GROTON, Conn. - Naval Health Clinic New England (NHCNE), including its three branch health clinics, transitioned to the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Oct. 1.
To support the NHCNE transition, Navy Medicine is establishing a co-located Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC). Navy Medicine, through the NMRTC, retains command and control of the uniformed medical force, and maintains responsibility and authority for operational readiness. This includes the medical readiness of Sailors and Marines, as well as the clinical readiness of the medical force.
The Newport, R.I. NMRTC will improve the ability of NHCNE to meet the needs of operational commanders. Survivability of Navy and Marine Corps personnel in the future warfighting environment requires a medical force that is ready to deploy and save lives.
NMRTCs will report to Naval Medical Forces Atlantic (NMFA) and Pacific (NMFP), formerly known as Navy Medicine East and West, which in turn are accountable to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
Capt. Marnie Buchanan will serve as both the military treatment facility (MTF) director (under the DHA), and the NMRTC commanding officer/commander (under Navy Medicine).
“We take great pride in our beneficiaries receiving the highest quality care,” says Capt. Buchanan, Commanding Officer. “Transitioning and streamlining the management of MTFs to DHA will enhance focus to maintain a medically ready force.”
The change in administration, management and control will be seamless to patients — service members, retirees, and family members — with little or no immediate effect on their experience of care.
“This transition will ensure standardization across military treatment facilities which means patients will have high quality healthcare experiences no matter where they are,” said Buchanan. “It is an honor and a privilege to provide exceptional healthcare to all of our beneficiaries while embracing our partnerships with network civilian providers.”
To meet congressional requirements in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the DHA will assume administration and management of MTFs. This transition will increase efficiency by eliminating duplication, and enhancing standardization and consistency across the military services.
For now, all facility names will remain the same, and will maintain their Navy affiliation.
While DHA will be responsible for health care operations, Navy Medicine will retain principal responsibility for operational readiness of the medical force.
NHCNE serves approximately 20,000 enrollees and 6,900 active duty students and operational forces in the Northeast Region.