Walter Reed Army Medical Center Outpatient Care
What happened? The Washington Post ran a series of articles which brought to the attention of the Army's most senior leaders conditions in outpatient care that clearly show our medical system, the very same one that saves lives every single day, is not what it should be, what it could be, what it MUST be to take care of those who have transitioned to outpatient status. We must use this as an opportunity to examine this area of our mission and fix it.
What has the Army done? The Army has sent its leaders to the site; the Army has accepted/acknowledged to Soldiers, their families, all veterans of every generation, and Americans that it 'gets it' and is taking action. The Army is taking immediate actions (The four focus areas of the Army Action Plan are: 1) Soldier accountability, health and welfare; 2) infrastructure; 3) medical administrative process; and 4) information dissemination.) The Army is assigning more personnel resources to ensure the smallest possible ratio of outpatients to case workers; Army leaders have testified in Congress to provide the facts; and the Army is committed to addressing every issue at every level - the Army has taken responsibility and is moving quickly to address issues regarding outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and locations Army-wide.
What leadership changes have been made? Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has accepted the resignation of the Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey on 2 March 2007. Undersecretary of the Army Pete Geren will serve as acting secretary beginning 9 March until a new secretary is in place. MG George Weightman was relieved of command by Secretary Harvey because the senior Army leadership had lost trust and confidence in the commander's leadership abilities to address needed solutions for Soldier-outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. MG Eric Schoomaker will serve as the new commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center and North Atlantic Regional Medical Command.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army's leadership is committed to ensuring America's wounded Soldiers receive the highest quality of care equal to the quality of their service and the sacrifice they've made for our Nation. Army senior leadership will also continue to take prompt corrective action as deficiencies are identified. They'll fix issues as they find them.
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