Lt. Dwight Hampton (Navy)
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Opelousas native Lt. Dwight Hampton recently made history by being the first U.S. Navy nurse to receive the “Excellence in Nursing Award” presented annually by Washingtonian Magazine.
The award honors registered nurses who go beyond the call of duty to enhance the well-being of their patients and their community.
Hampton, was honored for his work as the deputy director of the U.S. Navy’s Medical Home Port Program Management Office.
“Time and time again, I saw Lt. Hampton go to clinics and galvanize the staff into transforming their work methods for better care,” said Lt. Commander Sunny Ramchandami, MD, medical director of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.
According to the award, Hampton joined the Navy in 1990 and worked in navigation before going on to nursing school.
“He then became a part of a broken military health care system,” the award committee said. “Sick people had trouble accessing care. Issues as simple as prescription refills required office visits, creating a log jam that prompted many people with routine ailments to turn to expensive-urgent care facilities and ERs.”
Hampton was honored for his work that overhauled the system.
Working 60 hours or more a week, he frequently logged more than 100,000 flight miles a year visiting naval clinics throughout the world.
“His Navy travels have included trips to Yokosuka, Japan; Okinawa, Japan; Sigonella, Italy; Guam; Rota, Spain; Hawaii and numerous trips within the United States to train Navy medical and administrative staff in pediatric, family practice and internal medicine ambulatory care clinics,” the committee said.
His supervisors praised his work, saying he was instrumental in improving care, reducing ER visits and helping institute this new patient-centered Medical Home Port program four years earlier than projected.
Hampton called the award a great honor and praised his life in Opelousas for giving him a strong foundation.
“I enjoy everywhere I travel, but I always keep a special place in my heart for the people, culture and, to be honest, the food of Opelousas,” Hampton said.
“If I have had any success, I am sure my Opelousas-based upbringing played a large part in it. It taught me to respect everyone and that I could learn something positive from anyone,” Hampton said.
Hampton currently works as the deputy director and nursing subject matter expert in the Medical Home Port Program Management Office at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Falls Church, Va.
He is married to Stephanie L. Hampton and the couple and their preschool-age daughter presently live in Burke, Va.