Lyster Clinic, VA open new diagnostic facilities at Fort Rucker
Staff Sgt. Robert Kyger, LAHC radiology noncommissioned officer-in-charge, demonstrates how technicians monitor MRI scans during a tour of the new facility June 7 at Fort Rucker. LAHC and the Veterans Affairs clinic staff celebrated the grand opening of their joint MRI and CT scan equipment with a brief ceremony and tour.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Lyster Army Health Clinic and Veterans Affairs Wiregrass Outpatient Clinic staff celebrated the grand opening of joint MRI and CT scan facilities June 7 at LAHC's Rm. V-130.

The two, state-of-the-art, facilities offer active-duty Soldiers, their Families and veterans medical screenings previously unavailable on post, said LAHC Commander Col. Yolanda Ruiz-Isales.

"Our mutual goal is to enhance continuity of care, reduce cost and, most importantly, ensure the patient remains the focus of all our initiatives," she said. "Veterans no longer (have to) travel 200 miles for a routine MRI or CT scan, and Lyster TRICARE Prime enrollees (now) have this technology available on the installation."

Ruiz-Isales noted the MRI system offers patients a 270-degree open view. Image quality on both machines is superb, offering customers quality care and allowing doctors to provide faster and more accurate readings and treatments, she added.

"Our goal is to deliver premier care to our Soldiers, their Families and veterans," Ruiz-Isales said. "Without question, the Lyster Army Health Clinic partnership with the VA serves as an excellent model for future (Department of Defense and) VA joint ventures at other (military treatment facilities). To sustain success, however, we must continue to do all we can to ensure the military health care system and the VA system remains the premier choice of health care for our beneficiaries."

MRI and CT scan hours are Mondays through Fridays, from 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The MRI facility is located in the old emergency medical services building outside LAHC, with special assigned parking spots available. Patients may access the CT scan through the radiology department inside LAHC.

Beneficiaries must receive referrals from their primary care physicians in order to schedule appointments for either service, Ruiz-Isales said. Both facilities have about eight appointment slots available daily, which are split evenly between LAHC and VA Clinic customers.

The new facilities are staffed by two recently hired and trained MRI technicians, along with two CT scan technicians who were already employed at the clinics, according to Lt. Col. Wendy Campbell, nursing deputy commander.

Installation medical care improvements don't stop there, according to Anissa Bauman, VA Clinic nurse manager.

VA Clinic staff expands patient services when they open the facility's second floor July 13, she said.

The additional level provides veterans a primary care clinic, women's health care facility, laboratory, larger examination rooms, group education and meeting rooms, pharmacy, dietician and social worker services, Bauman said. Veterans previously had to drive to Montgomery to receive many of these benefits.

Accessing critical medical services closer to home makes life easier for retired Air Force Col. Selden Bailey of Dothan, he said. He toured the new facility recently and said he appreciated LAHC and VA staffs' hard work implementing these new facilities.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16