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NEWS | July 19, 2017

Navy’s first aviation optometrist assumes command of NHCC

By Kris Patterson, public affairs officer Naval Health Clinic Charleston

The Navy’s first aviation optometrist takes the helm of one of the leading health care facilities in the military.


Navy Capt. Dale P. Barrette assumed command of Naval Health Clinic Charleston from Capt. Elizabeth Maley during a change of command ceremony July 7 at NHCC, located on Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station.


Rear Adm. Anne Swap, commander of Navy Medicine East and director of the Navy Medical Service Corps, presided over the ceremony and welcomed Barrette to the top post of the 188,000 square-foot ambulatory care clinic which provides health care for more than 16,000 service members, family members and veterans, annually.


“Today the mantle of responsibility for this exceptional command and outstanding crew of dedicated men and women with this important mission will be placed in the capable hands of Dale Barrette,” Swap said. “I have every confidence with Captain Barrette's outstanding leadership skills, he'll lead NHCC to even greater heights.”


Barrette, an optometrist, joins NHCC from Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy, where he served as the command’s executive officer since July 2015.


“I am honored and humbled to serve as your commanding officer and look forward to becoming an active member of the Charleston community,” Barrette said. “My expectation is to continue the legacy of superior health care each of you provide to our patients, while supporting our shipmates and taking care of ourselves. I am deeply grateful to have the opportunity to build upon an exemplary success story.”


Barrette has an impressive resume with notable achievements including earning the additional qualifying designator (AQD 6GA) as the Navy’s first aviation optometrist; supporting 19 NASA missions while serving as the Medical Coordinator for the Department of Defense Manned Space Flight Space Shuttle Support Team; serving as the Subject Matter Expert for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Defense Vision Services' Functional Process Improvement Work Group, DoD Functional Program Manager, developing the Spectacle Request Transmission System II in the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) and contributing to the American National Standards Institute's ANSI Z87 standard for eye protection; being selected by the Navy Surgeon General as Assistant Specialty Leader for Optometry; and being recognized as the Hubert M. Jamison Navy Optometrist of the Year.


“This is a big day for you, but it is also a big day for Naval Health Clinic Charleston,” Maley said. ”Our staff and beneficiaries are fortunate to have you take the reins of this great organization. I’m confident Naval Health Clinic Charleston will continue to thrive under your leadership.”


Maley, an occupational health physician, is headed to the Naval Aerospace Medicine Institute at Pensacola, FL, where she will serve as a senior medical consultant.