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 Command News


5 April 2016

  Naval Hospital Beaufort Graduates New Victim Advocates

Leadership at Naval Hospital Beaufort recognized the valuable contributions of the command’s victim advocates (VA) today, April 1, during a graduation ceremony for new VA’s.

“The work our victim advocates do to support the victims of sexual assault with compassion and decency is invaluable and upholds our commitment of zero tolerance for sexual abuse at this command and throughout the Navy,” said Capt. Anne Lear, Naval Hospital Beaufort’s commanding officer. “When one of our Sailors or one of our family members is sexually assaulted, it affects each and every one of us on some level and ultimately degrades mission readiness. What affects one, truly does affect all.”

The graduation and proclamation reading, which was coordinated by Kayla Mendoza, the command’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), was provided as a way of honoring Naval Hospital Beaufort’s new and current VA’s for their hard work, dedication, and contributions to mission readiness by volunteering to support the command’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR).

“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we will spend the month focused on raising awareness about the importance of preventing sexual assault, but it’s also important to recognize those who are personally dedicated to helping the victims,” said Mendoza. “Becoming a victim advocate requires over 40 hours of training, getting a background check, and becoming nationally certified. For all of our victim advocates, this is on top of their regular, day-to-day jobs because this is a collateral duty.” 

The VA’s provide support and advocacy for victims of sexual assault every step of the way. VA’s provide initial crisis intervention, stand by during physical examinations and interviews, provide information about the different reporting options, assist victims in obtaining medical and mental health care, and even accompany them to court proceedings. Naval Hospital Beaufort Victim Advocates are trained to empower victims to make their own choices to help them regain power and control after an assault. Sexual assault is not a crime of passion but one of power and control and the victim advocacy process can empower victims on the road to recovery.

According to Mendoza, the hospital has 18 DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program certified VA’s and 12 in the credentialing process. Naval Hospital Beaufort has both male and female VA’s, and unlike other services that require a VA to be an E6 or above, the Navy encourages advocates from all pay grades.

“Sexual assault victims can be any age or gender,” said Mendoza. “A victim of sexual assault may feel more comfortable with a peer; someone from their age group or similar rank” And because sexual assault can happen to anyone male or female, officer or enlisted, it’s important that we have a diverse group of victim advocates provide support and advocacy.”

Mendoza says the command has been incredibly supportive of the program and ensuring that the VA’s have the time they need to complete their training requirements and be available when they have duty.

“This command is not going to stand for any sexual assault and they’re doing everything they can to make sure that everyone at Naval Hospital Beaufort is safe.”

Open since 1949, Naval Hospital Beaufort provides general medical, surgical and urgent care services to all active duty personnel, as well as retired military and family members residing in the Beaufort area, a total population of approximately 29,000 beneficiaries.

Naval Hospital Beaufort graduated a new class of Victim Advocates for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program on Friday, April 1 2016. The hospital has both male and female VA’s, and unlike other services that require a VA to be an E6 or above, the Navy encourages advocates from all pay grades. (Photo by Lisa Lill, Public Affairs Officer, Naval Hospital Beaufort) (Released)

28 March 2016

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Visits Naval Hospital Beaufort


Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens visited Sailors at Naval Hospital Beaufort (NHB) on Mar. 24.

During the brief visit to NHB, MCPON met with the commanding officer, executive officer and sailor of the year.

MCPON also held an all-hands call with Sailors at NHB to discuss what was on their minds.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Miguel Ferrer was quick to ask about the ongoing rating name change working group led by MCPON and several master chiefs from around the fleet.

“I asked CNO if I could lead this effort because it’s going to affect just about everybody that’s sitting here,” said MCPON. “The direction has been given by the SECNAV and we want to do the best we can to provide him some good recommendations.”

“We recruited ten leaders from around the navy to represent the different communities to conduct the rating review because I wanted all of this diversity of thought in the room.”

The recommendations will be delivered to the SECNAV on April 2, 2016.

Sailors asked a variety of questions ranging from retention to the medical separation process. 

During one question, MCPON took an opportunity to provide some candid advice to the Sailors. “A duty station is everything you want it to be. I’ve been in some tough duty assignments myself and I learned early on that the duty station will not make me happy, you have to make yourself happy and take every opportunity to get the best out of every duty station that you possibly can.” 

The day concluded as Sailors weaved lines through the chairs to indulge in a personal photo opportunity with their senior enlisted leader.

For more news from Chief of Naval Operations, visit


MCPON answers questions from NHB Sailors during an all hands call on March 24, 2016. MCPON briefly stopped in Beaufort, SC before continuing on to Jacksonville Fl. (U.S. Navy photo by Lisa Lill, Naval Hospital Beaufort public affairs officer) (Released)



MCPON answers a question from Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Miguel Ferrer during an all hands call on March 24, 2016. Ferrer asked for an update about the rating name working group that will potentially change several of the rates across the Navy. MCPON briefly stopped in Beaufort, SC before continuing on to Jacksonville Fl. (U.S. Navy photo by Lisa Lill, Naval Hospital Beaufort public affairs officer) (Released)

16 March 2016

Naval Hospital Beaufort awarded Navy Medicine Radiology Team of the Year 


The Radiology Department at Naval Hospital Beaufort was named the Navy Medicine Radiology Team of the Year for 2015 capping off a year of significant achievements for the department of only 15 military and civilian personnel.

Throughout 2015, the staff in NHB’s Radiology Department worked tirelessly to achieve accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and most recently Ultrasound. These accreditations are a first in Navy Medicine and set a gold standard for all Navy Radiology Departments to emulate. Additionally, NHB is the only ACR certified “Low Dose CT Lung Cancer Screening Center” and Pediatric “Image Gently” facility.

The success of the department relies heavily on the highly trained and motivated personnel managing the studies and running the equipment.  Radiology Department Head Lt. Cdr. Stephen Pearson said “This award showcases the hard work and dedication of the Radiology personnel at NHB. It is an honor to work alongside such a talented and committed staff.”

Lead Petty Officer, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Viviana Garcia, was honored as the 2015 Beaufort, S.C. Rotary Club’s Military Person of the Year. Garcia was also selected as NHB’s 2015 Senior Sailor of the Year, where she proudly represented the command at Navy Medicine East in November 2015. Mr. H. David Estep, the Assistant Department Head, was selected as NHB’s 2015 Senior Civilian of the Year.

Radiology Assistant Leading Petty Officer, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Ashley Way obtained her Advanced ARRT Registry in Mammography in September 2015. From October through December, 2015, Way provided critical weekly onsite assistance to Naval Health Clinic Charleston’s (NHCC) Radiology Department, performing all of their diagnostic mammograms at the specific request of NHCC leadership. 

Additionally, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Brett Holmes received his advanced registry in CT and two junior radiology technicians completed a comprehensive PQS (Personnel Qualification Standard) process developed by Estep for independent MRI imaging.

One of these junior technicians, Hospitalman Aaron Sustaita, was awarded a spot Navy Achievement Medal in February 2015 for independently performing afterhours MRIs at an estimated network cost savings of $101,450.

One of NHB’s busiest clinics, in 2015 the Radiology Department processed more than 25,000 studies across three commands (NHB, MCRD Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort).  The department also serves our veteran population through a joint VA/DoD partnership. They provided vital imaging services for more than 2,000 veterans in 2015 resulting in a VA/DoD cost savings of $354,600.

U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort (NHB) Radiology Mammography Technician Teresa Smith calibrates the mammography unit prior to use. NHB’s Radiology Department was recently named Navy Medicine Radiology Team of the Year for 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Lisa Lill, Naval Hospital Beaufort public affairs officer) (Released)

9 March 2016

NHB Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Nominated for Regional Award


Naval Hospital Beaufort’s (NHB) Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Ms. Kayla Mendoza, has been nominated as the Navy Region Southeast’s Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. She is one of four SARC’s in the region nominated for the award.

Mendoza assumed the role of NHB’s SARC in July of 2015 and is responsible for a broad area that extends all the way to Columbia S.C. and out to Augusta Ga. In the nomination she is credited with the development of a tailored training program that addresses the needs, learning styles and differences of the staff members. The result is specific, focused and attention-grabbing training that enables staff members to effectively respond to sexual assault victims and direct them to the appropriate resources. 

Mendoza, a Marine Corps veteran, holds a Bachelor's in Psychology and Master's in Mental Health Counseling from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. While in school, she volunteered at the local rape crisis center, conducted classes on healthy dating, served as the command ombudsman, and co-founded the student veterans association. After graduating, she worked as a therapist for a community services board, and found a passion for career counseling - working with service members and their families at the FFSC. Prior to joining the staff at NHB, Mendoza was a sexual assault victim advocate working with the Marines on Parris Island.

There are many resources available to service members that have been the victim of a sexual assault. If you or someone you know has been assaulted please use the numbers below to learn what your reporting options are, to find support and medical care.


DoD SAFE Helpline: 877-995-5247

NHB 24/7 Hotline: 843-321-6493

NHB SARC Office: 843-228-5710

NHB SARC 24/7 Cell: 843-371-2201

Hope Haven Rape Crisis Center: 843-524-2256

Additional resources can be found on the NHB website:


U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Ms. Kayla Mendoza is congratulated by Capt. Stacy Wright, Command Navy Region South East (CNRSE) Director of South East Region Fleet and Family Support Centers, for her nomination as Navy Region Southeast’s Exceptional SARC February 26. (Photo courtesy of CNRSE) (Released)

 3 March 2016

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 12 Donate Flags to Naval Hospital Beaufort


Members of the Beaufort Chapter of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 12 gathered at Naval Hospital Beaufort’s (NHB) Veteran’s entrance to present a plaque dedicating the newly hung service flags to Commanding Officer, Capt. Anne Lear this morning.

The VA entrance, as it’s commonly referred to, is a favorite gathering place for VA patients seeking care at the clinics and the DAV volunteers that assist with greeting patients, helping them find where they need to go and answering questions patients may have about the VA and their benefits or enrollment.

Ron Voegeli, former national 1st junior vice commander, spent months working with Lear to develop a unique way to personalize the entrance frequented by patients receiving care at the hospital. The design that finally came to fruition is a display of all U.S. service flags hung next to a large mounted U.S. flag. The plaque will hang amongst the service flags in commemoration of the kind donation.

To learn more about the VA partnership with NHB please visit:


U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort Commanding Officer, Capt. Anne receives a plaque from Chris Swan, Commander DAV Chapter 12 March 2, 2016. The plaque commemorates the flag display donated by the DAV for the NHB VA Entrance. (Photo by Lisa Lill, Public Affairs Officer NHB) (Released)


Mr. Michael Haje, Beaufort VA Clinic Manager talks with Mr. Ron Voegeli, former national 1st junior vice commander DAV Chapter 12 during a plaque presentation commemorating the donation of U.S. service flags and a large framed U.S. Flag that adorn the VA Entrance at NHB . Several members from DAV Chapter 12 joined Haje and Capt. Anne Lear, Commanding Officer Naval Hospital Beaufort during the presentation March 2, 2016. (Photo by Lisa Lill, Public Affairs Officer NHB) (Released)



Mr. Ron Voegeli, former national 1st junior vice commander DAV Chapter 12 and Mr. Pete Godbey, DAV Chapter 12 adjutant, hold up the plaque commemorating the donation of U.S. service flags and a large framed U.S. Flag that adorn the VA Entrance at NHB on March 2, 2016. Several members from DAV Chapter 12 joined Mr. Michael Haje, Beaufort VA Clinic Manager, and Capt. Anne Lear, Commanding Officer Naval Hospital Beaufort, for the presentation. (Photo by Lisa Lill, Public Affairs Officer NHB) (Released)

 23 February 2016 

Branch Health Clinic Parris Island – Where the Marine Corps meets Navy Medicine AND Navy Nursing!


The Branch Health Clinic (BHC) aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island (MCRD PI) is continuing the tradition of providing healthcare to marines and recruits that began in 1893. Recently the BHC joined with MCRD PI in celebrating its 100th anniversary of “Making Marines”

With the Officer In Charge, CAPT George “Lew” Dyer’s guidance, seven military and two civilian nurses along with other medical staff work in support of two missions: MCRD PI’s mission of “Making Marines” and Naval Hospital Beaufort’s mission of being a committed partner in the delivery of quality and compassionate patient and family centered health care while maintaining operational readiness. Assisting Dyer are LCDR Casey Kirberger and LCDR Scott LaPanne, division heads for the Permanent Party Clinic (PPC) and Recruit Services.

For the recruits (totaling over 238,000 annual encounters), this fast moving process starts at Recruit Medical Readiness (RMR) with a review of the Medical Entrance Processing Station documentation. Every recruit undergoes numerous blood draws, two sets of immunizations and are seen by optometry, audiology and dental. It takes substantial coordination between BHC and the Recruit Training Regiment to ensure the recruit is ready to start training at the end of the week. LT Victoria Holzapfel, RMR’s division officer, is up to the challenge of caring for this vast number of recruits. LT Dominique Norphleet, who works alongside Holzapfel, finds it most challenging when recruits who show motivation to train and become a Marine must be discharged due to a disqualifying condition. However, it is not all challenging.

“We understand how important this first impression is for each patient, and it’s a job that we both take very seriously and do very well”, Holzapfel said. LT Brandi Nogueira, Recruit Sick Call case manager and clinical manager, agrees with Holzapfel. Nogueira ensures that all recruits receive follow up care and works extensively with “basic marines” (recruits who graduated but cannot proceed in training due to injury or illness).

The BHC also provides medical care to the Drill Instructors (DIs) and active duty support personnel assigned to MCRD PI. The PPC sees over 14,000 patients annually.  LT Aubrey Hall, PPC clinical manager, and Kirberger are in the process of enhancing their delivery of care through the use of asynchronous communication and improving the access to care. LCDR Ted Pagulayan, a nurse practitioner, assigned to the PPC provides care to permanent party staff.

All BHC nurses work in the Acute Care Area (ACA), regardless of subspecialty code. The ACA nurse staff provides nursing assessments, interventions and a higher level of care above and beyond the capabilities of the other clinics to recruits brought in by corpsman from various training evolutions. All recruits’ urgent medical needs are taken care of, resulting in less time out of training. Another added benefit is that the DI loses less time with the other recruits.

Every nurse assigned to MCRD PI has a unique job, yet they work towards one common goal. The diversity of work, the dynamic and fast-paced environment and the collaboration between themselves, NHB and MCRD PI make the nurses assigned to BHC MCRD PI some of the best that navy medicine has to offer! 



U.S. Navy Lieutenant Victoria Hozapfel, recruit medical readiness division officer, observes recruits after immunizations at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Branch Health Clinic February 10, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Branch Health Clinic Parris Island) (Released)


 23 February 2016 

Love Your Heart 

Two of the best ways to fight heart disease and maintain a healthy heart is to have a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. 

Making just a few simple lifestyle changes can have long-term benefits for a person’s health and their heart.

According to the Heart Foundation, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.  In 2011, nearly 787,000 people died from heart disease, which includes strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.  Each year, heart disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

“Heart disease affects women 6x more than breast cancer,” said Lt. Charmaine Pettit, a certified physician’s assistant with NHB’s Medical Home primary care clinic. “It is important for patients to know their family history and visit their Primary Care Provider regularly for blood pressure and blood sugar checks.”

Heart disease occurs when coronary arteries are blocked, narrowed or hardened due to plaque buildup, and plaque is the accumulation of fat and cholesterol on the inner wall of an artery.  Factors such as age, gender, heredity and race can contribute to heart disease, but are uncontrollable.  Excess weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle and smoking are also factors, but can be controlled or eliminated 

To improve overall health, and specifically a healthy heart, a good and balanced diet is a good place to start.  Diets should consist of a variety of foods that are nutrient-rich, meaning foods with minerals, proteins, whole grains and other nutrients.  Nutrient-rich foods are also lower in calories, which can help control weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.Examples of good food choices include a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains breads or pasta, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry, fish, nuts and legumes.

Having an active lifestyle can also reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cholesterol, help with weight management and lower blood pressure.  Aerobic exercises such as jogging, cycling, swimming or walking can help lower the chances of developing heart disease. 

 “Just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily can have a significant impact on your overall health, improve well being, and reduce the risk of heart disease,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Fortunato, a family physician with NHB’s Medical Home primary care clinic.   

Even with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, heart disease like heart attacks can occur.  If someone is having a heart attack, it is imperative they seek immediate medical attention.  Heart attack symptoms can include chest pain, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath, abnormal heart rhythms or loss of consciousness.  Symptoms of heart attacks are sometimes confused with other conditions such as heart burn or gas, which can prolong someone seeking medical attention.  Every minute delayed seeking medical attention can result in more damage to the heart or lead to fatality. 

Patients should speak to their physician about how they can improve the health of their heart.  Those enrolled to a Medical Home Port Team have many options available to maintain a heart healthy lifestyle including smoking cessation classes, integrated behavior health consultants and dietitians. 

Naval Hospital Beaufort’s Dietician is also available to all TRICARE beneficiaries.  To schedule an appointment, please speak with your Medical Home Port Team if you are enrolled to one at NHB or call 843-228-5175/5198. 


U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort Hospitalman Elijah Brown checks a patient’s blood pressure in the Medical Home primary care clinic. Having regular blood pressure checks is a quick and easy way to monitor your heart health. (Photo by Lisa Lill, Public Affairs Officer NHB) (Released)


U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Katie Brothers checks a patient’s blood pressure in the dental clinic at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. Having regular blood pressure checks is a quick and easy way to monitor your heart health. (Photo by Lisa Lill, Public Affairs Officer NHB) (Released)


23 February 2016 

The Great American Spit Out 

The thought of quitting smokeless tobacco forever might be overwhelming, but could you give it up for just 24 hours? Sign up to participate in the Great American Spit-Out (GASpO), taking place on February 18, 2016, and pledge to go tobacco-free for one day. The support and resources available at Naval Hospital Beaufort (NHB) make the GASpO a great time to start your effort to quit.                       

There are many reasons to stop using spit (also known as smokeless) tobacco. Here are just a few:  

  • Smokeless tobacco IS NOT a safe alternative to smoking. It is just as addicting; containing more nicotine than cigarettes, and it has at least 28 cancer causing substances.
  • Smokeless tobacco leads to serious health risks, including cancer of the mouth, tongue, throat and pancreas, gum disease, tooth decay and heart disease.1
  • Your significant other will no longer think kissing you is gross.
  • Brighter teeth and fresher breath.
  • Improved readiness. Among many other benefits, you will be faster and have better endurance thanks to your increased lung capacity, experience less injuries and illness, and have improved night vision.  

According to Ms. Ivette Moore, Health Promotion Coordinator at NHB, last year 110 patients attempted to quit tobacco by utilizing tobacco cessation workshops and individual counseling. The tobacco cessation program was established in 1998 and uses a combination of behavioral counseling, nicotine replacement therapy and medication to give tobacco users the greatest chance of success in quitting. The tobacco cessation program is available at various locations across the tri-command (NHB, Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island Branch Health Clinic and the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Dental Clinic). 

The dental staff at NHB is also available to provide resources and support to the active duty members that want to quit. U.S. Navy Lt. Jacquelyn Proulx, a dentist at MCRD Parris Island shared, “I feel the best method as dentists that we can use to discourage use is to explain the disease progression to the patient and address the oral health issues that can be caused by continued use.” Not only is oral cancer a concern, but the affect it can have on a patients gingival tissues can be detrimental to their periodontal status.”  

Over at the MCAS dental clinic patients wishing to quit are provided a short tobacco cessation counseling before each treatment. U.S. Navy Lt. Misha Lockey explains “we provide them options for quitting such as replacement chew, patches, medications, and even coupons for sunflower seeds.” 

The staff at NHB is committed to helping patients quit and remain tobacco free. NHB and the Branch Health and Dental Clinics have been tobacco free campuses since September 16, 2010. If you would like more information about quitting please contact Ms. Moore at (843) 228-5344.


U.S. Navy Lieutenant Misha Lockey, a dentist assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, educates a Marine about the detrimental effects of tobacco use and informs him about the resources available to help users quit during a routine exam February 11, 2016. "Even if the patient doesn't use tobacco products, they may take the information back to friends that do, every little bit helps," said Lockey. (U.S. Navy photo by Lisa Lill, Naval Hospital Beaufort public affairs officer) (Released)



U.S. Navy Lieutenant Jacquelyn Proulx, a dentist assigned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island, performs a dental procedure on a recruit February 11, 2016. Proulx said that of the recruits she treats, approximately 1/3 report to using chewing tobacco prior to arriving at MCRD and half of those say they plan to continue when they leave recruit training. As part of their exam Proulx informs recruits about the dangers of using tobacco products and the resources available to them to help them quit. (U.S. Navy photo by Lisa Lill, Naval Hospital Beaufort public affairs officer) (Released)

25 January 2016

Ringing in the New Year ShipShape

Staff members at Naval Hospital Beaufort are ringing in the New Year with a commitment to ShipShape, the official weight management program of the U.S. Navy. Open to all active duty, reservists, dependents and government employees ShipShape is designed to provide participants with the tools necessary to achieve healthy and permanent weight loss.

The program includes eight sessions held once a week with trained specialists, fitness leaders, and dieticians available to help participants achieve their goals. Participants are given homework (food journals, fitness tracking, and weekly weigh-ins) to help keep them accountable for their success. Facilitators provide information, motivation, guidance and support in group settings followed by six months of follow-up support to help participants stay on track with their weight loss goals. 

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Blake Brewer has been a ShipShape program facilitator since 2014. As an assistant command fitness leader he see’s participants succeed as they learn the importance of balancing nutrition with an exercise program. 

“A lot of people know what good nutrition is but they need to change their mindset, and this program helps them do that,” said Brewer. “Participants learn about portion control, the food pyramid, micro and macro nutrients, how to read labels and they have to maintain a food journal.”

Chief Petty Officer Benjamin Pong, also a program facilitator, added that “we have a problem, as a society, of not being educated properly about nutrition. ShipShape is education about how to treat your body right.”

Both Pong and Brewer agree, one of the greatest benefits of the program is having participants approach them excited about their success. “I love seeing the people succeed and continue their progress” said Brewer. 

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Trisha Scott said “the hardest thing about the program is dieting, but I have learned to be honest with myself and read food labels better”.

At NHB the Health Promotions department (located on the second floor by the fitness center) provide active duty members, staff and beneficiaries a variety of tools to begin living a healthier life. To get started, come by or call NHB’s Wellness Center (843)228-5344/5486 or contact your Primary Care Manager. Learn more from Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center at

Open since 1949, NHB provides general medical, surgical and urgent care services to all active duty personnel, as well as retired military and family members residing in the Beaufort area. Since 2011 NHB has been designated as a Joint Venture Site with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and includes a Community Based Outpatient Clinic (located on the 4th Deck). VA services include Primary Care, Women’s Health, Behavioral Health, and multiple tele-health specialties. We also have Resource Sharing Agreements for services including Radiology, Laboratory, Audiology, Podiatry, and Optometry. Most recently NHB was awarded three Joint Incentive Fund (JIF) Resource Sharing Agreements for the MRI trailer, part time Dermatology Clinic, and Physical Therapy (opening in 2016).

4 January 2016 

Brush up on your children’s dental health

In support of National Children’s Dental Health Month, dental officers from Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort are educating children across the Tri-Command about the importance of good oral health.

Part of a child's educational curriculum should include proper oral hygiene and prevention to ensure their smiles last a lifetime. Most educators agree that teaching children early helps build a solid foundation for future learning success. During the event children learn about the importance of regular dental examinations including:

·         when children should have their first dental visit,

·         ways to prevent early childhood cavities,

·         when to expect changes from primary (baby teeth) to permanent teeth,

·         proper brushing and flossing techniques,

·         thumb sucking,

·         dental sealants,

·         the importance of mouth protector for active children,

·         saying no to tobacco.

During a presentation at Bolden Elementary school, Lt. Misha Lockey, a dental officer at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort and several hospital corpsmen shared about the importance of oral health with more than 300 students. Through Lockey’s efforts, the dental team has obtained tooth paste and brushes donated from the American Dental Association, as part of the “Give Kids a Smile Day” campaign sponsored by Colgate and Henry Schein.

“Through the deepening of oral health care knowledge, we as dental providers can encourage healthy habits and prevent painful dental diseases,” said Lockey.

According to the Center of Disease Control, cavities are the most prevalent infectious disease in our nation’s children. More than 40% of our children have dental decay by kindergarten. This disease affects the general population but is 32 times more likely to occur in infants who consume a diet high in sugar, and whose parents have not received oral health education guidance for their infants. The best way to ensure that children do not get cavities or periodontal disease is to instill proper oral habits early.

The TRICARE Dental Program, managed by MetLife, supports this education and prevention effort by promoting early enrollment of children in the dental program and encouraging dental examinations for infants by their first birthday. According to the enrollment division of MetLife, children are automatically enrolled in the dental program at age four, but parents can enroll them as early as twelve months to promote good dental habits and prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, there are no copays for children in this age group for diagnostic and preventive services, excluding sealants. Enrollment can be completed by the sponsor on line at TRICARE Dental Programs.

In addition to seeing a dentist at an early age, it is important to understand that good oral hygiene starts at home. Parents should regularly clean their baby's gums with a wet cloth; this stimulates the gum tissue and removes food.  They should brush and floss their children's teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount (about the size of a pea) of fluoride toothpaste to prevent dental and gum disease.  Once children can brush on their own, children should be supervised to ensure they are doing a thorough job. Being proactive will help prevent dental issues in the future.

Open since 1949, Naval Hospital Beaufort provides general medical, surgical, and VA services to all active duty personnel, retired military, family members and veterans residing in the Beaufort area, a total population of approximately 45,000 beneficiaries.

U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort dental staff spends time with children at the Laurel Bay Youth Center, Beaufort S.C. during the "Give Kids a Smile Event" February 2, 2016. Pictured from left to right: Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bryce Lewis, Hospitalman Allen Flores and Hospitalman Geoffrey Roberts; center lower bench: Lieutenant Misha Lockey. (Photo courtesy of the Laurel Bay Youth Center staff) (Released)