Command of hospital changes hands
July 10, 2012
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (July 10, 2012) -- Command of the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital changed hands for the first time since its Aug. 31 opening during a ceremony in front of the facility today.
Col. Susan Annicelli relinquished command of the award-winning hospital to Col. Charles Callahan as hundreds of medical staff, patients, friends and family observed.
Annicelli, who is retiring, assumed command of DeWitt Army Community Hospital and Health Care Network in July 2010 and opened the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in August 2011. Known as one of the largest and most complex of the medical BRAC actions in the National Capital Region, Annicelli received accolades from Maj. Gen. Steve Jones, officiating officer and commander of Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical, for orchestrating the transition while simultaneously maintaining operations at DeWitt ACH.
"She flawlessly led the transition from a small 40-bed DeWitt Army Community Hospital to a magnificent, new 120-bed facility when leaders doubted it would be completed on time or nearly as well," Jones said. "Her staff accomplished this under the most difficult of circumstances, which included a couple of blizzards, a hurricane, and an earthquake."
Annicelli credited the hospital staff with the success of the construction and equipping of the new facility all while providing safe, compassionate, and world-class care to service members and their families during the transition.
"We turned off clinical operations at DeWitt at 7 a.m., admitted our first patient from the FBCH ED at 8 a.m., performed our first surgery at noon, and delivered the first baby at [5:30 p.m.]," she said. "You redefined team work, innovation, motivation, dedication, and resiliency."
Before the change of command ceremony, Jones awarded Annicelli the Distinguished Service Medal in honor and recognition of her "significant and lasting contributions to the care, development and training of the Army during her 32-year career."
Callahan, who became the first Army officer to serve as deputy commander and chief of staff at National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, helped lead its transition to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Additionally, he previously commanded DeWitt Army Community Hospital and Health Care Network from 2008 to 2010.
During his ceremony speech, he spoke of the opportunity Fort Belvoir Community Hospital has to become a model for what integrated health care looks like by providing care that addresses "body, mind and spirit at every single encounter." He said the hospital can do all of this while maintaining the highest level of military readiness and setting the standard for medical training.
"American Medicine is changing dramatically," Callahan said. "As we enter this inter-war period, military medicine will change as well. We have a choice to make here and across the joint operating area, 'Will we be the leaders or will we be led?' I say the former."
Among other achievements over the first 10 months of operations, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and its staff launched more than 50 new services, underwent a week-long Joint Commission survey and achieved full accreditation status, opened a Residential Treatment Center for the inpatient management of substance use disorders and traumatic stress reactions, completed a $5 million renovation project and opened the new Warrior Pavilion providing dedicated treatment to wounded warriors within a Patient Centered Medical Home Model, and finalized July 9 the transition and relocation of its outlying clinics -- Dumfries and Fairfax Health Centers -- opening two new facilities to provide care to more than 47,000 enrolled patients. Last, the hospital was selected as the first to standup a National Intrepid Center of Excellence satellite center for the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.