NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) officially welcomed its first patient in the ship's clinic facilities in Newport News Nov. 4.
Cmdr. Michael Prudhomme, who was one of the first officers to report to PCU John F. Kennedy and serves as the aircraft carrier’s senior medical officer, discussed the significance of seeing the first patient.
“We have reached basic functionality to be able to assume patient care in support of our readiness mission,” said Prudhomme, who has served in the U.S. Navy for 15 years.
As of November 2019, more than 100 Sailors have officially checked into the command. As construction of the second Ford-class aircraft carrier continues at Newport News Shipbuilding, a steady stream of ship’s company will continue to report to the command.
Capt. Kimberly Toone, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Force Surgeon emphasized the milestone the medical department has reached by commencing basic care of their Sailors.
“While the current available care is in the basic phase, this is the first step towards full medical support of the ship and crew,” said Toone. “Each step is critical to the future success of our nation’s next aircraft carrier.”
Prudhomme also emphasized the type of care his medical team can perform while the aircraft carrier is under construction. “The basic type of care we can provide, as the crew’s primary care provider, include treating common illnesses to performing our medical readiness mission such as Periodic Health Assessments, and occupational health,” said Prudhomme.
All other ambulatory services, as well as pharmacy and X-ray requirements will be performed at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and its Branch Health Clinics, Prudhomme added.
Named for the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy will be the premier forward asset for crisis response and early decisive striking power in major combat operations. The carrier and the carrier strike group will provide forward presence, rapid response, endurance on station, and multi-mission capability.