Family Practice, Hampton Roads Urgent Care
Last August, Dr. Dan Naumann spent two weeks on a humanitarian medical mission in Malawi, Africa. When he came home, he had one day to rest.
Another mission called: Dr. Naumann, a family practice physician with Hampton Roads Urgent Care in Newport News, headed to the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina for two more weeks, this time with a military team. As a Lieutenant Colonel and Flight Surgeon in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he led hundreds of doctors, dentists, optometrists and public health officials who together provided free care to more than 1,000 underserved patients.
“The turnaround was brutal, but I feel very blessed to be able to do this work,” Dr. Naumann says. “People deserve access to care that most of us take for granted, wherever they live.”
Humanitarian work has long been central to Dr. Naumann’s life. Over the past three decades, he has traveled to Malawi twice, Vietnam three times and the Dominican Republic and Jamaica once apiece, either through the military or church groups. This summer, he will lead another domestic military mission to central Georgia, with plans to construct health centers in five different counties.
“These are people who support our military, whether by paying taxes or praying for us or having family members who serve,” he says. “It’s important to give back to them.”
The military missions, which combine all service branches, target communities chosen by the Department of Defense based on various health and income indicators. Teams care for everything from simple sore throats to complex stroke complications, while connecting patients with local resources for longer-term treatment.
Many patients live far from a medical center, lack transportation or don’t have money for health insurance. One man in North Carolina had suffered horrible toothaches for years and was ready to sell his truck to pay for care. “He needed his truck, but he was desperate,” Dr. Naumann relates.
Missions also are important training grounds for young enlisted men and women, he adds: “They learn to create medical facilities out of nothing. Mentoring is a huge part of military life, so that if one person goes down, the next person below can step up.”
The son of an Air Force father, Dr. Naumann is a Newport News native who knew by middle school that he wanted to be a doctor. He earned a biology degree at Virginia Tech before completing medical school at Medical College of Virginia and an internship and residency at the York Hospital Family Practice Residency Program in Pennsylvania.
At MCV, Dr. Naumann loved each specialty rotation and eventually realized family medicine was a combination. “I love the variety,” he says. “I might see a 75-year-old with heart issues in one room and a 2-month-old baby with a cold in the next.” He worked at several local practices before joining HRUC, a division of Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, last fall.