Fort Stewart MEDDAC changes leadership
July 14, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - July 7 marked a transition in leadership for Winn Army Community Hospital with a change of command and responsibility ceremony at Fort Stewart’s Marne Garden. The pomp and circumstance of the event was picture perfect for outgoing hospital commander, Col. Paul R. Cordts and incoming commander, Col. Ronald J. Place.
The ceremony included honors to the reviewing officer and the nation adding splendor to the occasion while symbolizing the lineage and honor of the U.S. Army Medical Command unit.
As part of the ceremony, red roses were given to Mrs. Patricia Cordts and Mrs. Mary Wrighton, spouses of Col. Cordts and outgoing hospital Command Sgt. Maj. Wrighton respectively. In addition, a single rose was given to 6-year-old Lillyann, granddaughter of Col. Cordts.
Under his leadership, Col. Cordts improved productivity and access to patient care while achieving a 90 percent overall satisfaction with patient visits and managing a 136 million dollar budget according to Southeast MEDDAC and Brooke Army Medical Center Commander, Maj. Gen. M. Ted Wong.
“Army Medicine is committed to maintaining healthy and protected warriors to build a culture of trust throughout the Army with our patients, stakeholders and customers,”
Throughout his remarks, Col. Cordts outlined the successes of his two year appointment that emphasized teamwork and trust.
According to Col. Cordts, cooperation from garrison leadership and the Winn Army team was essential to the establishment of the Richmond Hill medical home, the optimization of the medical management center, inpatient re-organization and the patient care and touch system. He was also instrumental in bringing prevention programs like suicide and substance abuse to the forefront.
“When I think of our ability to move forward I think of trust,” Col. Cordts said. “Our patients who trust that we will be there for them when they need us, for our Winn employees who trust that we will do the right thing regardless of personal risk. To the Army, its Army medicine that you can count on as an organization… We have worked hard to build trust in these three areas and we have made progress where work was needed.”
Distinctively different from some Third Infantry Division units, more than 50 percent of Winn’s workforce is Army Civilians according to Col. Cordts as apparent in the formation where Civilians took position alongside Soldiers.
“They are integral to our mission to promote, sustain and enhance the overall health of our military Family and our vision to create the Army’s healthiest community,” said Col. Cordts.
Among many to thank for their tireless service during his command was his chief advisor Command Sgt. Maj. Wrighton and wife Patricia who is a nurse anesthetist.
Shortly after the ceremony, Col. Cordts addressed Winn Army’s commitment to addressing command driven issues like suicide prevention.
“We are working hard to marry up risk assessment tools and open up lines of communication between commanders and behavioral health experts to identify risky behaviors of Soldiers,” Col. Cordts said.
Colonel Cordts and his Family leave Fort Stewart to chart new territory at Fort Campbell.
In line with many of the partnerships and initiatives put into place, board certified in general and colorectal surgery, Col. Ronald J. Place takes the reins of Winn Army Community Hospital with the full confidence Maj. Gen. Wong.
“I’m extremely impressed by your [Winn Army Family] abilities …and humbled by the Army’s confidence in me to lead this organization in a time like no other in Army medicine and our country’s history,” Col. Place said. He personally thanked Col. Cordts for showing him the secrets and challenges to his new role. “Your team [MEDDAC] fires on all cylinders.”
In addition to bringing a of experience to Winn Army Community Hospital, Col. Place has earned such awards as the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster to name a few.
Colonel Place recently completed a two year command at Ireland Army Community Hospital at Fort Knox.