Army Surgeon General visits USAMITC
October 3, 2011
FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS -- The U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command, Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, recently visited the U.S. Army Medical Information Technology Center (USAMITC) to get a first-hand look at the upcoming technologies that USAMITC is testing prior to implementation in Army Medicine. This also gave him a chance to see how many advances USAMITC has made and how many successes the command has counted since he first assumed the position of Surgeon General in 2008.
Schoomaker and his staff toured the Enterprise Service Desk (ESD) which began deployment in 2008 and is now held as the standard in Military Call Centers according to Catherine Altherr, ESD Chief. During the time he spent in the ESD, he introduced himself to the technology specialists, spoke with leadership and relayed his gratitude for a job well done.
From the ESD, the Surgeon General toured the Video Network Center (VNC). While there, he participated in a multi-point video teleconference using a new technology that can connect patients in remote locations with providers or specialists at large hospitals, taking away the need for patients to travel long distances.
From the VNC, the general and his staff sat for a briefing hosted by Lt. Col. Beverly Beavers, USAMITC Commander, about the mission of each of USAMITC's divisions and how they work day-in and day-out to enable the Military providers who care for our nation's Wounded Warriors.
After this command brief with the USAMITC leadership, Schoomaker then awarded U.S. Army Surgeon General Coins to USAMITC staff members who were hand-picked by their supervisors because of recent outstanding achievements. Awarding someone with a "Command Coin" is a long-standing Military tradition where a senior officer gives it to a subordinate as a way to publicly thank them for outstanding work or a job well done.
While awarding the coins, Schoomaker took the opportunity to speak with the selected staff members about their achievements, and to also impart his own words of wisdom as the Army Surgeon General.
In regard to the many requirements and changes wrought by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act, he said, "The joke used to be that we hope they don't try to implement BRAC while we're fighting a war. Well, we see how that turned out," he said. "But despite that, these changes took place without us missing a beat, and there's something to be said about that."
In his final address to the assembled crowd at the end of his visit, the Surgeon General made some other observations, and ended by praising the work USAMITC does, "This is great!" he said. "We've made tremendous strides in standardizing support across the entire Army Medical Department, and you've done a tremendous job," he concluded.