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News | Sept. 21, 2022

Ombudsman fair emphasizes prominent resources at annual gathering

By Naval Medical Center San Diego

The annual Commander, Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW) Ombudsman Resource Fair, hosted by Naval Base San Diego’s (NBSD) Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC), was beaming with representatives from various organizations eager to enlighten ombudsmen and command leaders alike of services geared at solidifying a command’s welfare foundation, Aug. 31.

Intrinsically a command’s foundation rests on both the personal and professional dynamics of its people and how well they are balanced against a sea of challenges.

Navigating that sea requires the ability to educate command members on resources ready to keep them afloat. 

“By far the biggest challenge that ombudsmen are presented with is helping ensure that our members are connected with the tremendous diversity of services available to them before their stressors negatively affect their well-being and readiness,” said Jennifer Belding, Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) ombudsman. “Life comes with its own challenges, but when you consider the additional stressors associated with military service, it’s understandable that service members and their families may need additional resources to maintain their well-being. As an Ombudsman, my goal and responsibility is to ensure that our Sailors and their families are connected with the right resources when they need them. This Ombudsman Resource Fair is one of the ways I learn about those great resources so I can share them with our families.”

Get Real, Get Better

If the challenges Belding alludes to are countered by the armor of the Navy’s FFSC services that consist of:
-emergency situations (for example, wildfires)
-health care (for example, mental health, sexual assault, etc.)
-relocation assistance
-new parent support
-deployment services
-clinical counseling services
-financial management counseling
-family employment services
-family advocacy
-transition assistance programs,
then the attendance on the part of commanders and other key command representatives is not only understandable, but commendable at such events as knowledge is fortification.

“A commander’s support of the Ombudsman Program is necessary to ensure that our families are taken care of. By attending the Resource Fair, they showed their continued commitment to the well-being of our Sailors and families. It’s reassuring to know that they understand the scope of the plentiful resources Ombudsmen can refer families to, which can help ensure mission readiness by supporting family readiness.”

Resilience Leads to Readiness

“From what I see, there is a direct and indisputable correlation with a command’s resiliency and its readiness.  At NMCSD, our Sailors’ mission is to contribute to our warfighters’ readiness while also maintaining their own,” added Belding. “Every single service is indispensable as is every single Sailor; and, as ombudsmen, we are committed to them, their families and our civilians.”

Conversely, NMCSD patient relations representatives participated in the fair in order to broaden the horizons of other command ombudsmen as to NMCSD’s services and its commitment to delivering great health care.

The event also featured participants from the VA Benefits Office and other nonprofit organizations.

FFSCs are available to provide support via phone, telehealth, in person appointments, email, social media, webinar and command GMTs. To schedule an appointment within the San Diego area with a provider, call Centralized Scheduling at 1-866-923-6478.

To visit any of the various CNRSW FFSCs, visit: for locations and hours of operation.

NMCSD's mission is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality healthcare services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training and research. NMCSD employs more than 6,000 active duty military personnel, civilians and contractors in Southern California to provide patients with world-class care anytime, anywhere.
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