By Yan Kennon
Naval Hospital Jacksonville Public Affairs Senior Writer
Capt. David Collins turned over leadership of Naval Hospital Jacksonville (comprised of a hospital and five branch health clinics) to Capt. Matthew Case during a change of command ceremony at the hospital on March 16.
More than 500 staff, family, friends, and guests attended the time-honored Navy tradition at the hospital, presided over by Rear Adm. Anne Swap, commander of Navy Medicine East.
Swap commended Collins' leadership as commanding officer. "From developing community partnerships to launching not one but two ground-breaking pilots for Navy Medicine world-wide, Capt. Collins and Naval Hospital Jacksonville are leading from the front. Thank you for a job well done, keeping our Navy and Marine Corps family healthy, ready, and on the job."
Swap presented Collins with the Legion of Merit Award on behalf of Vice Adm. C. Forrest Faison III, Navy surgeon general, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service.
"As I finish my command tour here at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, I want you to know what an honor and privilege it has been to be your commanding officer. I realize all too well that one of the greatest jobs in my career is coming to an end," said Collins. "I leave here both proud of, and humbled by, the staff (military, civilian, contract, and volunteer) at our hospital and five branch health clinics.  You are leading the way for Navy Medicine and military medicine."
Collins thanked the staff for achieving healthcare excellence; enabling readiness, health and partnerships; and being professional in everything they do.
"Capt. Case, you are taking command of the best hospital in Navy Medicine. You have a team that is committed to healing our nation's heroes and their families. The team will exceed your expectations every day. They have the honor of taking care of the most deserving patients on the planet," Collins continued.
The command's enrollees include active duty from five installations, 115 tenant commands, and 53 operational platforms. During Collins' tenure, the command also supported 252 non-enrolled ships, squadrons, and other operational units.  The command deployed 127 staff on combat and humanitarian missions around the world, as well as 58 staff in support of Continuing Promise and Pacific Partnership.
The command celebrated its 75th Anniversary on July 1, 2016, dedicating a time capsule to be opened in 2066.
In October 2016, NH Jacksonville launched Navy Medicine's pilot of value-based care, which defines success based on each patient's unique goals.  It's a team approach organized around medical conditions, with diabetes and musculoskeletal care teams. 
In January 2018, NH Jacksonville launched Navy Medicine's pilot of virtual health.  The Navy Care app enables patients (at any location) to have a virtual visit with a clinician, by using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
The hospital performed Navy Medicine's first outpatient, same-day hip replacement surgery in January 2018.
Branch Health Clinic Jacksonville recently opened a lactation suite for active duty moms, the first of its kind in Navy Medicine.
The family medicine residency program won the 2018 and 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Scholarly Activity awards from the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians, and maintained its 100 percent board certification pass rate.  Three command physicians were recognized as Health Care Heroes by the Jacksonville Business Journal.  One command nurse won the Spirit Award (and five others were recognized as finalists) in First Coast Magazine's Celebration of Nurses. All six facilities earned the Navy Surgeon General's Health Promotion and Wellness "Blue H" Award.
As part of its commitment to patient safety, the command hosted a High Reliability in Healthcare Summit in April 2017, with experts from healthcare, aviation, and submarine communities. The hospital is also developing community partnerships to maintain and enhance the clinical capabilities of command staff.
Collins successfully guided the command through 27 inspections, including a survey by The Joint Commission, which resulted in Gold Seal of Approval® re-accreditation.  The National Committee for Quality Assurance granted highest-level recognition to Medical Home Port teams at the command.
During Collins' tour, the command provided 1,293,854 medical and 119,075 dental visits; performed 9,660 surgeries; admitted 5,091 patients; filled 2,053,783 prescriptions; performed 1,819,573 laboratory tests; and delivered 2,209 babies. 
Collins, a native of Avoca, Michigan, is a Medical Service Corps officer, commissioned in 1991. He assumed leadership of NH Jacksonville on May 6, 2016.  Collins now embarks on a new assignment as executive assistant to the Navy surgeon general.
Case, NH Jacksonville's newest commanding officer, previously served as executive officer of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. A native of New Hampshire, he was commissioned as a Medical Service Corps officer in 1994.
Case acknowledged the exceptionally high standard set by Collins. "I'm honored to take command of Naval Hospital Jacksonville.  I look forward to maintaining the momentum created by Capt. Collins and continuing to move us forward," said Case.