Skip to main content

Military Health System

Specialized team assists Navajo Nation COVID-19 response

Image of Military personnel wearing face mask posing for a picture. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP)’s Rapid Rural Response Team (RRRT) deployed to Chinle Comprehensive Care Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico to help the Navajo Nation in the fight against the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Dec. 16, 2020 to March 12, 2021. From left to right: Navy officers – Navy Surgeon General Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, Lt.j.g. Maria Ramirez, Lt.j.g. Abigail Waller, Lt. Amanda Brock, Lt.j.g. Destanie Hoppe, Lt.j.g. Dakota Patterson, Force Master Chief Michael Roberts (Photo by: Navy Lt. Amanda Brock, taken Feb. 5, Tuba City Regional Medical Center).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth's Rapid Rural Response Team (RRRT) from Portsmouth, Virginia recently deployed to the Chinle Comprehensive Care Facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico to help the Navajo Nation in the fight against the COVID-19.

An RRRT is a small team comprised of specialized individuals that can be deployed to rural locations of the country to help augment and support civilian medical centers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are seven person teams made up of physicians, nurses, and a respiratory therapist.

The Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility is a 60-bed hospital which serves as the health care hub for a large portion of the rural Navajo Nation population.

"The RRRT was immediately able to provide much needed relief to the overwhelmed staff," said Navy Lt. Amanda Brock, the RRRT's officer in charge. "We brought critical care nursing skills that were invaluable to caring for those patients that were rapidly declining and needed an elevated level of medical care."

After four weeks, five nurses were transitioned to Tuba City Regional Health Care in Tuba City, Arizona. A 73 bed hospital that provides services to a 6,000 mile area which includes the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

"People often associate military support, or Defense Support of Civil Authorities missions (DCSA), with large scale and localized responses to hurricanes, earthquakes and fires," said Navy Cmdr. Shane Lawson, the executive officer of Expeditionary Medicine Facility (EMF) Juliet. "In this case, Navy medical forces integrated into civilian facilities to maintain services during challenging times brought on by COVID-19. Without the assistance of military medical staff, the most at-risk healthcare facilities would face collapse."

The team of five nurses were able to provide staffing to increase the number of beds within two Intensive Care Units at the facility to help accommodate the large COVID-19 surge the hospital was experiencing between mid-December 2020 and the end of their deployment, which ended last week.

"It brought a new sense of what serving my country looks like," said Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Daniel Allen, the RRRT's respiratory therapist. "We know that when we join we are joining to defend the constitution and protect our citizens, however, I never once thought I would be deploying within the United States to care for my own citizens.

The privilege and honor to serve my fellow country men and women as well as integrate with civilian hospitals and create lasting bonds and memories has easily been the highlight of my 14 year career."

As the U.S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating military hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally-acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, along with the area's 10 branch health and TRICARE Prime Clinics, provide care for the Hampton Roads area. The medical center also supports premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman for future roles in healing and wellness.

You also may be interested in...

Consolidated Department of Defense Coronavirus Disease 2019 Force Health Protection Guidance

Policy

Consolidates and updates the Department’s guidance regarding vaccination verification, vaccination status, COVID-19 testing, surveillance and screening testing, personnel protection on-site mask requirements, (e.g., DHA military medical treatment facilities, meetings, travel), and the protection of personally identifiable information.

DHA-IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DOD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

Policy

Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the DHA’s implementation of the DOD’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Attestation, Screening Testing, and Vaccination Verification

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the implementation of vaccination, attestation, and testing requirements in accordance with the References listed in Attachment 1 to reduce the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

Policy

Establishes the DHA's procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits for enduring COVID-19 support.

TAB A MEO COVID19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

Memorandum for DHA Staff - Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

DHA COVID19 Medical Coding PolicyV5 1v

Policy

Establishes the DHA procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). This memorandum replaces DHA-Policy Memorandum 20-003 of July 1, 2020. Attachment 1 was updated to include the 2021 procedure and diagnosis codes for COVID-19, including the new vaccination and treatment codes.

Supplemental Guidance for Providing DOD Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccines to DOD Contractor Employees and Select Foreign Nationals

Policy

This memorandum provides supplemental guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, in accordance with reference (a). The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DOD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DOD Components as appropriate.

HA Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Laboratory Pre-Testing Questionnaire

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance for a COVID-19 laboratory pre-testing questionnaire that will be mandatory for all Active Duty Service members and encouraged for all other DOD beneficiaries treated at military medical treatment facilities.

Executive Order on Ensuring Access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines

Policy

This EO outlines who should receive priority access to COVID-19 vaccines developed in the United States or procured by the United States Government (“United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines”).

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DOD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DOD Components.

Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Environment

Policy

Establishes the DHA's plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic

Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) Memorandum, based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) and (d), establishes the DHA’s procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs). This memorandum cancels and replaces DHA- Policy Memorandum 20-003 of (13 April 2020). A change was issued since the cancelled Memorandum 20-003 of (13 April 2020), the Attachment titles were updated to reflect that Attachments 1, 2, and 4 are considered Policies as opposed to Guidance.

Showing results 1 - 12 Page 1 of 1
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 27, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery