Navy Medicine says farewell to top doctor, welcomes new surgeon general
From U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
BETHESDA, Md. - The top doctor for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps stepped down from the position of the Navy surgeon general and chief of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery during a change of command ceremony at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center-Bethesda, Nov. 18.
Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr.'s four years of service as Navy surgeon general was the twilight of a naval career that spanned 34 years.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert was the keynote speaker for the ceremony and detailed many of Robinson's achievements.
According to Greenert, Robinson will leave a lasting legacy including the development of a new comprehensive care model focused on patient and family-centered care that expertly balanced the dual mission of providing readiness for thousands of Sailors and Marines deployed to war zones while maintaining world class care at home.
"Robinson served those who served," said Greenert. "His profession is very critical to our primary mission of warfighting. He's ensured that our Sailors, our Marines and their families are ready for that fundamental responsibility of warfighting."
The impact of Robinson's service can be measured in the lives saved in places like Haiti and Afghanistan where there is the lowest battlefield mortality rate in history and in care he ensured was provided every day to Sailors, Marines, and their families around the world.
"The innovations he brought forward in the continuum of care and for medical readiness has brought us to the point where 98 percent of those wounded survive in combat today," said Greenert.
Upon taking the podium to a round of applause, Robinson thanked Greenert for his inspired leadership and his lasting support to the men and women of Navy Medicine.
"The men and women of Navy Medicine are the essence and heart and soul of Navy Medicine," said Robinson. "I have been incredibly privileged and honored to lead them, and I have enjoyed every moment of that experience and I thank you all for the opportunity."
Robinson reaffirmed his commitment to providing quality healthcare not only for the military servicemen in uniform today but the importance of taking care of the nation's wounded warriors for many years to come.
"We as Americans must pledge our undying assistance to help our wounded warriors and their families reintegrate to the mainstream of our community," said Robinson. "Not as men and women to be pitied, but as Americans who have given much to secure our freedom and have much more to contribute."
Robinson said wounded veterans deserve not only quality healthcare today and tomorrow, but they must be offered career opportunities as they transition out of the military.
"Our wounded warriors know how to serve," said Robinson. "Let them. Our country's character will be strengthened and will help define us as a great nation that both honors and affirms the men and women who have given service to our country."
Greenert also welcomed Vice Adm. Matthew Nathan as Naval Department's new top uniformed medical officer.
"What is beautiful about our system is no matter how good things are, there is always someone coming behind to take the watch and carry on," said Greenert.
"You are exactly the kind of leader with the right background to lead this community forward."
Nathan, the newly appointed 37th Navy surgeon general and chief of Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, took the podium after Robinson, thanking him for his long trend of always putting service above self.
"I can't thank you enough for the great shape you left Navy medicine in and for all you've done for your shipmates," said Nathan. "You've been a tireless advocate for the troops, for our own people and for me. You have my undying gratitude."
Nathan provided an overview of his vision for the future of Navy medicine which included a focus on warfighter support, taking care of the caregiver, readiness, harnessing information management systems and joint operations.
"We must look at the value of all we do measured by quality times capability, all divided by cost," said Nathan. "We cannot predict the future, but we can be ready for it."