The USS Gerald R. Ford’s Commitment to Women’s Health United States Navy News Stories

“It was discovered late, so we really didn’t get a chance to see them.”

One in eight women will face cancer in her lifetime. In addition, breast cancer has a 99 percent survival rate when caught early and a 29 percent survival rate when caught late.

Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Douglas, Ford’s surgeon, offers an early breast cancer detection service to women on board Ford. Douglas service is just one of the many Ford offers.

“There are a number of resources available onboard Ford,” says Jenkins. “There are routine health screenings, which include breast and cervical cancer screening, especially for women, and routine health screenings.”

Ford recognizes the importance of Women’s Health Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month and strives to keep its female crew members in a healthy combat force.

“Our surgeon does screening for women who may be at higher risk of breast cancer,” Jenkins said. “They can turn to him for more advanced, high-risk screening or any other information they may need.”

“We are a force and need to be taken care of,” added Lt. Sarah Alferos from San Diego who is assigned to Ford’s medical department. “Ford’s medical team is well equipped to navigate what you need as a woman.”

Alferos notes that approximately 20 percent of the Navy’s armed forces are women, making this month important not just for Ford but for the Navy as a whole.

“The month of October should focus on specific areas that women might not think too much about, like breast cancer, screening, nutrition, mental health or fitness standards,” Alferos said. “This is a month in which we can focus on the available resources.”
Jenkins provides women with health advice not just this month, but throughout the year.

“Take your chances for your own health,” Jenkins said. “Take control and responsibility. If you think or notice something is wrong or not up to the norm, come and see. It is extremely important to be your own advocate.”

Women’s Health Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month are particularly important to the Ford namesake. Betty Ford, First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977 and wife of Gerald R. Ford’s namesake, was diagnosed with breast cancer two months after President Gerald R. Ford took office. After fighting her battle, she advocated and inspired women across the United States to be conscious of their health, just as the USS Gerald R. Ford is doing in October.

“It’s nice to know that this ship offers the opportunity for individuals to be seen and maintain their health, even when we’re underway,” Jenkins said.

The ship’s medical department has continued Betty Ford’s legacy of championing women’s health while on duty.

The USS Gerald R. Ford’s Commitment to Women’s Health United States Navy News Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top