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NEWS | Aug. 5, 2023

Navy Nuclear Medicine Technician serves during Guam Wellness IRT

By Maj. Chelsea Kersten 9th Mission Support Command

U.S. Navy Seaman Kelsey Redmond, a nuclear medicine technician from the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, continues her family’s military service tradition as she assists the radiology team at Guam Wellness Innovative Readiness Training (IRT), Aug 2-10.

For some, military service runs in the family. In the case of Redmond, military service runs three generations deep. Redmond knew immediately she planned to join the Navy after high school. Her mother, Rebecca Rosales, served in the Navy as a corpsman from 1979 to 1990, and Redmond planned to follow in her footsteps.

A native from Riverside, California, Redmond enlisted in November 2013 and went to A-school for four months to become a corpsman. After being stationed at Guantanamo Bay, she attended Advanced X-ray C-school, followed by a deployment on the USS Nimitz Aircraft Carrier. It was after this deployment that she went on to specialize as a nuclear medicine technician.

“I really like nuclear medicine…a majority of our patients are cancer patients so it’s following up with them and making sure their treatments did work, and if not, getting them to that next step,” Redmond went on to say. “Some cancers metastasize into bone cancer, so we do their yearly screenings to make sure it didn’t metastasize, and our patients with breast cancer that are either getting their lymph nodes removed or their entire breast tissue removed. I do really enjoy working with those types of patients.”

Redmond is currently serving in Guam at the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. But she is not the first in her family to serve in Guam. Redmond’s maternal grandfather, Clarence Douglas Johnson, joined the Marine Corps at 16 years old and served in Guam during World War II. When Redmond visited the Pacific War Museum, she was struck with just how much horror had occurred on Guam during WWII.

When Redmond was stationed on Guam in 2021, she immediately volunteered to be a part of the Guam IRT mission. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, that medical mission was postponed. Earlier this year, when Redmond learned the Guam Wellness IRT was a go, she jumped on the opportunity to serve as she had never served in an IRT before.

The Guam Wellness IRT is a collaborative program that leverages military contributions and community resources to provide medical, dental, and optometry services to community members. Some participating military members, such as Redmond, are part of the communities they serve in, making trainings like the Guam Wellness IRT very gratifying for them to be a part of.

Redmond states she wanted the “experience of going out and helping people in our community because the hospital only serves military members and retirees…tuberculosis is a really big problem here on the island and doing the tuberculosis screenings, making sure people are getting the proper treatment for it with either a positive PPD reading or x-rays, [and] getting the help they need for that.”

Redmond’s future include getting additional education to become a radiation oncology technician. “My passion is helping patients with cancer, and I want to help treat cancer to the best of my ability.”