NEWPORT -- The commanding officer and the command master chief of the Newport-based Navy Health Clinic New England have been fired after a survey found what's being described as a loss of confidence due to a poor command climate.
The Navy Times reports that Rear Adm. Elaine Wagner, commander of Navy Medicine East, relieved Capt. Kim Lyons of command and Master Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/AW/FMF) Robert Whitten from his position as the top enlisted sailor at NHCNE on April 6. Both Whitten and Lyons have been reassigned out of state.
According to the Times,
In the CO’s case, Wagner cited “a loss of confidence due to a poor command climate,” said Capt. Cappy Surette, a Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery spokesman.
The Navy says the firings were entirely due to the poor results in the annual command climate survey. The quality of care was not a factor and never slipped, Surette said.
Lyons and Whitten were the sixth commanding officer and seventh senior enlisted sailor fired this year, and the only ones from the medical community. Neither could be reached for comment.
“The responsibility of officers in command of their units, sailors and mission is absolute,” Surette said. “We take their performance very seriously.”
Lyons was assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., for administrative duties. Whitten was sent to Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory at the Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn.
In addition to their Newport base, NHCHE, includes three other treatment facilities in the New England area.