USNS Comfort Completes Humanitarian Mission
By Dialogo September 12, 2011
The hospital ship delivered medical, dental, veterinary and engineering assistance in the Caribbean Basin, Central America and South America.
“First and foremost (the mission) demonstrates the United States’ commitment to the Caribbean Basin and Central and South America,” Navy Capt. Brian Nickerson, Continuing Promise mission commander, said.
From April through September, members of Continuing Promise 2011 provided medical services in surgery, neurology, emergency medicine, orthopedics, anesthesiology, dentistry, family medicine, pediatrics, preventive medicine, diagnostics and veterinarian support.
Doctors and staff saw nearly 70,000 patients and performed more than 1,100 surgeries in nine countries: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haití, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Peru.
The crew’s doctors came from the Navy, Army, Air Force and U.S. Public Health Service. Also onboard were civilian marines, nongovernment organization volunteers and partner-nation military members.
The USNS Comfort, at 894-feet long, is three football fields long and one wide, with 250 hospital beds and an 850-person team.
Comfort arrived at its final mission stop in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on August 18. There, the ship’s crew treated about 1,450 patients and performed 15 surgeries before Tropical Storm Irene began to bear down on the island.
“The relationships forged through operations like Continuing Promise fosters trust, collaboration, and cooperation with our friends and allies,” Nickerson said.