PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Leaders from Group Health's Puyallup Medical Center, one of the largest civilian health providers in the area around Joint Base Lewis-McChord, visited Madigan Army Medical Center's Puyallup Community Based Medical Home March 14.

Group Health Cooperative is a leader in the non-profit sector for the medical home model. The visit to Madigan's Puyallup facility marks an important opportunity for partnership between Army Medicine and local health care professionals, a partnership which includes an Army Baylor resident working within Group Health, officials said.

Staff from U.S. Army Medical Command and Western Regional Medical Command at JBLM has visited Group Health's Puyallup Medical Center in the past. The visits provide opportunities to learn more about implementing the patient-centered medical home model, staffing challenges and resources.

The overview briefing of the Puyallup medical home presented to the visitors included opportunities for Group Health staff to visit directly with Madigan's clinical psychologist and clinical pharmacist at the Puyallup site. The Puyallup medical home staff also provided a tour of the facility.

"It was wonderful seeing what the Army is building into its medical homes," said Doctor Claire Trescott, Medical Director, Primary Care Services, Group Health, "and it is different from ours. As we say: 'if you've seen one Medical Home, you have seen one Medical Home.'

"Every PCMH is unique, as it represents what will work in its respective system of care. I loved the fact that the Puyallup CBMH highlights the value of primary care, and I think we need to get that message out in any way we can," Trescott said.

Trescott said the staff learned several things they will consider bringing to Group Health, such as putting licensed staff at the front desk and the particular way of integrating of behavioral health.

Frank Bannister, group practice manager at the Puyallup Community Based Medical Home lauded the partnership with Group Health.

"As our collaboration shows the value of the PCMH model, it is good for the health of our Soldiers, our beneficiaries and financial and well-being of our country."

Madigan's Puyallup CBMH opened in April of 2011 and is NCQA Level 3 recognized.