Walter Reed patients tour future Belvoir home
June 27, 2011
FORT BELVOIR, Va., June 27, 2011 -- Wounded warriors who will transfer from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Fort Belvoir, Va., in mid-August got an up-close look June 23, 2011, at what life will be like for them.
Touring areas like the new Warrior Transition Complex, Potomac River access points and other facilities and amenities gave Soldiers an opportunity to escape the medical aspect of their healing and focus on other aspects of life.
“The tours give our wounded warriors and their families an opportunity to see their new living space, ask questions and engage us on any issues to ensure their needs are met,” said Terry Lewis, Warrior Transition Brigade Base Realignment Commission, or BRAC, integration director.
During the weekends of Aug. 12 and 19, wounded, ill and injured warriors now at Walter Reed’s Warrior Transition Brigade, or WTB, will transition to Fort Belvoir's new 1.3-million-square-foot hospital, and the new $55.1-million Warrior Transition Complex.
Many of the wounded warriors on the tour expressed excitement over their transition to Fort Belvoir.
“There is so much to do here on post,” said Sgt. Thomas Altersitz. “Wounded warriors can get out of their rooms to go fishing, enjoy the multiple gyms and pools on post, and have a bunch of choices for places to eat.”
Another subject on the minds of wounded warriors involved transportation. Not to worry, said Lewis, a shuttle specifically designated to wounded warriors and their families will help them get to any appointment or location on post they need, he said.
“It is the same level of service they currently receive at Walter Reed,” Lewis said.
During the tour, wounded warriors also visited the 239,000-square-foot Warrior in Transition Complex. The facility features 144 double-occupancy, two-bedroom suites and a robust Soldier and Family Assistance Center.
“These facilities provide an environment where injured Soldiers can focus on recovery and the transition back into military duty or civilian life,” Lewis said, “and we will continue to do all we can for our wounded warriors and their families to help them through the transition.”
Also Thursday, medical and administrative staff at DeWitt conducted an inpatient move exercise. Staff members in the DeWitt Movement Control Center worked together to coordinate the safe movement of mock patients to the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.
The exercise included contingency plans for external risks such as weather conditions, terrorist threats, and any construction issues that could occur during the inpatient move.
The move is part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation which requires realigning and moving staff and resources at WRAMC to health care facilities to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and Fort Belvoir, by Sept. 15, 2011.