Army Meets Medical Action Plan Benchmarks
June 15, 2007
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 15, 2007) - Army officials announced today that they have met all 10 "quick wins" set forth under the Army Medical Action Plan to improve Soldier medical care.
The 10 quick wins are the first of five phases of the AMAP, and refer to procedural and structural changes designed to make transition easier for wounded Soldiers and their Families.
"They will significantly improve the policies and processes that have inhibited and frustrated our Soldiers and their Families for many, many years," Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Richard A. Cody told Pentagon reporters.
Instead of segregating wounded Soldiers according to active-duty or reserve-component status, the Army Medical Command is now placing them in Warrior Transition Units, with a ratio of one squad leader to every 12 Soldiers.
In addition to a squad leader, each Soldier will have a primary-care manager and a nurse case manager to provide leadership and medical oversight and coordination. Formal training courses for WTU commanders and cadre are scheduled to begin June 25, Gen. Cody said.
A new manning document also authorizes leadership, clinical oversight and coordination, and administrative- and financial-support levels at each medical treatment facility throughout the Army.
According to Gen. Cody, electronic records systems are also expected to expedite care. The Army has linked the Web-based Defense Personnel Records Retrieval System to the Department of Veterans Affairs to electronically transfer records needed to initiate VA benefits. MEDCOM is also testing the MyMEB Web site, which will allow Soldiers to track the status of their Medical Evaluation Boards online.
The Army is placing special emphasis on the role Families play in Soldiers' recoveries. Soldiers can now designate preferred-treatment locations near their Families before deploying, and Soldier and Family Assistance Centers are being established at Army hospitals to provide administrative and financial assistance and help coordinate benefits and services.
Cody also detailed changes being made in training and doctrine to decrease the stigma and increase recognition, diagnosis and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries. These include formal training for medical professionals and all Soldiers and commanders.
Other quick wins include prioritizing medical care and housing for wounded warriors and the maintenance of medical facilities, as well as monthly town hall meetings at each MTF to identify problems and concerns.
"We are doing everything possible to improve the services we provide and change processes and policies that are cumbersome, frustrating and inconvenient for our warriors and their Families," said Gen. Cody. "We are fully committed to helping our wounded warriors and their Families through medical recoveries for return to duty or for transition out of military service."