Named in honor of the U.S. Navy steamer that was in service from 1862 to 1865, USS Red Rover is one of four Branch Medical Clinics that are part of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center and is located in Great Lakes, Illinois.
As the “Gateway to the Navy,” the clinic processes more than 40,000 enlisted recruits annually. Each recruit is assigned to a division, and the divisions are processed as a unit, which can be as large as 100 recruits.
In-processing “tasks” are divided into 4 processing days called “P Days.” During these days, recruits receive a substantial number of vital medical and dental tasks, ensuring they are physically ready for their role in the U.S. Navy.
During P-1 and P-2, recruits are registered into VISTA, AHLTA and the Composite Health Care System (CHCS) and their initial medical record is created; they are given a Tuberculin Skin Test (TST), a blood draw, and their DNA cards are collected.
During P-3 and P-4, recruits receive male/female wellness counseling (female wellness exam and pregnancy counseling), an average of 6 immunizations, dental x-ray and exams, an optometry exam (same-day glasses) and a physician exam (for recruits with allergies, high body-mass index, physical activity issues and current complaints). Recruits return on their 5-2 day of training to receive an average of 3 final immunizations.
In 9 to 10 combined minutes, a recruit receives a dental exam, three x-rays and a forensics exam. This would typically average an hour outside of the training environment. In a year, USS Red Rover dental professionals have more than 164,000 patient encounters, more than 46,700 tooth extractions and just fewer than 81,000 routine dental restorations. In total, these procedures would equate to more than $72 million in community dental services.
Annually, the USS Red Rover produces nearly 20,000 glasses, administers 270,000 immunizations, provides approximately 10,000 gynecological exams, administers 40,000 hearing exams, and collects and examines 200,000 tubes of blood.
As background on the namesake, USS Red Rover was commissioned in December 1862 and was used during the Civil War as hospital ship for the Mississippi Squadron. Her medical complement included nurses from the Catholic order Sisters of the Holy Cross, the first female nurses to serve on board a Navy ship. In addition to caring for and transporting sick and wounded men, she provided medical supplies to Navy ships along the Western Rivers. USS Red Rover was stationed at Mound City, Ill., from December 1864 until November 1865, when she was decommissioned and sold.