U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
Camp Eason ‐ Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU)
US Government Senior Leaders Visit the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU) Team 3
Written by LT Thornton, MMU3 PIO Staff
On February 24, 2015, Commissioned Corps Officers of the USPHS at the MMU held a welcoming ceremony for Department of Health and Human Services senior leaders.
Leadership visited Camp Eason to tour the MMU and meet the Corps officers who staff it. The distinguished guests who made the 5000 mile journey were, Ambassador Jimmy
Kolker, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Global Affairs, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, Ms. Dawn O’connell, Deputy Chief of Staff; they were also joined by Doug Mercado, USAID DART Lead.
(left to right) RADM Boris Lushniak, CO USPHS CC Liberia, Mr. Doug Mercado USAID DART, Carol Han, US Embassy Public Affairs, Ambassador
Kolker, Assistant Secretary Global Affairs, Dr. Desalvo, Assistant Secretary for Health, Ms Dawn O’connell, Deputy Chief of Staff for HHS, CAPT
Dean Coppola, MMU Officer In Charge (OIC), CAPT Sean Boyd, MMU Deputy OIC. Photo taken in the MMU Command Tent.
All the senior leaders expressed their personal heartfelt gratitude, shared well wishes from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and relayed the appreciation of all those back in the states for what is being done here at the MMU.
Distinguished guests were shown MMU PPE donning (i.e. putting stuff on) procedures as well as doffing (i.e. taking stuff off) procedures. Senior officials were quite amazed at the detail oriented protocols and safety/monitoring practices at the MMU, praising the Officers of all MMU teams for keeping themselves and each other safe. The tour ended with a walk outside the gates of the MMU to allow officials to see the ambulance entry gates to the MMU and a better vantage point of the biohazardous waste incinerators. The tour ultimately led Ambassador Kolker, Dr. DeSalvo and Ms. O’connell to the survivor wall, a location where every MMU Ebola survivor and their families and friends are met by MMU staff in a celebration of life.
Dr. DeSalvo attended a question and answer session with all the Officers of MMU team 3. Dr. DeSalvo put all the officers at ease with her approachable demeanor and genuine heartfelt responses when addressing the many questions that officers had for her. The ASH, inspired and motivated everyone, and left the Officers of Team 3 with a sense of pride in their leader.
(top photo) Dr. Desalvo engages officers during an hour long question and answer session. (bottom photo) USPHS officers applaud Dr. Desalvo after she answers an officer’s question with a simple, genuine, but undoubtedly firm, I have your [the Commissioned Corps] back.
The time spent with the distinguished guests from HHS was a great opportunity for Officers to shine and take pride in what they are doing in West Africa; and to showcase to Senior Officials from HHS all that has been accomplished since the MMU opened. This was a monumental occasion for PHS officers to meet some of the key figures that supported the USPHS in answering the ask of the White house and the Liberian people, and for Senior Officials to meet the Officers in the filed who are dedicated to serving the underserved and vulnerable.