By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly E. Barnes, USNS Comfort Public Affairs
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (NNS) -- After seeing thousands of patients in eight of 12 countries, hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Port-au-Prince, Sept. 1, to continue its four-month humanitarian assistance deployment.
While in Haiti, U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service, Canadian Forces and non-governmental organization Project Hope will continue providing the people of Latin America and the Caribbean with health care services, including adult and pediatric primary care, dental care, optometry and other services.
In addition to the medical services the Comfort team will offer, the embarked Naval Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202's Seabees will work at Centre de Sante in Croix des Bouquets, expanding the existing solar panel collection system and building a properly ventilated storehouse for the site's generator which powers the site in the evening hours.
Comfort will remain in Haiti for nearly a week conducting operations at various locations, including Hopital de l'Universite d'Etat d'Haiti, Hopital Universitaire de la Paix, Centre Hospitalier Eliazar Germain in Petion-Ville and the Seabee work site at Centre de Sante in Croix des Bouquets.
"The projects we're doing in Haiti will really increase the value of the center making it more enjoyable for the medical staff and the patients they treat," said Ensign Leonard Neal, officer in charge of the Seabees. "This is a unique site, but we're really going to help them make a difference."
Capt. Bob Kapcio, Comfort's mission commander, recognizes the importance of the Seabee mission in Haiti and the potential impact of the hospital ship's visit.
"Our mission here, especially with the Seabees' projects, is to really make a change for the better within the country," said Kapcio. "We're developing a partnership with Haiti and a friendship that will last beyond the Comfort's visit."
Comfort is on a 120-day humanitarian assistance deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical assistance to patients in more than a dozen countries.