MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE --
Whether by choice, injury or diplomacy, at some point every leader steps down from the head of their command and hands over the responsibility to another. That successor’s mission is to continue upon the path the predecessor has forged, while continuously striving to improve that which he now commands.
Navy Capt. Daniel Zinder, commanding officer of Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, has kept this idea in mind since he recently took command from Navy Capt. Gerard Cox, former commanding officer of NHCL.
“I have quickly found that the relationship between Camp Lejeune and the Naval Hospital is extremely good,” said Zinder. “The base and the surrounding community are very welcoming in how they embrace the hospital as their own.”
After his previous tenure as deputy commander of National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Zinder said that he is extremely pleased with the quality of personnel and patient care at the Naval Hospital. Still, he has some initiatives to improve the overall performance of the hospital.
“During my time here I would like to see both our traumatic brain injury services and our ongoing relationship with the Wounded Warrior Battalion - East grow, as well as the capacity and efficiency of delivering newborn babies increase,” said Zinder. “Overall, we want to effectively care for as many patients as we can while not taking anything away from the local hospitals and care providers, keeping a strong network with them throughout.”
In 2006, Zinder was the force surgeon for I Marine Expeditionary Force, where he spent one year in Al Anbar province, Iraq, dealing with immediate injury treatment. After his tour with I MEF and subsequent obtaining of his Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, he assumed the duties as deputy commander of NNMC Bethesda in June 2008 where injured personnel from Iraq were sent for extended treatment. Zinder now heads NHCL where service members receive post-injury care and treatment.
“Due to having duties that have taken me down the treatment and rehabilitation process, I feel all that brings a breadth of experience to the table,” stated Zinder.
Already nearly two months into his tour aboard Camp Lejeune, Zinder said he is impressed with the facility as well as the surrounding community. He said Cox can rest easy knowing that Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune is in good hands in his absence.
“NHCL is a team of dedicated military and civilian personnel who are here to provide the highest level of medical care to patients and will continue to do so for many years,” said Zinder. “If my first few weeks here are any indication, I am going to enjoy my tour of duty here very much.”