Surveys to look at reserve-component medical board process
June 16, 2010
By Todd Fogle
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 16, 2010) -- Members of both the Army Reserve and National Guard have been asked to complete an online survey about their perceptions of the medical review process.
A review team headed up by retired Gen. Frederick M. Franks is conducting a study on the medical evaluation board and physical evaluation board process. He conducted a similar project last year examining the MEB/PEB process for the active component.
All reserve-component Soldiers with an Army Knowledge Online account have been sent a link to the survey. Family members are also being asked to complete a survey to judge their needs and how they perceive the process, said Col. David C. Romine, chief surgeon for the National Guard and Lt. Col. Floyd Burgher, chief of clinical operation.
In a letter posted online, Chief of the Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz wrote, "I am asking you to take this survey so we can implement positive changes for you, your fellow Soldiers and families."
Col. Anne Bauer, chief of staff for the Reserve Components Medical Process Review Team said, "even though it can be painstaking, it is critical."
Those going through the process have the most experience with the issues inside it, Bauer said. "We need their feedback," she said, adding that this feedback will help initiate change.
Officials from the National Guard Surgeon's Office said, "If it has to go to the Hill to change law, that's not beyond the scope."
There are actually four different surveys. One is for Soldiers, and three others are for administrators, leaders and families.
The surveys take about 30 minutes to complete and do not have to be finished in one sitting, according to the instructions. Lack of representation is the only penalty for not answering a question on the survey they said.
Officials described it as a branch survey. The questions displayed will be based on how previous questions were answered. Romine and Burgher said changes were already being made because the responses are being monitored.
Almost 3,700 surveys had already been completed by Tuesday afternoon. Soldiers completed the majority of the surveys.
Bauer said there is currently no deadline to complete the survey but the online site is expected to close around July 9. She said Franks wants to have the report available in September.
Statistics experts were hired to help determine what problems and challenges seem to be a trend.
Romine and Burgher said it is a tremendous opportunity to influence the system.
"We want the best and appropriate things for our Soldiers," they said.
Although the survey was sent to every reserve-component AKO account, social media are also being used to help reach family members who do not have military accounts or IDs to access the survey.
Links to the surveys can be found at: <a href="http://www.usar.army.mil/arweb/soldiers/Pages/MedicalReviewProcessSurvey.aspx" target="_blank">www.usar.army.mil/arweb/soldiers/Pages/MedicalReviewProcessSurvey.aspx</a>