Navy Capt. Dr. Charles “Chuck” Peters called to Javits New York Medical Station
Navy Capt. Dr. Charles “Chuck” Peters, a reserve officer in the U.S. Navy and Upper Milford Township resident, had been recalled to active service and until recently has been on the front line in what President Donald Trump calls the “war on the invisible enemy.”
The Navy ordered Peters to help staff the COVID-19 related temporary hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan, New York City renamed the Javits New York Medical Station.
The Emmaus High School 1990 graduate has now been in the Navy Reserve for 12 years and drills monthly at Expeditionary Medical Facility in Bethesda, Md.
Prior to entering the reserves, he had 10 years of active service. Peters is a 1994 graduate of Muhlenberg College and has a medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania.
As a cardiologist, his regular job is at the Geisinger Wyoming Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre.
“We were quickly mobilized within 48 hours,” Peters said.
After traveling to Fort Dix, N.J. April 4 for processing, he went on to his new duty station in New York City April 6 to assume duty as senior medical executive for the reserve unit in support of the task force’s mission to provide relief services for New York City’s hospitals.
“It’s been a success,” Peters said in a recent interview. “I oversee doctors, certified registered nurses, physicians and physician assistants and nurse practitioners.” He said he has executive oversight of 61 medical personnel.
His unit “falls under the Army 44th Medical Brigade and is under the overall command of the U.S. Public Health Service in the Joint Federal Emergency Management Agency Task Force. “We work side by side with the New York Department of Health.”
For perspective, his rank as a Navy captain is equal to an Army colonel. It is one step below a one-star admiral.
Peters said initially his unit at Javits New York Medical Station had the mission of treating non-coronavirus patients, but that mission was changed and it was treating patients with coronavirus.
At the time of his interview with The Press, his unit had treated 1,095 coronavirus patients since April 6.
Peters lived in Manhattan in a Times Square hotel and FaceTimed with his family every night. He said he will now undergo 14 days of quarantine before returning to duty.
Peters is the son of Dr. Charles and Barbara Peters, also of Upper Milford Township. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children — a son, 13 and a daughter, 11.