FORT MEADE, Md. -- 'Tis the season for increased no-show rates at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center.

As everyone starts to get into their annual holiday routines of eating turkey, binge shopping, and taking leave to visit relatives, keeping or canceling your appointments becomes increasingly more important.

A "no-show" is defined as an individual who misses or is late to an appointment without canceling or rescheduling. Kimbrough has one of the highest rates -- 9 percent -- of no-shows in Army Medical Command, which equates to more than 2,000 missed appointments per month.

When you do not keep or cancel a previously scheduled appointment, you are not only hurting your own health and medical readiness. You also are preventing another service member or family member from using that appointment, further harming their health and medical readiness.

Consequently, Fort Meade units are ranked last in MEDCOM for Periodic Health Assessment compliance.

Recent data shows that the number of patients who do not show up for an appointment increases considerably during holiday months, making it harder for other patients who need appointments to obtain one.

If you are unable to make it to your appointment, please cancel as soon as possible so that a fellow service or family member can use that appointment slot.

If your appointment is within 24 hours, the easiest way to cancel is to visit All pending future appointments are listed in each patient's "Appointment Center," where you can set up text and email reminders. Otherwise, call 301-677-8800 to talk to a representative or leave a voice message to cancel.

Give the gift of much-needed health care by canceling your appointment online or by calling. Remember: An appointment missed by you, is an appointment missed by two.