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News & Gallery


News | May 1, 2024

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Celebrates Charette Building 25th Anniversary

By Christina Johnson

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (April 30, 2024) Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) hosted the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Charette Health Care Center, or Building 2, April 30.

The center is located between historic Building 1, built in 1830, and Building 3 (previously named Building 215) that opened in 1959. Building 3 remained in operation as the main hospital until the center named after Medal of Honor recipient Master Chief Hospital Corpsman William Charette was finished and opened on April 30, 1999.

“Some quick statistics,” said Capt. Brian L. Feldman, NMCP director/Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Portsmouth commander, as he spoke to the attending guests and staff. “Charette is 1.02 million square feet in total building square footage; there are 353 inpatient beds; 300 examination rooms; 140 special treatment rooms; 30 NICU and nursery beds; 17 operating rooms; and 10 birthing rooms.”

Feldman explained, “Like any other Navy ship or other Navy platform, this facility is a strong foundation and a skeleton that comes to life because of the people we serve and care for, the people we train, and our staff who are the blood, bone marrow, muscle, connective tissue and vital nervous system singularly focused on being the ‘First and Finest’ in care for the most deserving patients in the world.”

As he concluded his comments, Feldman invited the Honorable Shannon E. Glover, City of Portsmouth mayor, to the podium to present him with a flag that flew in front of the center. Glover is a former Navy Hospital Corpsman who served from 1988 to 1994, and his last duty station was NMCP.

“Wow, what a full-circle moment for me,” said Glover as he accepted the flag and started his comments. “Twenty-five years ago, a symbol of healing and hope emerged on our city’s horizon, and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth has become an integral part of our community.

Our collaboration has not only strengthened the bond between our military and civilian population but has also improved the quality of life for all residents whether it’s through medical outreach programs, disaster response efforts on providing Portsmouth’s residents access to your state-of-the-art Level 2 Trauma Center.”

Rear Admiral Darin Via, U.S. Navy Surgeon General/Bureau of Medicine and Surgery chief, spoke about the legacy of Master Chief William Charette, the building’s namesake. “Master Chief Charette’s story exemplifies the unwavering commitment that defines our nation’s heroes,” said Via.

“On the Korean War battlefield, he displayed selfless courage worthy of the Medal of Honor,” added Via. “While attending to a critically wounded Marine an enemy grenade landed nearby. Without hesitation, he dove over the Marine, absorbing the blast with his own body. Though blinded by his own blood, Master Chief Charette, true to his training, continued to care for others.

As we celebrate this anniversary, let us all be inspired by the legacy of Charette. Let his courage be a beacon that guides you in your daily endeavors. Remember, the lives you touch, the families you reunite, the hope you offer – it’s all a continuation of his extraordinary story.”

Following the conclusion of the ceremony, past and present Navy Medicine leadership and featured guests cut a cake marking the day, and NMCP’s Galley hosted a special lunch and ice cream social for guests and staff members.

NMCP is a nationally acclaimed, state-of-the-art military treatment facility, and its Branch and TRICARE Prime Health Clinics in the Tidewater area provide medical care for warfighters, veterans, and their families. Additionally, the medical center is a premier readiness and training platform that provides superior medical training for military medical service members at the United States’ oldest, continuously operating military hospital. NMCP supports pioneering research and teaching programs to prepare new doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and hospital corpsmen for combat operations and public health crises.
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