On June 13th, 2018, members of YCAPS were treated to a tour of the USNS Mercy hospital ship when it made its official port call to Yokosuka, Japan. The tour was organized and led by CAPT Melanie Merrick, Pacific Fleet surgeon, and CAPT Lynelle Boamah, USNS Mercy-Medical Treatment Facility Executive Officer.
Homeported in San Diego, California and staffed by medical personnel from Naval Medical Center San Diego, the Mercy had been in the Indo-Pacific region engaging in Pacific Partnership, an annual multi-national humanitarian assistance exercise. Built originally as an oil tanker, it was converted to a hospital ship in 1984. Boasting 1000 bed capacity, the Mercy is robustly outfitted to provide a comprehensive range of medical services equal to that of a NATO Role III hospital.
YCAPS members explored various spaces in the ship including the helipad, operating rooms, intensive care unit, and medical ward and were able to interface with subject matter experts in each department. Following the tour, members enjoyed a relaxing social dinner at a local maritime-themed izakaya.
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