DVIDS – News – I Am Navy Medicine: Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (SW/AW) Anthony Johnson

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

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Navy physical fitness assessments to resume in March, CNP says

Sailors can expect physical fitness assessments to pick up again in March 2021, according to Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell Jr.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Navy initially announced in March 2020 that it was postponing its spring cycle of the Navy’s PFA. Ultimately, the pandemic prompted the Navy to eliminate all physical fitness tests for the rest of 2020.

“We’re looking at for the PFA, based upon feedback and risk-to-mission, risk-to-force, right?” Nowell said during a Facebook live “town hall” event Tuesday. “Risk-to-mission — we’ve gone a year without it, so we know that we really do need to go ahead and get that going again.”

Sailors were gearing up for PFAs to kick off again in the new year after Nowell said in September the fitness exams would resume in January 2021. But given the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Nowell said Tuesday, the Navy will not proceed with two cycles of PFAs starting in January and instead, will opt for one cycle starting in March.

EO3 (SCW) Simon Charumonta, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3, finishes strong during the push-up portion of the physical fitness assessment at Naval Base Ventura County in July 2017. (MC1 Chris Fahey/Navy)

“January is still right in the middle of flu season and so we are close to the formal approval to go ahead and get the word out that we will do one cycle next year,” Nowell said. “It will start toward the middle of March — so after flu season, when it’s warm enough — as we look at doing it for about six months, through September, so you can get outside and do it, mitigate that risk.”

Sailors can also brace themselves for the introduction of several new elements to physical fitness tests come 2021, such as the flexibility to use the rowing machine as an additional cardio option. Likewise, the Navy has chosen planks in lieu of curl ups — a change that was in place prior to the pandemic.

“We’re going to do planks, not curl ups, so you won’t be in someone’s face … that then kind of keeps you pretty safe,” Nowell said.

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Navy finds new COVID cases aboard previously virus-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt

The Navy has discovered two new COVID-19 cases on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt six months after a coronavirus outbreak aboard the vessel launched a political scandal that included the firing of the ship’s captain and the resignation of the acting Navy secretary.

The service identified “a small number of sailors” who tested positive for the illness during routine training at sea near San Diego on Thursday, according to Cmdr. Zach Harrell, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces.

“The sailors self-reported after experiencing symptoms, received immediate medical treatment, and were transported off the ship for isolation,” Harrell said in a statement to The Hill.

Contact tracing aboard the ship has been completed, he added.

“Theodore Roosevelt is aggressively applying all mitigation measures in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Navy guidance in order to protect the health of our Sailors and stop the spread of the virus as we continue to identify and eliminate any of the virus’s potential vectors,” he said.

The New York Times first reported Friday that there were two new cases aboard the ship, which was sidelined for months in Guam this spring after a massive COVID-19 outbreak.

More than 1,000 of the nearly 5,000-person crew were infected in the epidemic and one sailor died, Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., a 41-year-old aviation ordnanceman.

The Roosevelt outbreak turned into a political firestorm after the ship’s commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was fired after a letter he wrote pleading for help with the outbreak leaked to the media. 

After the beloved commander was removed, videos emerged on social media showing crew members cheering and chanting “Captain Crozier!” as he left the ship.

The acting Navy secretary who fired him, Thomas Modly, later resigned after he gave a speech aboard the Roosevelt berating Crozier days after the captain was relieved of duty. 

Since the Roosevelt incident, the Navy has put in place measures aimed at preventing the virus from making its way onto ships in the first place, including limiting port visits and requiring sailors to undergo a two-week quarantine and test negative before boarding.

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