Dental Health

DVIDS – Information – An Eagle added to Put the Chew within the Struggle at NMRTC Bremerton

Reaching the lofty aerie of an eagle’s nest is a notable accomplishment.

For Hoan Nghiem, attaining such a pinnacle achievement became a reality with her promotion to Navy Dental Corps captain, July 1, 2024.

“We’re not promoting you to Navy captain based on what you did, but more so on what you’re going to do next,” explained Capt. Patrick Fitzpatrick, Naval Hospital Bremerton director and Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton commanding officer.

Nghiem has helped ‘put the bite in the fight’ for 17 years, the last three at her current assignment.

“It took time [for Nghiem] to get here and share this moment. We’ve gone through challenging missions with less people and less funding. You have done marvelously and worked hard over the years. You’ve done the difficult deployments and demanding job assignments,” Fitzpatrick said.

Nghiem credits taking full advantage of Navy opportunities to advance in her chosen career path. She came from a post-Vietnam War background seeped in poverty. She started working at a young age and has continued to accept challenges, increase her working knowledge and further her Dental Corps aptitude.

“I thank my family in Milwaukee and beloved in Colorado. They couldn’t make it here today, but they’re always in my heart. I also thank Capt. Fitzpatrick. Whether he knows or not, he’s been a mentor for me. He is our north star who we look towards for leadership. I also thank our [command leadership] triad for giving me the trust and autonomy to lead. None of this success is without our Oral Surgery and Dental team,” said Nghiem, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, went to Nicolet High School and University of Wisconsin-Madison Marquette University School of Dentistry graduate.

She took valid, constructive criticism to heart during her career.

“I learned from officers and enlisted. They took the time to say, “ma’am, you need to do that this way,” or “you need to do that better.” I said, “roger that” and looked at myself on how to get better.”

As NMRTC Bremerton’s senior dental executive, she adheres to the Navy Surgeon General’s priority of operational readiness by ensuring healthcare services remain key for the Fleet’s physical and mental needs.

“Oral health is a key integral part of healthcare and Navy Medicine. It’s the gate to systemic health and life-essential enjoyment of nutritious food. Dental health also bolsters individuals’ confidence in their smiles and hence improve their mental health. Besides, strong teeth are a back-up tool for defense, “can’t bite, can’t fight,”” stressed Nghiem.

Nghiem stated the best part about her career is the opportunity to get to know and work with numerous talented military and civilian teams and individuals with diversified experience and areas of expertise.

“Being here means having a second family to care for and belonging to elite servants of the people,” stated Nghiem. “We have a lot of bright and talented stars in our dental community. It’s their time to have the opportunity to shine.”

Along with the Oral Surgery clinic at NHB, Dental clinics are located at Navy Medicine Readiness Training Units Bangor and Everett. A full scope of dental services are provided, including general and comprehensive dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral maxillofacial radiology, endodontics, prosthodontics, digital dentistry and dental hygiene for over 12,100 active duty beneficiaries. The command also provides treatment facility support and dental services to multiple additional platforms during pier side and shipyard periods.

The dental teams ensured dental readiness in 2023 for a growing fleet including 120 commands with the Command’s Operational Dental Readiness for the end of the calendar year at 97 percent, which is two percent above the Navy benchmark.

Dental services also sustained exceptional quality and full compliance to all practice regulations and standards, receiving high remarks with zero findings in 2023 Medical Inspector General’s inspection for the Dental Readiness Program. The dental team are also key contributors to the success of the joint military electronic health record system migration, providing direct coaching for dental practice management software end-users in support of the Defense Health Agency’s multiple MHS GENESIS go-live waves across the enterprise, both inside and outside the contiguous United States.

At just the Dental Clinic at NMRTU Bangor alone in 2023, the staff of nine officers, 13 enlisted, eight civil service and ten contractors provided on average up to 160 exams per week, 45-50 cleanings per week, and routine filling, crown, implant, root canal, and computer-aided manufacturing technology for approximately 100-130 patients per day.

When asked to sum up her experience with Navy Medicine in one sentence, she replied, “It’s my best career decision with endless excitement, challenges and opportunities for continuous improvement to make tomorrow better than today always.”

Date Taken: 07.01.2024
Date Posted: 07.01.2024 17:02
Story ID: 475339

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