Navy Surgeon General Keynotes HOSA-WLA

The top medical officer for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps kicked off the 2013 HOSA Washington Leadership Academy on September 21 in Crystal City, Virginia with nearly 200 state officers, advisors and guests.  Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, U.S. Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, spoke about Navy Medicine's mission to provide battlefield medicine, at sea medicine, wounded warrior care, patient care, research and development and humanitarian assistance – and thanking those young people for wanting to be future health professionals.

He also emphasized his top priority to keep sailors and marines medically ready and prepared to conduct their operational missions around the globe.

"Readiness is my top priority," said Nathan. "My job is to support the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Chief of Naval Operations so our military forces are ready to deploy and operate forward."

Nathan also emphasized the importance of leveraging technology, research and development and collaboration to shape the future of health care. Due to the expeditionary nature of care Navy Medicine provides, it is imperative that we continue to explore innovations in technology.

Global health engagement is another mission Nathan described during his remarks. He spoke specifically of the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort and Navy Medicine's role during Operation Unified Response in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. During that crisis, the Navy provided nearly immediate humanitarian assistance relief in the wake of disaster.

As the Navy Surgeon General and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Nathan leads 63,000 Navy Medicine personnel that provide healthcare support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.

Nathan concluded by thanking the young people in the audience for their dedication to the future of health! In closing Vice Admiral Nathan recognized the students by saying, “Obviously you’ve culled yourself from the herd as being somebody who wants to lead rather than be led.”