By Spc. Lauren Cole, PRMCJanuary 26, 2015
Lt. Col. George Corbari, U.S. Army Pacific Command, Plans and Policy Director, was invited to brief at the Pacific Regional Medical Command Strategic Offsite held at Ft. Shafter, Hawaii, Jan. 20-21, 2015.
A typical strategic brief does not invoke an emotional response, however when Corbari began to tell of his personal experiences with Army Medicine, the emotion could be felt throughout the room.
Corbari recounted the evening in 2011, when his son-in-law stepped on a pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED), resulting in the loss of both legs below the knee.
"From the moment he was injured his medic did everything right, which was key to keeping him alive until the MEDVAC got there and another team of medics who took over, again did everything right keeping him alive to get him to a surgical hospital in Kandahar, where again a team of professionals descended on him did everything possible to first save his life and secondly save as much of his legs as possible."
Corbari thanked the medical members attending the conference for their collective professional excellence and said his family's experience gave him a deep appreciation for the importance of a strong medical strategy.
The offsite was held to discuss not only the current strategy, but to present the Pacific Army Medicine Campaign Support Plan to transform Pacific Regional Medical Command (PRMC) to a "Medical" Theater Enabling Command in Support of United States Army Pacific.
The current estimated survival rate from point of injury through the evacuation process to a level three healthcare facility is above 90%, an improved rate compared to an 86.5% survival rate during Vietnam.
However, the current rate still leaves room for improvement.
The Pacific Army Medicine Campaign Support Plan is designed to realign, rebalance and enhance medical care provided within the Pacific Region and continue to improve on the Army's healthcare and survival rates for all Soldiers.
Brig. Gen. Patrick Sargent, Commanding General, PRMC, stated, "As we transition to a Theater Enabling "Medical" Command we are going to be able to provide more responsive support to the commander. Likewise, we're going to be able to deliver more responsive and enhanced, highly reliable, medical care throughout the Pacific Theater."
The realignment will allow Army Medicine to be more aligned with Army service component commanders as well as core commanders.
It will also create a synergistic effect of Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA) medicine and operational medicine to provide the combatant commanders, "one voice" in caring for the medical needs of their Soldiers.
The rebalance will also allow Army Medicine to deliver a more integrated health care system and a more enterprise approach to complex challenges that currently face the medical community on the battlefield.
"I want to reassure our families and commanders that we remain committed to world class medical care to all of the Soldiers and their families serving in the Pacific", Sargent stated.
Corbari's son-in-law wanted to remain anonymous, but did indicate that he was deployed with 10th Mountain, 3rd Brigade.
Corbari stated he had a special sense of purpose attending the offsite and sharing his story with other leaders within the Pacific as they plan the theater's medical considerations.
Corbari added, "As an operational warfighter, knowing the tremendous medical support behind us, gives a sense of invincibility. If you know something happens to you, there will be people there to take great care of you."
PRMC's changes are currently pre-decisional and following The Army Surgeon General's approval, is expected to implement the campaign in June 2015.