Medicine on the Move
Southern Partnership Station 2014
U.S. Navy medical professionals are traveling to rural areas with local doctors and nurses in Belize, Central America, to help with the patient load and observe how the local medical system operates.
"These clinics get out and see the rural villages that don't really have access to healthcare," said Lt. Cmdr. Tim Whiting, a public health nurse assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. "We've been able to tag along on these mobile clinics to get out and see what's actually going on out in these villages, and how they do healthcare out there."
The mobile clinics are sponsored by the Belize Ministry of Health. The Belize healthcare professionals pack up a truck with medical equipment and travel out to remote locations.
"Today we were very stationary," said Whiting. "Some of the other mobile clinics will be very mobile - lots more house calls. This is our fifth mobile clinic that we went on today, and they've all been very different."
The Navy is in Belize as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014 (SPS '14). SPS '14 is a deployment that puts U.S. Navy subject matter experts together with local experts so each side can share and exchange knowledge.
"We're looking at how we can partner with their doctors - how we can partner with their nurses - to provide better care and learn from each other," said Whiting.
The Navy medical professionals and the rest of the SPS '14 teams are getting ready to move on to Guatemala for the next stop on the Southern Partnership Station deployment. Southern Partnership Station 2014 is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces in Central and South America and the Caribbean. U.S. military teams work with partner nation forces during naval-focused training exercises, military-to-military engagements and community relations projects in an effort to enhance partnerships with regional maritime activities and improve the operational readiness of participants.