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Naval Hospital - Pensacola, FL

It started more than 175 years ago - right after the state of Florida got out of diapers. Today, Naval Hospital Pensacola is among one of the oldest and most respected Navy medical facilities in the country.

The new fledgling Naval Hospital Pensacola command got off to its start in 1826, months after President John Quincy Adams assigned the first surgeon, and officer in charge, to establish a hospital at the Pensacola Navy Yard.

Navy surgeon Isaac Hulse managed to begin the establishment of a Naval Hospital at the Navy Yard by renting a 2-story house, used as a temporary medical facility, for $30 a month. The home was located in the shade of the live-oak woods north of Barrancas not far from Bayou Grande.

The Senior Medical Officer, a native of Long Island, NY, spent 19 of his 33-year Navy career in Pensacola. He initially was on the medical staff of the West India Squadron at the Navy Yard.

Although the establishment of Naval Hospital Pensacola was authorized in the 1811 Act, which also provided for the Naval Hospital Fund, a permanent facility was not completed until 1834 - due to military construction funding delays.

When the first hospital was completed, at a cost of nearly $12,000, it was located about three-quarters of a mile from the Navy Yard on a 30-foot bluff. It was described as being 'outside the wall' of the Navy Yard. However, the hospital established its own wall - which can be seen today at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola. It was a 12-foot-high brick facade enclosing the entire 15-acre compound.

Rumor has it, the wall was constructed to keep mosquitoes from infecting patients with malaria and yellow fever. It was “supposedly believed” at the time that these flying pests were unable to fly above eight feet from the ground.

It's an urban legend because it wasn't until the late 1890's that military medicine researchers discovered the connection between the diseases and mosquitoes. The wall was likely constructed merely as protection against unauthorized persons on Navy property or possible 'intrusion' from the sea.

The current Naval Hospital also has an outside wall around its compound. It was completed in 1976, and continues its mission of providing healthcare and health promotion throughout the region.

For more than 30 years, NH Pensacola has been a "teaching hospital." It is home to one of the Navy's Family Practice Residency training programs where doctors come to earn their Family Practice specialty during three years of academic and hands-on training.

The residency program prepares one for a practice in family medicine, and encompasses all fields of practice. During residency training, the emphasis is on continuity of comprehensive care for the entire family, including emergency, surgical, obstetric, and inpatient and outpatient care.

The residency training program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The Director of Residency Training and the Graduate Medical Education Coordinator coordinate a diverse group of training rotations for the residents at the Naval Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital, Keesler (AFB) Medical Center in Biloxi and the Naval Home in Gulfport, MS.

IN THE PAST YEARS, the Naval Hospital has taken on a significant readiness mission with the establishment of Fleet Hospital Pensacola. FH Pensacola is a fully deployable unit of more than 900 personnel that could be called upon to support American military and humanitarian interests worldwide.

The unit, renamed Fleet Hospital 3 while in theater, most recently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom establishing itself as the first-ever Navy field hospital to establish an Expeditionary Medical Facility in a combat zone.

Also, numerous other Naval Hospital staff members are assigned to support U.S. Marines in the field with the 3rd Fleet Service Support Group (FSSG). Both the Fleet Hospital and 3rd FSSG units are deployable. Yet, the Fleet Hospital is the only deployable Navy military unit within the Pensacola Naval Complex.

In 2001, the newest addition to the Naval Hospital was added: A 2-story, 73,000 square foot Outpatient Clinic was completed and operational. Among the clinics that have found new homes are Family Practice, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Ears, Nose and Throat, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Audiology, Respiratory Therapy, and Immunizations; plus the Pharmacy and Patient Records.

In January 2003, NH Pensacola earned the Navy Surgeon General’s “Muddy Boots” award and was selected by the Picker Institute as the No. 1 hospital in the country among all military and civilian hospitals – as rated by patients -- on patient-centered care. The presentations were made during the opening day of the annual TRICARE Conference in Washington, DC.

The Navy Surgeon General’s “Mathew J. Bourgeois Force Health Protection Muddy Boots Award," was presented by Vice Adm. Michael L. Cowan to NH Pensacola and its 12 branch medical clinics. NH Pensacola was also among the Navy medicine facilities receiving recognition for being in the top 10 percent for customer satisfaction.

NH Pensacola also picked up a national Picker Institute Award as the Benchmark Hospital for the Continuity and Transition Dimension of Care (11 Health Systems, 122 Hospitals, 39,860 patient survey responses) category.

“The award, in recognition of Naval Hospital Pensacola being the No. 1 hospital in the country among all the military and civilian hospitals rated by patients on this dimension of patient-centeredness, makes us proud of our efforts to date and inspires us to continue our commitment to providing health services at world-class levels,” said Commanding Officer, Capt. Richard L. Buck, MC.

The Picker Institute is national not-for-profit entity dedicated solely to developing a patient-centered research approach to performance measurement. The Institute was founded by Harvey and Jean Picker whose family refined and marketed early and subsequent x-ray machines.

NH Pensacola has been at the forefront of Navy medicine’s Force Health Protection initiatives with a myriad of programs that implement and maximize the aspects of Force Health Protection. The ‘Muddy Boots’ symbolize the hospital's daily operations and strategic planning.

The bronzed ‘Muddy Boots’ were the actual boots worn by Navy SEAL and Chief Hospital Corpsman Matthew J. Bourgeois, 35, of Tallahassee, Fla., who was killed while conducting small-unit training at a remote site near Qandahar, Afghanistan, in March 2002.

“Displaying these boots and honoring Chief Bourgeois, who made the supreme sacrifice for our country, will be a source of inspiration to us to continue to improve our Force Health Protection efforts,” continued Capt. Buck.

“In support of the mission of Force Health Protection,” said Capt. Buck, “our goals are to provide health services that are safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable.
 
Main phone numbers:  Commercial (850)505-6601 or DSN 534-6601
 
Mailing address:  6000 W. Highway 98, Pensacola, FL 32512-0003
 
Population:   About 2,100 active duty and civilians
 
Housing:  At ares bases
 
Temporary lodging:   See Pensacola NAS, Corry Station
 
Family Support Center:   See Pensacola NAS
 
Schools:  None on base.
 
Child Care:   See Pensacola NAS, Corry Station
 
Health care:   108 beds.  Outpatient clinic.  Appointments (850)505-7171; benefits (850)505-6709/6711; Tricare (800)444-5445
 
Naval Hospital - Pensacola, FL has a small exchange (850)455-9649.  Recreation at Naval Hospital - Pensacola, FL includes tennis and outdoor activities.  
 


 
 

 

 

 

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