Pacific Partnership brings upgrades to rural medical clinic in Vietnam
QUY NHON, Vietnam - Upgrades to a medical facility in rural Binh Dinh province that serves approximately 17,000 residents were recognized during a June 1 ribbon cutting ceremony here, the first of Pacific Partnership 2010.
The work at Phuoc Thuan Medical Clinic was completed as part of a series of engineering civic action projects (ENCAP) throughout the province.
“Our guys replaced the roof, painted, put in new tile, new concrete, new doors and windows, and reworked the electrical wiring,” said Lt. j.g. Gabriel E. Gomez, engineering contingent liaison officer for Pacific Partnership 2010. “Because of the Seabees’ hard work, this clinic will be able to meet the needs of the roughly 400 to 500 patients who come through here every month.”
Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Batallion 11 (NMCB-11), based in Gulfport, Miss., along with the help from Vietnamese volunteers, began renovating the clinic May 21 amid factors such as extreme heat, language and cultural barriers, and an accelerated timeframe to complete the project.
“We had about eight Vietnamese volunteers out here every day working alongside us,“ said Builder 3rd Class Johnathon Johnston, crew leader for the Phuoc Thuan ENCAP. “It was a one-of-a-kind feeling to nurture friendships with people from a different culture.”
Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, Pacific Partnership 2010 Mission Commander Capt. Lisa M. Franchetti personally greeted and thanked the Seabees and the volunteers on a job well done.
"It is wonderful to be here in beautiful Quy Nhon and I am very happy to be here today to celebrate the completion of our first Pacific Partnership engineering project,” said Franchetti to a crowd of locals who will benefit from the renovation. “I offer our most sincere appreciation to you, the People’s Committee, and the people of Quy Nhon and Binh Dinh for hosting Pacific Partnership 2010 and enabling us to work together here at Phuoc Thuan Clinic.”
At the conclusion of Franchetti’s remarks, Dr. Le Duong Tru, the physician who works at the Phuoc Thuan Medical Clinic, expressed gratitude to everyone who made the renovation a success.
“Thank you to the U.S. Navy Seabees and the Vietnamese volunteers who helped in the construction,” said Dr. Tru. “I would also like to thank the other agencies who helped in this project.”
Prior to the ribbon cutting, Vice-Director of the Department of Health, Mr. Ho Viet My, and the director of the Phuoc Thuan Clinic, Mr. Duong Ngoc Hun, presented Franchetti and Johnston with flowers as a show of gratitude for the hard work completed on the clinic. Franchetti then presented the clinic with medical supplies donated by Latter-day Saint Charities and Project Handclasp as well as soccer balls for the children of the region in attendance.
Pacific Partnership 2010 will continue in the Binh Dinh province of Vietnam through June 12 as the Seabees and Vietnamese volunteers complete three other ENCAPs.
Pacific Partnership 2010 is the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance endeavors aimed at strengthening regional partnerships among U.S. government organizations, host nations, partner nations and international humanitarian and relief organizations.