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Local News | July 8, 2021

Naval Hospital Jacksonville celebrates 80 years of health and readiness

On July 1, Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville celebrates 80 years of providing health care and readiness.

“For 80 years, Naval Hospital Jacksonville has kept our Navy and Marine Corps family ready, healthy, and on the job,” said Capt. Teresa Allen, NH Jacksonville’s commander. “We look forward to delivering health care and readiness for another 80 years.”

On July 1, 1941, Naval Hospital Jacksonville was commissioned, with 41 inpatients, as a facility for service members. The first patient, Seaman Robert Tillery, was treated for an ulcer.

At the time, signs of war were growing. German U-boats were spotted off Florida’s shores. Just five months later, the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor and declared war.

During World War II, the hospital expanded to 1,000 beds. In 1943, 50 WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) reported for training at the hospital, to enable male Hospital Corpsmen to deploy to the front lines.

NH Jacksonville opened a facility for family members on Dec. 11, 1944, and delivered the first baby the next day.

During the 1970s, the hospital cared for 27 former POWs. In 1988, 22 sailors were treated here after a blast aboard the USS Bonefish. In 2004, 12 Seabees recovered here from injuries sustained in Iraq.

NH Jacksonville has a proud tradition of supporting operational missions around the globe, while providing care on the home front.

Over the decades, the command has deployed its staff to conflicts, DoD missions, and humanitarian crises across the globe — including:
• Bahrain, Croatia, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Haiti, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Ukraine;
• USNS Comfort missions to Central and South America;
• locations across the U.S. to care for COVID-19 patients;
• the USS Kidd while underway, to conduct COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and mitigation; and
• the state-run, federally-supported Jacksonville Community Vaccination Center, to support COVID-19 vaccines.

In recent years, NH Jacksonville has continued to innovate, becoming:
• the pilot site for a virtual visits app and value-based care;
• the first hospital on Florida’s First Coast to earn Baby Friendly certification from Baby Friendly USA;
• the first in DoD to earn a tobacco-cessation Gold Star from Prevention Partners;
• the first Navy hospital to transition to the Defense Health Agency;
• the second site to host Navy Medicine’s Hospital Corpsman Trauma Training program; and
• a member of the first wave of DoD sites to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Today, the command supports five military installations, 68 operational units, and 376 commands (including 119 enrolled commands).

From 1941 to today, NH Jacksonville has delivered health care, warfighters’ medical readiness to deploy, and clinicians’ readiness to save lives in combat theaters.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville deliver health care and readiness. NH Jacksonville (which includes five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia) serves 175,000 active duty, active duty family members, and retired service members, including 57,000 patients enrolled with a primary care manager. NMRTC Jacksonville (which includes five units across Florida and Georgia) ensures warfighters' medical readiness to deploy and clinicians' readiness to save lives. To find out more, visit https://jacksonville.tricare.mil.
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