TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (NNS) -- Navy Medicine West Commander, Rear Adm. Bruce L. Gillingham, stood side by side with Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms Commanding Officer, Capt. John A. Lamberton and with the Director of NHTP Branch Health Clinics, Cmdr. Rebecca Navarrete, to officially open the new Medical Home Port for Marines and Sailors.
The new clinic replaces the old building, a former dental clinic that dates back to when the Marine Corps Base was established in 1953.
The new $21 million, 45,000-square-foot facility delivers high-quality health care to both garrison Marines and active-duty service members on board the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.
The new AMCC/Medical Home Port consolidates the battalion aid stations, which previously had been attached to individual units and allows patients to access Audiology, Deployment Health, Immunology, Laboratory, Mental Health, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Primary Care, Radiology and a Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic under one roof. Previously, Behavioral Health was housed in a relocatable trailer. And if a patient in the old facility required an x-ray, he or she would have to travel to the main hospital. In the new facility, the patient is referred to the in-house Radiology Department.
"The long anticipated move into the new building is exciting as we now offer more services in one location for our Marines," said the Director of Branch Clinics, Cmdr. Rebecca Navarrete.
"The Marine Centered Medical Home provides improved access to care, convenience to ancillary services and decreased wait times,"
Hospitalman Jordan Thomas has been screening patients at the front desk of the old AMCC for almost two years and appreciates her improved working conditions.
"The new facility is wonderful," Thomas said. "It's a lot better for both patients care and the corpsmen who render care. Everyone is thrilled we have a lot more space. Both patients and corpsmen appreciate having greater privacy. It's just a good place to be."
Theresa Partin, pharmacy technician, compared her old work space to "working out of a closet."
"The new pharmacy is wonderful," said Partin. "It's nice and roomy. With the new ScriptPro machine that counts my meds, I save time, which benefits the patients." Partin has already received a few comment cards and all have been positive. "They like the new building. It's nice and roomy and they like the lounge area with more seating."
The new Physical Therapy Department, located on the ground floor, feels open and airy due to the glass northern-facing wall allowing in ambient light.
"It just gives you a warmer feeling," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Benjamin Clark, physical therapy technician. "The space is much more open and all of the equipment is new. All of the patients love it. With the open space, whoever is closest can help, which makes for better patient care."
The new AMCC is one of three branch health clinics under the command of Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms. Branch Health Clinic China Lake is on the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, located near Edwards Air Force Base; and Branch Health Clinic Bridgeport is located aboard the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center on the California side of the Sierra-Nevada Mountains.
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