Good Health Is Victory at Joint Munitions Command
August 5, 2011
It’s all in a day’s work for the Joint Munitions Command’s Command Surgeon, Maj. Peter G. Matos. Day to day, as JMC employees go about their usual routines, their command surgeon’s days are anything but routine.
“There really is no typical day for me,” said Matos. “I address whatever comes my way.”
He may begin a day at the Rock Island Arsenal clinic where he serves as a general medical officer, similar to a civilian general practitioner.
Or, Matos may work sick call at the clinic where patients can walk in and get an appointment to consult him. He may see people with occupational medical issues. For example, he may examine a civilian who is getting ready to deploy, or someone with a work-related rash that won’t go away.
JMC’s doc also serves executive officers and their families. And, unlike most other doctors in this day and age, he makes house calls and office calls.
Prior to coming to JMC in 2010, Matos served at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He holds bachelors’ degrees in biology and anthropology, a master’s in microbiology, a master’s in public health and is board certified as a Doctor of Preventive Medicine and Occupational Medicine.
Since his arrival a year ago, Matos has visited every JMC installation. He participates in command inspections and investigates each installation’s occupational health program.
“I observe how a patient flows through their health system,” said Matos.
If an installation has a clinic, Matos analyzes its standard of care and targets 14 specific areas, including vision, hearing, etc.
He also works with an installation’s fire and emergency medical services to ensure that they are prepared to respond to any possible emergency and disaster.
Matos makes sure that every JMC facility, whether government-operated or contractor-operated, has employee assistance, substance abuse and workers compensation programs, and that they function properly to benefit employees.
At JMC, Matos has been involved with environmental medicine, “all the way from a single patient to population health,” he said.
For example, he is compiling a data base to follow, over time, the health of workers who produce munitions. Matos coordinates with other agencies on population health issues to increase worker safety and health in the long run.
In the JMC Command Surgeon’s office, Doc has a new colleague. Rose Simmons, RN, is the Wellness Coordinator.
“My job is to get the word out to JMC employees about what they can do to be healthy,” said Simmons. “I want to help them become stronger physically, mentally, family-related, spiritually and socially.”
To this end, she publishes a monthly newsletter with pertinent topics, an “Ask the Doc” column, a chaplain’s column, useful health tips, upcoming events, and even motivational quotations.
Simmons is a master resiliency trainer who focuses on people’s ability to “bounce” back from adversity. Resiliency classes are in the making and will focus on thinking traps, hunting the “good stuff”, adopting coping skills, and putting things in perspective.
Also in the future, Simmons will offer “Lunch and Learn” sessions on topics such as exercise and nutrition.
“This is the JMC employees’ program,” said Simmons, “and I would like their input and suggestions.”
Echoing Simmons’ philosophy, Doc Matos tells JMC employees, “My door is always open.”
For more information on the Command Surgeon’s office, go to www.jmc.army.mil and click on “Headquarters Staff”, then “G1”, then “Command Surgeon.”
For more information on the Wellness Program, go to www.jmc.army.mil and click on “Sharepoint”, then “G1”, then “Wellness Program.”