As Kennedy carrier comes to life, ship’s clinic sees first patient

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - It's been a big year for the Navy's newest aircraft carrier under construction and the future John F. Kennedy has reached another important milestone.

Currently being built in Newport News, the clinic facilities on the ship officially welcomed the first patient earlier this month.

"We have reached basic functionality to be able to assume patient care in support of our readiness mission," explained Commander Michael Prudhomme, the senior medical officer on the Kennedy, in a release.

More than 100 Sailors have already checked in to the command, with many more expected in the coming months.

Even though the Kennedy is still under construction, the ship's medical team is still able to see patients.

"The basic type of care we can provide, as the crew’s primary care provider, include treating common illnesses to performing our medical readiness mission such as Periodic Health Assessments, and occupational health," said Commander Prudhomme.

The official seal for the Kennedy has also been unveiled, with elements to recognize namesake President Kennedy's service in the Navy and vision for space exploration.  It also includes the ship's motto, "Serve with Courage."

“Our motto exemplifies President Kennedy’s life,” Captain Todd Marzano, Commanding Officer of the Kennedy said in a release. “From the first day of his presidency, he challenged every American during his inauguration speech to ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’ He regarded serving one’s nation as an honor and held the utmost respect for those who did so with courage, especially when faced with adversity.”

The Kennedy has reached several milestones this year, with the island placed on the flight deck in late May and the dry dock flooded last month.

The next milestone is expected December 7th when the Kennedy is christened in a ceremony at Newport News Shipbuilding.

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