An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News & Gallery

NMCCL Stories

News | March 7, 2024

Expeditionary Medical Unit’s Honduras mission leads to stronger medical partnerships and enhanced readiness

By MC2 Justin Woods

Expeditionary Medical Unit (EMU) 10 G-Rotation 16 strengthened health capability and expanded U.S. Navy readiness with Honduran medical professionals during a Global Health Engagement (GHE) in San Pedro Sula, Feb. 17 – March 2, 2024.

According to U.S. Navy Capt. Jamie Fitch, the officer-in-charge for EMU 10 G-R16, her team cared for multiple trauma patients daily during the two-week medical mission.

“Working in a global health engagement environment has allowed my team to come together,” said Fitch. “They’ve gotten to know each other, learn each other's strengths and weaknesses to some extent, and how to work through challenging circumstances together.”

While working in Hospital Nacional Mario Catarino Rivas, Sailors from Expeditionary Medical Facility Kilo and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Camp Lejeune assisted in the emergency room and the operating room, allowing many of them to work together for the first time.

“The Sailors have seen around 30 to 40 patients,” said Dr. Guillermo Saenz, a medical officer and foreign service national with Joint Task Force Bravo. “During their time here, they’ve gotten the chance to do many different procedures.”

The GHE was a predecessor to potential upcoming missions, in which military medical personnel would maintain skillsets related to trauma care and prolonged care in resource limited environments.

According to Fitch, her team observed pathology they may not normally see in America due to monetary limitations for injury care. Patients were brought in immediately after a traumatic injury or, sometimes, days or weeks later. These differences showed Sailors how trauma care results can vary depending upon the environment.

“For this mission we brought our emergency room resuscitative team and our surgical team together to see and resuscitate critically injured patients,” explained Fitch. “We worked through the full scope of trauma care, from the patient's arrival to the hospital, through the operating room, and then on to an intensive care unit or a ward. Our expectation was that we would see patients, and we'd run them through the full gambit, partnering with the Hondurans, doing the full scope of care.”

While the GHE benefitted the expeditionary medical team in expanding their capabilities, the mission also built cooperation between the two nations, encouraging Honduras to continue its friendship with the U.S. Although the GHE is complete, officials hope for future benefits for the Honduran medical workers and their patients.

“A lot of times these hospitals don't have all the medications or supplies that they need. These types of activities greatly benefit the patients. If Sailors can come more often or try to have a semi-permanent presence, there would be a great benefit to both parties,” concluded Saenz.

The EMU consisted of health services and support personnel, and contains deployable medical materiel configured to provide flexible, modular, and scalable forward resuscitative care capabilities.

Navy Medicine — represented by more than 44,000 highly-trained military and civilian health care professionals — provides enduring expeditionary medical support to the
Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.