Plastic Surgery Group Surgeons Participate In Navy's "Leaders To Sea" Program

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
- photo by The Plastic Surgery Group

Dr. Jason Rehm and Dr. Woody Kennedy of the Plastic Surgery Group recently returned from a visit to the US Navy Carrier USS Stennis (CVN74) off the coast of San Diego.  The two were chosen to participate in the Navy’s “Leaders to Sea” program. 

The program is designed for people who are active and influential in their communities and are active communicators and opinion leaders.  Those selected are presidents or chief executive officers, healthcare leaders, government officials, news media owners/ publishers and leaders of significant, broad-based organizations who have had no prior exposure to Naval surface operations.  

Both Dr, Rehm and Dr, Kennedy played a role in Chattanooga’s Navy Week earlier this summer when Rear Admiral Paul Pearigen visited the Plastic Surgery Group.  Rear Admiral Pearigen is the chief of the Navy Medical Corps and commander, Navy Medicine West.  During a visit with the entire Plastic Surgery Group, discussions ensued about the trauma surgical procedures done by Naval surgeons and shared interests and expertise with the Group.  

The two departed Chattanooga for San Diego where they boarded a Grumman C-2 Greyhound called a COD (Carrier onboard Delivery) aircraft that flew them several hundred miles off the coast.  They were joined by Governor Butch Otter of Idaho on the visit and landed on the deck of the Stennis as the aircraft completed a tail-hook landing.  

Once on board the carrier, the two noted the sheer size of the vessel and how the floating city operates around the clock.  Under the leadership of Admiral Michael A. Wettlaufer, the John C. Stennis Strike Group synchronizes up to 10 ships and 70 aircraft. It is prepared to sustain air operations to maritime interdiction.

Dr. Rehm and Dr. Kennedy watched as the vessel participated in exercises with a Chilean submarine which tested the capabilities of both vessel and crew.  “There was something going on throughout our entire visit,” said Dr. Kennedy.  “Warships don’t sleep and are constantly practicing for whatever comes their way.  If something happens, the crew wouldn’t be panicked because it’s something they prepare for each day.” 

While the majority of the crew is made up of 20-somethings, many of the exercises and activities in which they participate go back decades.  The practices encourage team work, proficiency, organization and a knowledge of the important role each sailor plays.  

Dr. Rehm said, “While the technology aboard is second-to-none, we were impressed with how many aboard rely on practices used throughout the years.”  One such example is that of the Air Boss.  Located in the tower above the flight deck is a board with a model of each aircraft moved around it throughout the day and night.  The Air Boss knows which aircraft needs fuel, which ones may need tires and other information.  As he navigates through his 18-hour day, the Air Boss is constantly in communication with the ship’s commander, pilots and deck crew to ensure each plane is ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.  

During the simulated attack, the Air Boss and other members of the crew made the work done seem effortless. Dr. Kennedy noted, “Knowing that these individuals are prepared and working with purpose gives me great reassurance as an American.  Our military is constantly preparing for any challenge that may come their way.”  

Another position that provided a unique perspective into ship life was that of the chaplain.  Meeting with the surgeons, the chaplain noted that he carried no firearm and had training to allow him to work with over 160 different religions that may be on board.  “His insights and ability to work with so many types of religions made a huge impact on us,” said Dr. Kennedy.  “Being prepared for war includes being prepared for the spirituality of those on board.  We were impressed with his ability to connect with so many.”

Staying in officers’ quarters, the two thought the evening would be relatively quiet; however, Navy training lasts well into the night and begins long before the sun comes up.  The steam-driven catapults that launch departing planes off the deck are always running as are the wires allowing planes to land in a controlled crash orchestrated by the Air Boss.  

As the surgeons were catapulted from the deck of the USS Stennis, they noted their strong desire to continue a relationship with the US Navy.  “Through the Group’s Hayes Hand Center, we know there are techniques and procedures we could train personnel on that would be helpful as they deal with traumatic injuries,” said Dr. Rehm.  “We’ve expressed our interest in providing a hand fellowship for Naval surgeons.  We’d be honored to play a role in the vital efforts our military has.”

- photo by The Plastic Surgery Group

BREATHE. EASY. Mobile Lung CT Coach To Visit Soddy-Daisy Dec. 9

Morning Pointe To Mark Grand Opening Of Its Newest Senior Living Community With Family Holiday Event

BlueCross Seeking To Recover $4.5 Million In Overpayments To Perry Community Hospital


CHI Memorial’s mobile lung CT coach will be at CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates, 210 Walmart Dr. in Soddy-Daisy, on Monday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. "Lung cancer screening is a test ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Senior Living announced the grand opening of Morning Pointe of East Hamilton. Local dignitaries and guest speakers from both Hamilton County and Catoosa County, including Hamilton ... (click for more)

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee on Wednesday filed a demand for arbitration against Perry Community Hospital to recover more than $4.5 million in overpayments due to improper billing practices. ... (click for more)


Living Well

BREATHE. EASY. Mobile Lung CT Coach To Visit Soddy-Daisy Dec. 9

CHI Memorial’s mobile lung CT coach will be at CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates, 210 Walmart Dr. in Soddy-Daisy, on Monday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. "Lung cancer screening is a test to look for signs of lung cancer in otherwise healthy people," officials said. "The low-dose CT scan shows a 3-D image of your lungs that is clearer and more detailed than regular x-rays, ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe To Mark Grand Opening Of Its Newest Senior Living Community With Family Holiday Event

Morning Pointe Senior Living announced the grand opening of Morning Pointe of East Hamilton. Local dignitaries and guest speakers from both Hamilton County and Catoosa County, including Hamilton County commissioner Sabrina Smedley, Hamilton County trustee Bill Hullender, Tennessee state representative Mike Carter, vice president of member-investor services at the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Chattanoogan Lee Hall Put To Death For 1991 Murder Of His Girlfriend

Lee Hall was put to death on Thursday night for the 1991 murder of his girlfriend. Hall, of Chattanooga, had chosen the electric chair rather than lethal injection. The execution was carried out after his appeals options ran out, including the governor and the U.S. Appeals Court. He was convicted for setting fire to girlfriend Traci Crozier. He threw a lit container of ... (click for more)

3 Faculty Members Assaulted By Student At Sequoyah High School

Three faculty members at Sequoyah High School were assaulted by a student on Thursday morning, the Sheriff's Office said. The faculty members suffered minor injuries and did not get medical treatment, it was stated. The student is facing juvenile charges. Officials said, "Earlier this morning, there was a verbal altercation at Sequoyah High School between two juvenile students. ... (click for more)

Opinion

The Senate Needs To Pass Election Security Funding For States

It has never been more clear that our elections are in danger. We know that Russia hacked American state boards of elections and voting machine companies in 2016. What’s more, Moscow is already gearing up to do it again in future elections. Enough is enough. Our current system isn’t equipped to handle the growing level of interference. In many cases, states have no way of verifying ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last Girl Standing

It’s about 90 miles from Chattanooga to Bell Buckle, Tn. Get on I-24 and go west, as you would towards Nashville, and you’ll see the sign. In mid-October about six dozen competitors turned off at the Bell Buckle exit to find their way to Gary Cantrell’s house. It is there that the Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra is held every fall under the watchful eye of ‘Big’ himself, who is better ... (click for more)