SANTA RITA, Guam – A 2005 Duarte High School graduate and Duarte, California, native is serving with the U.S. Navy at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.
Lt. j.g. Rachel Ortiz is a staff nurse in the Mother and Baby Unit. She serves as her department’s training officer, and her responsibilities include auditing medical charts to ensure proper procedures are being followed.
“I enjoy the customer service aspect of the job,” Ortiz said. “I always want to provide the best quality, it is challenging, and I look forward to it. I learn something new every day.”
Ortiz credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned while growing up in Duarte.
“I had the opportunity to be a teacher’s aide in high school and it provided structure and organization that I still use today,” Ortiz explained.
Naval Hospital Guam is comprised of the main hospital in Agana Heights and two branch clinics, medical and dental, on Naval Base Guam. The hospital’s staff consists of 516 active duty and 201 civilians, contractors, reservists and volunteers who serve more than 26,000 beneficiaries.
According to officials at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the ships, submarines, aircraft and Navy personnel forward-deployed to Guam are part of the world’s largest fleet command and serve in a region critical to U.S. national security. The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. All told, there are more than 200 ships and submarines, nearly 1,200 aircraft, and more than 130,000 uniformed and civilian personnel serving in the Pacific.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Ortiz is proud of having the opportunity to be the nurse for newborns and their mothers who are transported in an ambulance to a higher level of care.
“I also have a new opportunity to provide post-partum care for infants and mothers,” Ortiz said. “This is something I have not done in my career to date and of course, this means I’m learning so much and I'm so thankful.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Ortiz and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“I enjoy the multi-tasking, the diverse opportunities, and the multicultural aspect of serving,” Ortiz said.