Friday, May 29, 2009

El Presidente! Panamanian President Visits COMFORT!

I mentioned in my last blog that we expected being pier side would help significantly with the amount of care that we would be able to deliver. Boy was I right! We were able to see over 5,000 patients during our first three days of patient care!

Well, on Wednesday, I got a chance to go ashore and tour our medical sites and our engineering sites. Both medical sites were humming like a well oiled machine! There were hundreds of patients, neatly organized into our various service lines, the Ministry of Health was well engaged and working side-by-side with our physicians, dentists, optometrists, physical therapists, and others providing some amazing help for the people. Unfortunately, my camera did it again, and all those pictures disappeared! It's called a Pentax Optio V20. If you know anyone at Pentax, tell them that I love their camera, except those times (once a week or so) when all the pictures for that day disappear! Maybe they'ld like to send me a replacement!

At the engineering sites, one team was remodeling a small health clinic, putting in new windows, installing a security fence and some new plumbing. At the other site, our team had replaced the perimeter fence around a baseball field, painted the dugouts, and resurfaced the infield.

Back on the ship, we are humming along in the Surgery department with a full schedule for the days ahead.

Today, the President and Vice President of Panama and the United States Ambassador came to visit the ship, speak to some of their countrymen receiving surgical care, got to watch through a window as our Orthopedic Surgeon worked on an ortho case, and then joined a number of the crew on the adjacent pier for a reception. A couple of our enlisted Corpsmen (HMC Eric Davenport and HM1 Hector Cano) are from Panama and we were able to introduce them to the President as well.

OK, time to run to a meeting to talk to our new Tiger Cruise Coordinator, ENS David Uhlman. Ensign Uhlman will be working all the coordination issues for our upcoming Tiger cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Norfolk. I'll include details on this blog as they become available!

Last minute news: My blog didn't publish while I was at our 1900 Confirmation brief, and that's a good thing! Turned out tonight, one of our Chiefs on the ship was promoted to Senior Chief! Chief Clay with our Security det was promoted to Senior Chief today by his OIC, LT Rupp. Here's a couple of pics!

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