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Orthopaedic Care Aboard the USNS Mercy During Operation Unified Assistance After the 2004 Asian TsunamiA Case Series
V. Franklin SechriestII, MD1; David W. Lhowe, MD2
1 Clinical Investigation Department (KCA), Naval Medical Center San Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, Suite 5, San Diego, CA 92134-1005. E-mail address: Vernon.sechriest@med.navy.mil
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, 10 Hawthorne Place, Suite 115, HO10-115, Boston, MA 02114
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Disclosure: The authors did not receive any outside funding or grants in support of their research for or preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, division, center, clinical practice, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors, or a member of their immediate families, are affiliated or associated.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2008 Apr 01;90(4):849-861. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.G.00821
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On December 26, 2004, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off the northwest coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The subsequent tsunami caused unprecedented destruction throughout the Indian Ocean basin1. In eleven nations, millions were injured and/or displaced and, although estimates vary, as many as 300,000 lives may have been lost2-4. Within days after this natural disaster, hundreds of humanitarian organizations and thousands of military troops from several countries mobilized to offer assistance5-7. The U.S. military response came in the form of Operation Unified Assistance, a mission of humanitarian aid and disaster relief8. Within days, the U.S. Navy carrier strike group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln and the expeditionary strike group led by the USS Bonhomme Richard were sent to provide aid to heavily damaged areas. Numerous U.S. military aircraft were also dispatched to facilitate the safe movement of personnel, food, medicine, and drinking water9,10. In addition to providing immediate relief services, the U.S. Navy deployed a hospital ship to the region. The USNS Mercy departed San Diego, California, on January 5, 2005, en route to the Aceh province of Sumatra, Indonesia. The mission of the USNS Mercy was to conduct medical humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in support of the government of Indonesia to reduce suffering and improve public health. The Mercy crew of health-care providers included medical and surgical staff from the U.S. Navy and officers from the U.S. Public Health Service. To augment the Navy Medical Corps, approximately 100 civilian volunteer physicians, nurses, and technologists from the non-governmental organization Project HOPE were included11, making this the first mission in history to utilize civilian medical personnel aboard a U.S. Navy vessel.
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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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