Story by Douglas Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs
The total number of physician assistants at Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) is not large, but their contributions are.
Oct. 6, 2016 marked 50 years of acknowledging the physician assistant (PA) profession and NHB did just that with an informal gathering of Family Medicine staff members.
“We’re here to celebrate our physician assistants. They always have patience, provide guidance and deliver the best care to our patients directly from their heart. They really give from their soul. They are truly leaders among leaders,” said Mr. Charlie Antoldi, NHB Family Medicine Division Officer, Registered Nurse and Certified Medical Assistant.
There are approximately six active duty and civilian PAs assigned to NHB, primarily with Family Medicine Department and the Urgent Care Clinic.
PAs have an integral role in providing patient-centered care to patients. They work hand in hand with physicians, nurses and hospital corpsmen and handle multiple duties, such as performing comprehensive exams, treating minor injuries, interpreting lab tests and X-rays, and counseling patients with detailed instructions for home-care procedures. They also prescribe medications and help their patients establish and carry out treatment plans.
“It’s really us who thank each one of you for helping us do our job. I love my job and know that making good decisions for our patients is not done alone. It’s done with everyone here,” said Lt. Kevin Goodell, Navy Medical Service Corps officer and PA with Family Medicine Department.
Goodell, a Lebo, Kansas native, enlisted in the Navy in 1991. Bolstered by his interest in health and medicine, he became a hospital corpsman and then was given the opportunity to serve at a higher level and expand his chosen vocation with Navy Medicine.
“I decided to become a PA because I love patient care and it seemed like the perfect job for me,” Goodell said.
Goodell’s Navy Medicine career has taken him to such varied assignments as with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, Naval Medical Center San Diego, Naval Hospital Orlando, NHB, USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Bridge (AOE-10), and deployed down range to Afghanistan.
“The best part about my career in Navy Medicine is being trusted to take care of patients and lead Sailors. The most gratifying aspect of being a PA is providing treatment to decrease pain or just listening to a patient’s problems and getting positive feedback. It’s been personally and professionally rewarding serving Sailors, Marines, retirees and dependents at hospitals, as a Fleet Marine Force, on ships, and in the Emergency Room,” Goodell said.
Cmdr. Diana Fu, Director for Medical Services, shared her appreciation for the consistent support from NHB’s PAs.
“I know you are the backbone of the clinic. I thank you for your professional service and the continuity that our civilians bring in helping with providing patient-care,” said Fu.