U.S. Naval Hospital Guam Changes Command

by Brayton Metzger
Stripes Guam
Leadership at US Naval Hospital Guam (USNH Guam) changed hands June 30, when Capt. Dan Cornwell, Medical Service Corps, relieved Capt. Jeannie Comlish, Nurse Corps, as commander of USNH Guam during a ceremony at the hospital in Agana Heights, Guam.
USNH Guam is comprised of the main hospital in Agana Heights, and two branch clinics, medical and dental, on Naval Base Guam. The Naval Hospital’s staff consists of 568 active duty and over 200 civilians, contractors, reservists and volunteers who serve nearly 25,000 beneficiaries. 
Commander, Navy Medicine West, Rear Adm. Bruce L. Gillingham was the guest speaker for the ceremony and praised Comlish and her team’s accomplishments.
“Due to hard work and attention to detail, the Naval Hospital Guam team achieved the highest operational dental readiness in Navy Medicine. The alliance with Guam Medical Hospital Authority and Guam Regional Medical City has created a forum to leverage the available healthcare resources on island for the benefit of all Guamanians. These are the actions of a high performance team led by a leader who clearly defined the way forward, empowered her staff to take the actions necessary to excel and who insisted on accountability.”
Gillingham also remarked that Cornwell comes to USNH Guam with impressive credentials.
“He (Cornwell) is a leader uniquely suited to the task, a Medical Service Corps Officer of the first rank, who has demonstrated by his outstanding performance in both the hospital and deployed settings that he understands and embraces the challenges inherent to Navy Medicine and the breadth of its missions." 
Gillingham presented Comlish with a Legion of Merit for her stellar leadership of one of Navy Medicine’s most important treatment facilities.
Comlish thanked the men and women of USNH Guam.
“Thank you to all who have placed their trust in me, I am deeply grateful - I am so proud of this team who led Navy Medicine as one of the top three for dental and full medical readiness for all shore based commands.” She also discussed the recent inspections, “I am very proud of our staff’s success in over 20 inspections and assist visits which culminated in re-accreditation by The Joint Commission and (Navy) Medical Inspector General.”
Comlish oversaw the first two years USNH Guam spent in its new facility, which was completed in 2014. She moves on to Washington, D.C. to be Director, Military Health System Governance Office of Defense Health Agency.
Cornwell commended Comlish for the hospital’s success and thanked her for turning over a great command. He discussed his excitement for the years ahead.
“I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to lead this great organization. For over 100 years Navy Medicine and the island of Guam have shared a special bond of caring, teaching, and healing. The people of Guam understand sacrifice and service. Through the years we have worked together, hand in hand, to tackle the challenges and prepare for the future.”
A native of Martinsville, IL, Cornwell’s assignments include supporting the USS Iwo Jima during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as serving as a Joint Regional Medical Planner assigned to FEMA and the U.S. Public Health Service. In 2003, while serving as the Officer-In-Charge at Branch Medical Clinic, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Cornwell deployed as a member of the Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team in Fallujah, Iraq. He also served as the Executive Officer for Naval Health Clinic Hawaii before taking command of Field Medical Training Battalion-West, Camp Pendleton, CA in 2013.

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