Mannheim clinics prepare for closure
September 16, 2011
MANNHEIM, Germany - In a few short weeks the doors of the Mannheim Army health and dental clinics will permanently close as part of ongoing transformation efforts throughout Europe.
The health center located on Benjamin Franklin Village originally opened in 1956.
Inside, Sgt. Jeffrey Cook, the patient administration division non-commissioned officer in charge and Spc. Jose Gonzalez have been busy inventorying and organizing nearly 2,000 medical records all housed inside the Mannheim medical clinic.
The pair were tasked to separate the paper medical records into active-duty, family member, retiree and civilian status to ready them for transfer to the Heidelberg Health Center and Coleman Troop Medical Clinic.
"I've identified all the beneficiaries for the Mannheim health clinic and we're currently pulling their records from the shelves by hand and grouping them into categories based on their status. We have a by name list that we use to ensure 100 percent accountability," Cook said.
Most patients also have an electronic copy of their medical records that can be seen by military medical personnel located at other facilities.
Once the Mannheim health clinic is closed, active-duty Soldiers will be seen at Coleman Troop Medical Center and family members, civilians and retirees at the Heidelberg Health Center.
Unless there are special circumstances, all patient medical records will be automatically transferred and patients do not need to come into the clinic to pick up their records.
"The only situation that I'm allowing people to hand carry the records is Soldiers who have since transferred to Heidelberg that are going to be seen in Heidelberg," Cook said. "They must bring a copy of their orders, a memorandum, something that will identify them as being seen in Heidelberg. Otherwise we will maintain 100 percent accountability."
If active-duty Soldiers need to be seen at a medical facility other than Coleman, they will then need to go to Mannheim to change their enrollment.
"Some of our Soldiers are afforded the opportunity to be seen in Heidelberg because that is where they work or live. They will automatically be enrolled in Coleman unless they tell us otherwise and if they're already assigned to Heidelberg and they have orders, just bring in those orders or let us know they're going to enroll themselves in Heidelberg. But right now active-duty Soldiers have a choice depending on where they work," said Lt. Col. Rachele Smith, Commander of Mannheim Army Health and Coleman Troop Medical Clinics.
"This is a very routine process for Sgt. Cook and his team within patient administration," she added. "Records transfer is something that we do every day whether a Soldier is separating, PCSing or in this case clinics are closing and moving." she said.
Lt. Col. Cathleen Labate, officer in charge for the Mannheim Dental Clinic and her staff have spent the last four months organizing and transferring dental records for the Mannheim community.
"Family member, retirees and civilian records have all been transferred to Patrick Henry Village Dental clinic in Heidelberg and when the office officially closes we will send all remaining Soldier records to Coleman Barracks." said Labate.
"Patients can no longer pick up their own records. They will need to call the dental clinic on Patrick Henry Village to start making appointments and to access their records," she said.
The dental clinic will continue to see emergency cases until Sept. 23 before closing its doors. The medical clinic will officially close Sept. 30.
The deactivation ceremony for the Mannheim medical and dental clinics is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct.14 at the sports arena on Benjamin Franklin Village in Mannheim.