When U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, Defense Health Agency (DHA) director called on Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB), little did a newly arrived Navy petty officer realize he would be front and center during the visit.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (Surface Warfare and Aviation Warfare qualified) Anthony Johnson was selected by his directorate to be recognized by the visiting DHA director for his dependable work on the job and his leadership efforts guiding junior Sailors.
“It was an honor to even be recognized with the short amount of time I had been onboard. I was not aware and was definitely caught by surprise when told to report immediately after completing my Basic Life Support instructor course that day. I love knowing that even if nothing is being said around you, your Chain of Command is always paying close attention and recognizing the hard work and effort we all put in daily,” said Johnson, who was hand selected to assist NHB’s Healthcare Benefits operations and Referral Management Center in helping service members and their families navigate enrollment complexities, electronic health record MHS GENESIS registration and coordination of care needs.
“I tried to learn as much as possible to become a valuable asset to the Healthcare Operations Department and Referral Management Center,” Johnson said, helping conduct daily primary care manager (PCM) assignments and management of patient empanelment for 37 PCMs with approximately 33,800 patients.
He also assisted in coordinating and updating TRICARE enrollment and benefits for more than 7,000 Sailors assigned in the Pacific Northwest, along with handling counseling and management of billing concerns, coordinating virtual appointments and serving as a liaison between NHB and claim(s) advisors.
Johnson is currently the leading petty officer of the Multi-Service Unit managing14 enlisted Sailors in support of nine nurses.
The added responsibility and increased reliability is part of the path that Johnson has followed from Gulfport, Miss. to Atlanta, Ga. where he graduated from Stone Mountain High School in 2001. After time spent unhappily working in construction as a welder, he chose to pursue his interest in medicine, drawing inspiration from his mother in doing so.
“My mother dealt with medical issues for many years of my life since middle school. I always wanted to know the why and the how this medicine or that medicine works, or what is causing the symptoms, how to treat it, etc.,” explained Johnson. “I am the oldest of three boys raised by a single parent, who battled cancer since I was 12 years old, which grew my interest in medicine. Plus, I like helping people in need anytime I can.”
“I kept good grades, played sports in school, but never knew what I wanted to do until later in life when I decided to go after my interest in medicine,” continued Johnson. “I have a daughter who’s growing so fast on me, recently turning 14 years old in October and wants to become a pediatrician. I hope to continue in the rate that I love until