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NEWS | July 30, 2013

Naval Health Clinic Charleston to continue all services during furlough

By Navy Capt. Mary Kim Kenney-Gutshall Naval Health Clinic Charleston commanding officer

As you all know, Department of Defense civilian furloughs began this month. With no exceptions, the 152 civilian staff members at Naval Health Clinic Charleston are dealing with involuntary furloughs one day per week from the pay period starting July 8 through the pay period ending Sept. 21.

NHCC leadership is extremely proud of and highly values the contributions of our civilian workforce and the furlough should in no way be considered as a statement to the contrary.

Some of our beneficiaries have expressed concern over whether or not some patient services will be limited or eliminated due to this lapse in staffing and the answer to that very valid question is, "no." Our staff is meeting, and will continue to meet, the medical needs of our beneficiaries despite the furlough.

There will not be a need to suspend the delivery of any health care services at NHCC. The NHCC staff will be able to maintain all current services and appointments. We do ask our beneficiaries during this time to be patient with us as we try to meet everyone's needs with these limitations that have been placed on us.

The bottom line is NHCC is committed to providing consistent and quality patient and family-centered care throughout the furlough period. We will continue to put the patient's needs at the center of all of our decisions made here at NHCC.

I personally appreciate the level of professionalism our civilian force has shown in dealing with this situation and I am encouraged when I hear DOD leaders promise they will continue to work with Congress to seek repeal of sequestration and an end to the frustration and mission impact it causes.

We could not "lead the way in delivering the best health services" as our command vision statement states without the contributions of every part of our total force; active duty, civilian staff, and community partners.

Personally, I want to say thank you to all of Joint Base Charleston's civilian personnel for your service to our nation. We are proud to stand beside you. You are our backbone to mission success.

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