PORTSMOUTH -- Rear Adm. Terry J. Moulton assumed command of Navy Medicine East and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, April 8.

Moulton previously served as deputy chief, Medical Operations, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED). He will continue to serve as chief, Navy Medical Service Corps.

Moulton is a native of Nashville, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration from Western Kentucky University and a master's in Business Administration from Chaminade University in Honolulu. He is also a graduate of the Naval War College nonresident program.

Moulton relieved Rear Adm. Elaine C. Wagner, who commanded the medical center since Sept. 2011. Wagner will be assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Falls Church, Va., serving as deputy chief, Wounded, Ill and Injured.

Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, Surgeon General of the Navy, and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, was the guest speaker. Nathan had previously served as deputy commander and commander of the Portsmouth medical center.

Nathan said, "By many statistics, this medical center has established itself as busiest in the Navy in some regards, and the busiest in the military. When you look at the business acumen that Rear Adm. Wagner has installed in this facility, as well as trying to keep things with our fleet, this is why we exist. We exist to support the fleet.

"Portsmouth is here in the fleet epicenter and it's pivotal to making sure that the most junior Sailor to the most senior leader off the deckplate and off the pier can have the full confidence that they, or their family or their crew is in great hands. You cannot concentrate on the mission if you are worried about your health or especially that of your loved ones. This place has done that and that is why we exist, to support the warfighter.

"Terry understands NavMedEast; he's been heavily involved in TRICARE throughout the years and understanding the benefit. He has been integral at BUMED as being in charge of hospital operations. So the good news for you here at Portsmouth and the regions is that Rear Adm. Moulton understands hospital metrics. He understands productivity. He understands how to get the most out of the facility.

"We have been blessed here with the command of Elaine Wagner and we're going to be blessed with the command and capabilities of Rear Adm. Terry Moulton," Nathan said.

Wagner served as commander of the medical center and the region for two and a half years.

"We've accomplished amazing things over the past 30 months, and I hope that you are as proud as I am of how far we have come as a command, as a region and as an enhanced multi-service market," Wagner said. "Together, we have made positive changes in the lives of hundreds and thousands of patients throughout Navy Medicine East who trust us with their health needs. And we've been able to improve our patients' health, while becoming more efficient and more cost-effective than ever before.

"Here in Portsmouth, here in Tidewater, and all across Navy Medicine East, it was all of you who made things better for the most deserving patients in the world," said Wagner.

"Rear Adm. Moulton is the right person to accept the mantle of responsibility of Navy Medicine East, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and the Tidewater Multi-Service Market. He will help all of you build on your success. He is someone I trust, and someone you can trust," said Wagner, "and you know that's the highest compliment that I can pay."

Moulton addressed the audience after reading his orders. "I have spent a few days walking around the command confirming what I already knew. I am inheriting a highly professional and caring group of individuals who work very hard to earn the trust of those we serve.

"What we do here matters," Moulton said. "We will continue to focus on a culture of safety and provide high quality health care. We will ensure alignment with Navy Medicine's strategic plan and focus on readiness, value and jointness. We will continue to provide care with compassion; will understand our costs both in the direct care and purchased care environments. We will continue to make a difference."

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth has the distinction of being the United States' first naval hospital. It has proudly served the health care and medical needs of the nation's military continuously since 1830. Seven branch clinics and two TRICARE Prime Clinics support the 296-bed main hospital.

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