Senior Chief Petty Officer James Dise, a native of Tangier Island, is serving aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort as part of the efforts by the U.S Navy in response to COVID-19.
Comfort arrived in New York with Navy medical personnel and support staff aboard the afloat medical treatment facility. Although initially tasked to serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients, as of April 6 the ship is now taking patients regardless of their COVID-19 status. The ship provides a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults.
Dise is serving as a Navy information systems technician who is responsible for providing the required electronic communications needed to help treat the patients onboard Comfort.
“This ship and its crew are doing whatever it takes to help this city and its residents with vital healthcare and life-saving abilities,” said Dise.
“The USNS Comfort arrived in New York City with more than 1,000 medical professionals who are ready to provide safe, high-quality health care to the city of New York,” said Captain Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the USNS Comfort Military Treatment Facility. “We are grateful to serve the needs of our nation.”
Comfort’s primary mission is to provide an afloat, mobile, acute surgical medical facility to the U.S. military that is flexible, capable and uniquely adaptable to support expeditionary warfare, according to Navy officials. Comfort’s secondary mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.
“I think our impact will always be remembered because of the fast response time we had in helping our country by leaving our homes and families to help those in need," said Dise. “This has brought great appreciation to medical professionals and others for their amazing sacrifices. It has shown the full capabilities of the U.S. military.”
“Personally, it’s an honor to represent the Navy and my ship to be here and participate,” Dise added. “Pulling into the New York harbor and seeing the overwhelming support from the residents reminded me of my pride in being a sailor. To help anyone through this is a privilege and to have the opportunity to represent my family and hometown is an honor in itself.”
Submitted by Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach