OXON HILL, Md. (NNS) -- What does Navy Medicine's future look like? Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general and chief, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, discussed changes in health care during the 126th Annual AMSUS Meeting for federal health professionals, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
Faison spoke, Nov. 30, during a plenary session alongside senior Military Health System leaders including Tom McCaffery, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs; Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency; Rear Adm. Colin Chinn, the Joint Staff surgeon; and Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger, Air Force surgeon general.
"We have to our credit the highest combat survival in history in the last war. If you had a survivable injury on the battlefield, you had a 97 percent or greater chance of survival," Faison said. "As you heard earlier, as a result of everyone in this room, and everyone on this stage, no service did it alone. We did it together."
The evolving future of warfare will drive changes to the way the Navy delivers care, Faison commented. The re-emergence of great power competition and the growing ability of near-peer competitors to project seapower mean that future conflicts could be fought at sea. As a result, Navy Medicine has improved how personnel prepare and train for future conflict, to continue to ensure high combat survival rates.
Three factors are critical to ensuring combat survival in the maritime domain, Faison said, including the ability to rapidly evacuate patients and get them to definitive care. The most important factor is the training, preparation and readiness of the personnel assigned to platforms or individual units. And of that medical team, the most important person - for the Navy - is the hospital corpsman.
The reorganization of the Military Health System being driven by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act will create opportunities for the military services.
"So as we face a very different world than the world we've known, and for the Navy, a very different conflict than what we have known in the past 70 years, we look forward to the opportunity presented today to work as a joint force, to work with a new agency that will help create the bandwidth we need to refocus on what's most important - readiness, combat survival, and making good on the commitment we make to all who join and serve in our military," Faison said.
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