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News Around the Fleet

News | Oct. 26, 2022

U.S 3rd Fleet Hosts Fleet Health Integration Panel

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Maria Llanos

More than 70 medical professionals participated in-person and virtually in the Fleet Health Integration Panel (FHIP), Oct. 11-14, at U.S. 3rd Fleet Headquarters. 

The biannual medical panel identifies gaps in readiness, standardizes practices and organizes the delivery of capabilities to the full spectrum of naval, joint and combined operations.

“The goal of the FHIP is to ensure Navy medicine’s resources are aligned with the fleet priorities and integrated across naval forces,” said Capt. Reginald Ewing, U.S. Fleet Forces Surgeon and co-chair of the panel, “integrating in a support role with combatant commanders, rather than acting independently from them.”

According to Capt. Jeffrey Bitterman, U.S. Pacific Fleet Surgeon and panel co-chair, the panel has worked to make positive changes to medical care and capability fleet wide. He said the FHIP is a medical governing body that’s designed to advise the Surgeon General of the Navy and line commanders on requirements and gaps and areas where Navy medicine can support the fleet.

“What we’re trying to deliver to Sailors in the fleet is the necessary personnel, equipment and training to provide quality medical care and required capability that meets the operational needs of the fleet and supports the warfighter,” said Bitterman.

Previous initiatives coming out of the panel include developing and improving the Maritime Blood Strategy, incorporating the Fleet Medical Readiness Report to track progress on readiness gaps, and establishing the Quality and Safety Initiative that allows standardized movement of patients both inside and outside the continental United States.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this team,” said Bitterman. “My charge to the FHIP is that we continue to stay energized to get after these problem sets because they’re complex and it requires a one-Navy medicine approach; we all have to work together. It’s a great time to be a part of the Navy medicine team to get after these challenges and be a part of the solution going forward.”

The panel allows an opportunity for medical professionals to review current data in a group setting, discuss the progress that has been made and work together to find common solutions to issues facing Navy medicine and the Fleet.