Information Papers

The Europe Regional Medical Command: “Medics Forward” serving an Army in Transition

What is it?
The U.S. Army Europe Regional Medical Command (ERMC) is responsible for providing world-class health care and access to eligible beneficiaries in the European theater, predominantly through joint and Army-centric clinics, hospitals and units that ensure readiness, quality care and proactive measures within the health care community. The ERMC staff fully understands that beneficiaries perceive healthcare as a precious benefit—one that requires exacting tasks in the delivery of the benefit, patient safety at every step of the delivery and development of tangible options whenever the benefit diminishes or disappears.

As the Command Surgeon, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, the ERMC Commander maximizes delivery of medical care through a collaboration with the Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, the Europe Regional Dental Command, the Europe Regional Veterinary Command, USA Medical Materiel Center-Europe, the USA Medical Research Unit-Europe, Task Force Med Falcon-Kosovo, 30th Medical Brigade, and the U.S. Air Force and Navy medical units in Europe.

What has the Army done?
The 3,200-strong ERMC staff provides medical care to the U.S. Army Europe, the European Command and the new Africa Command, as well as to wounded Soldiers evacuated from Iraq or Afghanistan. In Europe, the ERMC footprint encompasses a population of more than 108,000, which are the Soldiers and Families across many different countries. DoD civilian employees and contractors, DODDS teachers, and U.S. military retirees are eligible for care, however on a space-available basis. The ERMC staff fully understands the expectations of these beneficiaries and endeavors to maximize its appointment schedules to accommodate as many as possible.

The mission of ERMC is to project and sustain a healthy and medically protected force, deploy trained and equipped medical forces that support U.S. Army and Department of Defense forces worldwide, and manage the healthcare of the Soldiers and Family members.

To project and sustain a healthy and medically protected force, ERMC:

To deploy a trained and equipped medical force that supports Army and Department of Defense future forces worldwide, ERMC: To manage the health and care of Soldiers and Families, ERMC: ERMC has Medical Department Activities in Heidelberg and Bavaria and a Regional Medical Center at Landstuhl. The ERMC footprint has 21 free-standing health, 27 dental and 27 veterinary clinics in Germany, Italy and Belgium. There is also a Birthing Center in Vicenza, Italy. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) is the largest American hospital outside the U.S. and provides primary and tertiary care, hospitalization, psychological health, and medical services to more than 52,000 American military and Families within its area or responsibility. In particular, LRMC is the only referral center for specialized and sub-specialized medical/surgical care for more than 250,000 American military personnel and their Families in Europe. Since the beginning of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, LRMC has provided treatment to more than 40,210 wounded Soldiers. Of interest, more than 12,000 have returned back to their units in the CENTCOM AOR.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
In 2007, the Europe Regional Medical Command established three Warrior Transition Units with 12 platoons/sections to assist wounded Warriors during their recovery period return to active duty or to transition to civilian life as a proud Soldier. The Warrior in Transition’s job is to heal. A Warrior Transition Unit battalion headquarters and one additional company will stand up in 2008 to provide command and control for each of the Warrior Transition Units. These Wounded Warriors are afforded timely access to primary and specialty care, including surgery, aggressive case management to facilitate recovery and to expedite healing so that they may return to duty.

ERMC supports the Army Family Covenant to Soldiers and Families and is on-point to deliver outstanding, timely and quality care. The ERMC team always strives to deliver the highest quality care in all of the clinics and hospitals. The procedures in performing this quality care are discussed, rehearsed and practiced in order to become as routine as a battle drill. The patient’s safety is truly the most important step and a positive outcome is expected. Each team member learns and knows his/her tasks and standards and subsequently safely applies his/her precious skills along with the values of respect, courtesy and compassion. Each healthcare provider also understands that every patient is different, presenting a different set of medical issues and expectations. The healthcare providers as well as all ERMC staff want to make a connection with all beneficiaries and will look each patient in the eye and get the patient to smile. The healthcare provider (physician, phlebotomist, nurse) will further ask each patient at the conclusion of the visit, “Is there anything else I can do for you? I have the time." The ERMC staff is committed to the health of every patient and understands that the patient is why ERMC exists.

Why is this important to the Army?
Though managing the health and care of Soldiers and Family members is an honor, it also becomes a challenge as USAREUR continues to change its footprint. ERMC remains committed to keeping pace with USAREUR transformation in Europe by optimizing services as well as developing Host Nation services that will afford all beneficiaries options for obtaining and assuring healthcare access and establishing continuity of care for all beneficiaries.

The Europe Regional Medical Command endeavors to make the healthcare encounter an experience of compassion, respect, quality care and service, education, and complete understanding of the patient’s health, health promotion and disease management. The 21st Century presents unique challenges that will enable the ERMC staff to exploit technology to develop a Virtual Clinic that focuses on the continuity of care and the satisfaction of all beneficiaries. Transformation of medical units further enables the same level of care to deploy where Soldiers deploy.