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About Us

About Us

Mission

Faithfully serve our military and civilian communities through health care excellence, readiness, and professional development.

Vision

The Medical Center of Choice. To be the paramount military medical center for superior, family-centered care and to be a force for operational and academic readiness.

Commitments

People
Committed to treating all beneficiaries like family.

Platforms
Committed to operational expertise & adaptability.

Performance
Committed to highest standards of excellence for health care & education.

Power
Committed to generating a medically ready force & a ready medical force.


History

Out of a 144-acre area of swamp, sand dunes, and snakes grew Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune over sixty-four years ago.

With World War II already engulfing Europe, it became evident that facilities at Quantico and Parris Island were inadequate to meet Marine Corps plans for expansion on the east coast. After detailed reconnaissance, the vicinity of New River, North Carolina was determined to be the most suitable area for all elements of a Marine Division. On 15 February 1941 the Navy Department received approval to construct the East Coast Marine Corps Training Center that is now Camp Lejeune.

The peninsula known as Hadnot Point was selected as the site for the original Naval Medical Center Construction that began on 13 March 1942. By June, the first building was substantially complete and was turned over to Captain T. L. Morrow, MC USN, the Prospective Medical Officer in Command. On 30 March 1942, Chief Pharmacist V. M. Coulter, USN reported aboard and began preparing requisitions for the “several hundred thousand dollars” of medical equipment and supplies required to outfit the hospital. Captain J. F. Riordan, MC USN reported on 14 May 1942 to assume the duties as Command Officer.

The Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune was commissioned 1 May 1943, at a construction cost of $7.5 million.

Staff assigned to the hospital in May 1943 consisted of 51 Officers, 90 Navy Nurses, 270 Navy Corpsmen and 150 Civilian employees.

The hospital reached its highest patient load of 2,087 during WWII. Beds were placed in passageways and double-deck bunks were used extensively. During the Korean War, the peak census was about 1,865, including many Army patients suffering from frostbite injuries.

In July 1975 the current site was approved for construction of a new Naval Medical Center. The contract for construction of the new hospital was finalized ground breaking took place in May 1979.

In a Mast Stepping ceremony on 21 July 1982, silver dollars were placed at the base of the new medical center's flag poles. The placing of the coins, honoring the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Surgeon General, is taken from an ancient Roman custom. The tradition of placing coins at the foot of a ship’s mast was said to ensure that the fare of all hands on board was paid for passage across the River Styx.

The new Medical Center was built on a 162-acre site on the Northeast Creek at a cost of $46 million. In contrast to the old Hospital, the new hospital is a compact unit, consisting of a 4-story clinical and support building, with bed capacity at 205, expandable to 236. The surgical suite consisted of 5 operating rooms, and the Obstetrical Suite had 5 labor rooms and 3 delivery rooms. The cost to equip the new medical center was $8,200,000.00. Remarkably the move-in was accomplished in only two days from 12 to 13 February 1983.

The dedication ceremony was held on 12 May 1983. The new medical center did not get the benefit of enjoying peaceful times. The bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon in October 1983 was the first test of the new hospital’s ability to respond to such an emergency. Over 50 wounded marines were received at the medical center over the ensuing weeks.

When Iraq invaded the tiny Arab kingdom of Kuwait on 2 August 1990, the Naval Medical Center was once again called upon to respond. Two hundred and forty-eight personnel from the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune were deployed in support of “Operation Desert Storm”. Reporting onboard to backfill and assist with casualty support were 412 Naval Reservists. The hospital received close to 400 Marines and Sailors evacuated from the Southwest Asia theater of operations.

Life at Naval Medical Center was forever changed on September 11, 2001, with the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In January 2002, Naval Hospital deployed 150 Doctors, Nurses and Corpsmen as Fleet Hospital 20, Joint Task Force 160 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to establish medical facilities for detainees from the developing war on Iraq and a Global War on Terrorism. The hospital saw more and more deployments in support of “Operation Enduring Freedom“ and “Operation Iraqi Freedom”

In January 2005, Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune became the primary casualty receiving facility when II MEF became the predominant force in theater in continuing OIF, receiving about 30 casualties of war, a month. Currently, the hospital has deployed staff in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Cuba, and the Horn of Africa, and, the proud staff of Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune consists of approximately 240 Officers, 600 Sailors, over 1000 civilians and contractors, and our many dedicated volunteers.

In an effort to continue care for the unique group of beneficiaries, a major two-part expansion and renovation project began with a groundbreaking December 2011.  Construction expanded the hospital by 109,000 square feet and renovated another 170,000 square feet. During the first phase, the additions created wings housing Family Medicine, Immunizations, Physical Therapy and more. The renovations included the acquisition of a new in-house MRI machine. The Emergency Department expanded their capabilities to include new Urgent Care services. The second phase of the project made improvements to General Surgery, Pain Management, Mental Health Services, Pediatrics, and Ancillary Medicine. That same year, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune welcomed the opening of the Intrepid Spirit Concussion Recovery Center.  

On May 31, 2017, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune announced its desire to pursue expanding trauma services to all patients of Eastern Carolina including civilians. Shortly after the announcement to further the services provided to the community through trauma, the facility was designated as Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune making it the first medical center aboard a Marine Corps installation and the fourth medical center in the Navy. In December 2017, Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune became verified as a Level III Trauma Center following an on-site visit from American College of Surgeons representatives who found zero discrepancies in trauma processes and procedures.  In July 2018, the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services reviewed the trauma program and found no discrepancies. In January 2019, NMCCL commemorated the official opening of its Level III Trauma Center following verification by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and designation through the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services.  The NMCCL Trauma Center is the first Level III Trauma Center in the Navy to treat civilian patients; it is also the only Trauma Center aboard a Marine Corps installation.  Since receiving verification, the NMCCL Trauma Center has had more than 2,000 trauma activations.

Over time, Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune has responded to various humanitarian missions to include relief for Hurricane Katrina and relief for victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Other humanitarian efforts include civil assistance and environmental sustainability missions to the nations of Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia., Honduras, Guatemala, and Colombia. In 2019, NMCCL supported the USNS Comfort in a hospital ship mission to Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide medical assistance to regional partners.

In 2020, NMCCL health care workers have been at the frontlines of serving the military community during the coronavirus pandemic. Together, the employees of NMCCL established two COVID-19 screenings sites for active duty, beneficiaries, and Department of Defense civilian employees. Medical teams transformed the Intensive Care Unit into a COVID Care Unit as well as transitioned the NH-200 Clinic Annex into an Acute Respiratory Clinic to serve not only possible COVID-19 patients but any patients with respiratory ailments. NMCCL has additionally supported medical personnel with MCB Camp Lejeune, II MEF, MARSOC, and MCAS New River, advising Marine Corps leadership on best preventive measurements. As more knowledge of COVID-19 became available, NMCCL adapted to follow proper screening and testing methods and adjusted to restriction of movement/quarantine protocols. NMCCL has administered thousands of COVID-19 tests and cared for dozens of patients during the pandemic. Several NMCCL personnel embarked on the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy hospital ships to aid in providing surgical and medical care to local hospitals overwhelmed in New York City and Los Angeles respectively. Despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic, NMCCL health care workers have remained focused, resilient, and have proven their unwavering dedication to providing quality health care.

Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune celebrates 78 years of  dedicated, passionate care for warfighters and beneficiaries. Today, the proud staff of NMCCL consists of nearly 3,000 active duty service members, civilian and contract personnel. 

 
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