Navy Orthopedist Brings Medical Care to Afghans
The Tarin Kowt district of Afghanistan is mired in poverty, wracked by warfare, and beset by a host of concerns such as lack of available medical care.
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Leah Brown, an orthopedic doctor, helped to alleviate some of that medical care shortage by providing direct patient-centered care to the local population during her time deployed with Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan.
Brown, assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton, Wash., was deployed to the Role 2 hospital on Tarin Kowt Forward Operating Base, located in the southeast Uruzgan province, from October 2012 to May 2013.
“I was part of a medical team utilized by special operations, and we took on a humanitarian assistance role to visit the local hospital which served the entire province. They had a very large catchment area. It is also one of the poorest regions, as well as a very traditional area that really needed dedicated medical support,” said Brown, an Atlanta native with 10 years of Navy service.
A Role 2 hospital is a battalion aid station providing emergency surgical care, stabilizing hemodynamic status in order to send a patient to a Role 3. It is also where the wounded are linked up with a nurse and physician in the chain of evacuation. A Role 1 refers to emergency medical care in the field, historically handled by independent duty corpsmen.