Army Medical Specialist Corps celebrates 66 years of service
March 12, 2013
As the Army Medical Specialist Corps (SP) observes its 66th anniversary on April 16, the corps "...plays a vital role in Army Medicine's transformation from a healthcare system to a system for health," said Corps Chief Col. Nikki Butler.
Today, as the Army focuses on enhancing the health of its force through the Ready and Resilient initiative, members of the medical specialist corps are playing a critical role in advancing the tenants (Activity, Nutrition and Sleep) of the Army Surgeon General's Performance Triad initiative.
By providing direct medical care as independent practitioners and physician extenders, SP officers play a key role in ensuring military medical readiness both on and off the battlefield. SP officers have served in every major conflict and humanitarian mission since the corps' inception.
In today's rapidly changing environment, the SP Corps is uniquely postured to meet the demands, challenges, and opportunities that change brings. SP officers are providing top-notch healthcare while simultaneously directing and guiding health and wellness initiatives across the enterprise all in support of transforming towards a system for health.
Many of the strategic level efforts addressing health capitalize on the skills, knowledge, and attributes of SP officers. Initiatives such as Patient/Soldier Centered Medical Homes, Army Wellness Centers, Traumatic Brain Injury & Behavioral Health, Injury Prevention & Human Performance Optimization, Comprehensive Pain Management, Wounded Warrior Care, and the Performance Triad (Activity, Nutrition & Sleep) require the subject matter expertise of SP officers.
The SP Corps operates nationally recognized education and training programs as well as leading edge outcomes research that support the above initiatives and other Army Medicine programs. As clinician scientists, SP officers continue to participate on national and international research projects. Currently, there are over one-hundred ongoing SP research efforts that span the spectrum of care from prevention, intervention, rehabilitation, and reintegration.
Today, SP officers serve both at home and abroad, in garrison and in deployed environments, and in support of humanitarian efforts. SP officers provide first class health care to Soldiers, Families, and other beneficiaries around the world. The SP Corps is absolutely essential in improving readiness, saving lives, and advancing wellness.
According to Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Army Surgeon General, "As Army Medicine begins its transformation to a system for health, it will challenge our way of thinking, our practice patterns, and our view of the future," A primary challenge is to determine how we extend our reach from the traditional brick and mortar facilities into the Lifespace of Soldiers, Family members, and our retirees in order to improve their health and wellness." "To this end, SP officers are leading key efforts on the Performance Triad, Patient/Soldier Centered Medical Home, and Warrior care. These initiatives are absolutely critical to the transformation towards a system for health," said Col. Butler.
"It takes all of us working together to conquer the challenges and drive change in a positive direction. SP officers with their skills, talents, knowledge, and attributes are critical in establishing partnerships among Soldiers, Families, leaders, health teams, and communities that promote readiness, resilience and responsibility. We stand ready to propel Army Medicine towards a system for health." Butler concluded.