Fort Belvoir becomes home for wounded warriors
August 17, 2011
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Public Affairs
FORT BELVOIR, Va., Aug. 17, 2011 -- The arrival of about 48 wounded, ill and injured warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center at the new Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Complex Sunday marked a major milestone of the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005.
Symbolizing the Department of Defense's covenant of caring for troops, the move of wounded warriors to the new complex is a provision of BRAC 2005, consolidating Walter Reed with the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and National Naval Medical Center.
Housing 288 rooms in 144 suites, the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Comlex features a common area in each suite where wounded warriors can cook dinner, watch TV and chat with their suite-mates.
"I really enjoy the new place, excellent facilities," said Spc. Joe Pohl, a medic who has been recovering from cancer since last summer. "Having our own kitchenette and separate bathrooms is wonderful … It is a lot more like living at home as opposed to a hospital. It helps with the healing process, not having to worry about a lot of things."
Each suite in the new facility includes washers and dryers, large walk-in closets and wider doorways. They are also stocked with every household item needed to provide residents with a fresh start. Garden areas and landscaping zones also accentuate the complex.
"We took a cue from the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in that designers incorporated natural elements to help beneficiaries heal in mind, body and spirit," explained Lt. Col. Jean Jones, Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit commander. "We adopted the healing garden concept here so warriors can go outside and really become a part of the Fort Belvoir environment and absorb that healing power of nature.
"Everything they need is here," she said. "Any medical care the warrior may need is on the medical and Fort Belvoir campus. We will care for them just as well as they were at Walter Reed."
In addition, the triad of care concept " with each warrior assigned a squad leader, nurse case manager, and primary care doctor " will continue to ensure safe, quality care. In fact, each cadre member " squad leader, nurse case manager, and primary care manager " moved with each warrior to guarantee their continuity of care, Jones said.
The Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Complex also contains four "day rooms" where residents can congregate and play pool, music, ping pong and foosball, to name a few. The Soldier Family Assistance Center is also on the campus in addition to the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital to reduce navigation through the medical and administrative portions of recovery. The SFAC also houses a 30-room child care area where families can drop off their children for free, hourly day care while they attend their medical appointments.
"Taking care of our warriors is the most rewarding job in the world," Jones said. "We have the ability to help someone who has been injured through their recovery and transition. We have the opportunity to work with warriors during, the most serious part of their illness and also help them through the wellness process, preparing them to return to duty or back to their civilian lives."