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Charge changed at Naval Branch Health Clinic

Lt. Cmdr. Mike Bristol gives remarks after formally taking charge of the Naval Branch Health Clinic at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany on Friday morning. He relieved Lt. Cmdr. Charles Goodson, who had assumed charge of the clinic in February 2011.

Lt. Cmdr. Mike Bristol gives remarks after formally taking charge of the Naval Branch Health Clinic at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany on Friday morning. He relieved Lt. Cmdr. Charles Goodson, who had assumed charge of the clinic in February 2011.

MCLB-ALBANY, Ga. -- When one chapter ends, another begins.

A change-of-charge ceremony took place at the Naval Branch Health Clinic at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany on Friday morning. There, Lt. Cmdr. Charles Goodson relinquished charge of the Albany clinic to Lt. Cmdr. Mike Bristol in the parking lot in front of the building.

Bristol is originally from Adel and graduated from Cook High School in 1984 before beginning his naval career the following November. Prior to coming to Albany, he served as the director for administration at Naval Hospital Beaufort, S.C. -- during which time he was selected as the 2012 Navy Medicine Director for Administration of the Year.

"During my tenure, my team will remain focused on giving the best care possible," Bristol said after Goodson was relinquished. "I am fortunate to have a talented staff that is truly dedicated to giving the best care to patients.

"... Change is always difficult at first. Am I up to the challenge? Absolutely."

Now having formally taken charge at the clinic, Bristol said his first order of business will be to talk to the individual staff members to get their perspectives on what might need change or improvement.

Goodson retired from the U.S. Navy immediately after being relieved by Bristol, wrapping up nearly 29 years of service.

Enlisting in the Navy as a radioman in December 1984, Goodson reported to Albany to serve as the clinic manager and administrative department head in January 2010, assuming charge in February 2011.

"Twenty-eight months doesn't feel like enough," Goodson said in his final remarks. "Change has to continue to be the nature of the business because without change, the business becomes ineffective and inconsequential.

"We are the world's superpower and represent the strongest in the world. This forces us to be innovators. Change is inevitable."

On the subject of change, Goodson spoke of the advancements that have occurred in medicine in recent years and how such advancements might be significant to the staff at the clinic.

"Where would medicine be without change? Where would we be without the medicine and technology we have? We would be frustrated, because we wouldn't be able to deliver the quality of care we do today," Goodson said to the staff. "I'm excited for you. I'm excited to see the changes that will take place."

Having left the family he has developed at the clinic, he will be assuming a position at the Marine Corps Family Services Center aboard the base in the next three weeks.

"It's best summed up as being bittersweet," Goodson said when addressing his feelings about moving on. "The sweet part is the great men and women I've served with. The bitter part is knowing that the time has come to let the next generation march forward and get (the chance to lead)."

Among those to help usher in the new leadership at the clinic was Col. Don Davis, commanding officer of MCLB-Albany.

"This clinic has a tradition of ensuring personnel and families are taken care of," he said. "(Goodson) served as a torchbearer. Without his leadership, we would not have the readiness of our personnel.

"He had a vision for the future, which will carry us forward. After speaking to Bristol, it is clear he is ready to take on the reins (and lead) as Charlie has."

The Albany clinic -- staffed by 52 personnel -- is one of five branch clinics across Georgia and Florida connected to Naval Hospital Jacksonville, which serves 57,000 enrolled patients.