia/overhydration, active duty, U.S. Army, 1999-2006; Hepatitis B immunity among U.S. Army basic trainees, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo, July 2005-December 2005; ARD ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 7 – October 2006

.PDF | 737.13 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Post-deployment health reassessment (PDHRA) program, U.S. Armed Forces: responses by service and component, September 2005-August 2006; Cold weather injuries, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2001-June 2006; Hepatitis ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 8 – November 2006

.PDF | 276.76 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Medical experiences within six months of redeployment in relation to changes in self-rated health from pre- to post-deployment, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2002-June 2006; First-time episodes ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 2 – March 2006

.PDF | 232.71 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Medical experiences of service members within one year after returning from deployments in central Asia/Middle East, active components, U.S. Armed Forces; Numbers, rates, and patterns of hospital readmissions, ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 6 – August/September 2006

.PDF | 275.01 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Screening for HIV-1 among soldiers in active and Reserve components, U.S. Army, and civilian applicants for military service, January 1990-June 2006; Seroprevalences and incidence rates of HIV-1 in ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 1 – January/February 2006

.PDF | 201.92 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Malaria, U.S. Army, 2005; Pneumonia and influenza among non-military beneficiaries of the U.S. military health system, January 2001 - December 2004; ARD surveillance update; Update: pre- and post-deployment ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 3 – April 2006

.PDF | 440.78 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hospitalizations among active component members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2005 Ambulatory visits among active component members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2005; Numbers, rates, and patterns of hospital readmissions, U.S. ...

Report
Jan 1, 2006

MSMR Vol. 12 No. 4 – May/June 2006

.PDF | 231.59 KB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cellulitis and abscess, active components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2002-2005; ARD surveillance update; Pre- and post-deployment health assessments, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2004-April 2006; Sentinel reportable events.

Fact Sheet
May 4, 2005

Program Areas CBRN Protection

.PDF | 160.05 KB

The Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Directorate assists in protecting U.S. forces that are globally engaged and at potentially increased risk to being exposed to naturally occurring substances or encountering manufactured chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) agents that adversaries may seek to use against them.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery