By Yan Kennon
Public Affairs Senior Writer, Naval Hospital Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Business Journal honored Lt. Cmdr. Robert Lennon, a Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville family medicine physician, as a 2017 Health Care Hero.
"This extremely selective honor reflects highly upon Lt. Cmdr. Lennon, as well as our entire clinical staff team," said Capt. David Collins, NH Jacksonville commanding officer.
Health care is one of Jacksonville's largest industries, and each year the Jacksonville Business Journal selects heroes who have improved the quality of health care, saved lives, made discoveries and championed the next generation of health care providers.
Jacksonville Business Journal recognized 16 Health Care Heroes from Florida's First Coast, from organizations such as Baptist Health, Mayo Clinic, NH Jacksonville, St. Vincent's HealthCare and UF Health.
Lennon served as the medical officer in charge for Continuing Promise 2017 (CP-17), leading a clinical staff of 83 in providing medical, dental and veterinary services to thousands of people in Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia.  CP-17, with Lennon leading the medical staff, accomplished 23,601 patient encounters (which was 157 percent of the mission's original goal and included dental, adult medicine, pediatric, optometry, gynecology, dermatology and physical therapy visits), 200 knowledge exchanges and training events, over 800 animal treatments and 24 community relations projects.
Lennon also worked with local leaders at each mission stop site to plan care, based on local needs and resources. 
"The answer is in the story" is one of Lennon's favorite sayings, which he passes on to new physicians.  The key is to listen to the patient's story, understand what's important to them, and develop a solution to help.
Lennon, who holds a law degree as well as a medical degree, is a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians and has published extensively in national peer-reviewed journals.