An eight storey building on the banks of St. John’s River and located inside NAS Jacksonville, Naval Hospital Jacksonville caters both for the in-patients and out-patients from the military bases that are posted there, irrespective of their ranks. Families of servicemen, retired personnel can also avail themselves to the medical facilities offered and this hospital is the Family Physician Training Program of the United States Navy. Accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, the hospital has an astounding record of treating over 400,000 outpatients and admitting 10,000 inpatients every year. Providing general and specialist healthcare to outpatients, Capt. Lynn Welling, MC, USN currently heads Naval Hospital, Jacksonville.
Acronym as NHJax, the hospital conducted series of stiff competitions between the staff in 2011 Command Master Chief (CMC) Challenge which was aimed at building the physical fitness and developing unity among the staff. Held in the months of June and July, the CMDCM (AW/SW) Cameron Bracewell was known to have commented on the effectiveness of these competitions in motivating and energizing the members. Both the military and the civilians participated in the competitions and there was a design flag and T-Shirts competition held prior to the commencement of the CMC.
Consisting of events like a relay runs, 5K, calisthenics, punt-pass-kick , kickball, `obstacle course relay, soft ball, spades, dodge ball, tug of war, volleyball, basketball, , dizzy driving relay, blind canoe race, dizzy-dizzy relay, drenching water balloon toss, wheelbarrow race, “Are you Smarter than a recruit?” etc. On July 8, the purple team (Clinical Support Services) received the winning cup from Bracewell. The yellow team (Administration and Com-mand Suite) came second and the Red Team (Medical Services and Professional Education) came third while the Green Team namely, Public Health came up the fourth in the competitions.
On July 15th, the new three-storeyed building with an area of 62,000 square feet was officially inaugurated amidst great excitement. Capt. Bruce Gillingham, the NH Jax Commanding Officer stressed on the significance of the $35.8 million MILCON (Military Construction) project, and there were also some other dignitaries like Jacqueline Smith, District Director for Congressman Ander Crenshaw(R-Fi), Rear Alton L. Stocks, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., and Commander Navy Medicine East (NME).
Consisting of 28,000 square feet and 6 new operating rooms, the new building is deemed to be the best surgical ward in the nation. Another feature of the Naval Hospital, Jacksonville is the inclusion of a new Physical Therapy/ Occupation Therapy (PT/OT) that includes an aquatic treadmill pool, which is supposed to offer services to local patients as well as the warriors who get wounded in wars.
An OT area for patients who are recuperating and fitted with facilities like a well equipped kitchen and bedroom for practice of important life-skills has also been constructed and as for the surgical rooms, fitted with the latest equipments; it also includes a heat-free, shadow-free lighting along with the life-saving equipments.
A second MILCON project is also in the offing which would include a pharmacy and targeting patient servicing, modernizing of nuclear medicine and the intensive care units as well as an MRI for offering excellent medical service to the navy personnel.