Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC) and the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center (FVAMC) signed an amended resource sharing agreement, Oct. 29.

"Resource sharing has already been actively taking place for some time to the benefit of both organizations," said Elizabeth Goolsby, FVAMC director. "This document is an expansion of that collaboration as well as an acknowledgement of the current fiscal realities.

"We, VA as well as Department of Department of Defense (DoD), must continue to find ways to offer a greater range of services to our respective patient populations in more cost-effective ways. Cooperation and collaboration makes sense on so many levels."

A cost-effective measure now included in the agreement gives WAMC facilities the ability to provide care for FVAMC beneficiaries as well as increased educational opportunities through integrating VA/DoD cross-training programs for professional staff.

"People may not realize, but there are VA beneficiaries who have to travel to the Durham and Richmond VA for services that we have at Womack and we have the capacity to do them here, but we didn't have an agreement in place to get them to Womack," said Col. John Melton, WAMC chief of staff.

As mentioned in the signed agreement, delivery of the services to beneficiaries will not affect the range of service or the quality of care for FVAMC or WAMC patients.

"This is an organization-wide commitment, as opposed to a few services offered here and there," said Col. Ronald Stephens, WAMC commander.

"The partnership we have with FVAMC and relationship is an outward manifestation of our focus. Our first focus is readiness, DoD hospitals exist to make sure the Soldier is ready to deploy as well as the personnel that take care of them. Second, is the commitment of taking care of patients," said Stephens. " No matter where we work or who we are caring for, every member of our team is committed to providing safe, high-quality, patient-centered care, designed to maximize readiness health and wellness."