Chief of Navy Medical Corps describes world of battlefield medicine

April 23, 2014

The mission wasn’t limited to recruiting when Rear Adm. Raquel Bono, MD, Chief of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, visited the UNT Health Science Center Wednesday.

She spent most of her time on answering students’ questions and listening to their challenges.  "I want to know how we in the Navy can serve your needs," Adm. Bono said.

She described an exciting world of battlefield medicine sometimes performed in "austere" conditions such as a tent in the desert. She also painted the larger picture. Not only is the Navy part of the U.S. instrument for power and peace, Adm. Bono said, it also keeps the seas safe for the 90 percent of the world’s commerce that moves on water. 

"Serving in the Gulf War, I learned how rewarding it is to serve a mission greater than oneself," she said.

Fort Worth was founded as a military installation and has maintained strong military ties. Today, the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base employs 11,000 including reservists and has an economic impact of $1.3 billion. UNT Health is a provider of medical care on base. 

UNTHSC has a tradition of support for military service and veterans. It’s consistently designated Military Friendly by GI Jobs magazine. Last year, the Student Veterans Association debuted with multiple missions including helping vets take advantage of myriad benefits that help fund their education.  

Adm. Bono described herself as an independent person who found leadership opportunities and a rewarding career in the Navy, after initially seeing it as primarily a way to pay for her education. "The Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program allows you to graduate without debt — and that frees you up to be what you want to be." 

She emphasized that in addition to the medical professions, the Navy provides opportunities in public health and biomedical research. "We have research labs all over the world."

Bono said that the Navy is setting examples for managed care by emphasizing holistic prevention and wellness; enabling patients to participate actively in their care; reducing variability of outcomes and increasing efficiency; and involving entire families in warrior care. 

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