JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command hosted a mass medical-readiness event here Oct. 17-18 in an effort to increase Soldier readiness throughout the northeastern United States.
More than 750 Army Reserve Soldiers from throughout the 99th RSC's 13-state area of support that stretches from Maine to Virginia received mandatory influenza vaccinations and other medical services.
"Every year, there is a goal for the influenza vaccine," said Col. Concetta Holloway, 99th RSC command surgeon. "Previously, it was 95 percent by Dec.15 of each year, so I wanted to get in front of that and have a mass-medical flu event in October so that we would have two other times to capture whomever we missed."
Although Army Reserve Soldiers have the option of scheduling their own individual medical appointments through Logistics Health, Inc. and then submitting a pay voucher, mass-medical events offer unit commanders the opportunity to improve their units' medical readiness quickly and efficiently.
"It works a lot better than individual vouchers because you get a bigger percentage raise to 'green' than just having one person at a time go; you see instant improvements at mass events," Holloway said.
Mass events at the RSC level can have a positive secondary effect on other Army Reserve units that are not able to attend the RSC events by freeing up additional LHI personnel to participate in unit-level events.
"With individual (unit) events, LHI is not able to help any other unit because they were being pulled in all directions and don't have enough providers and nurses to help out, so it's a good thing for LHI when we combine our events," Holloway explained.
Following her own advice, Holloway is scheduled to host another mass medical-readiness event here Nov. 6-8 with a potential attendance of more than 1,000 Army Reserve Soldiers.
"We're going to do a level-1 Soldier Readiness Processing event that will include all the immunizations and the flu shots, so we can pick up everybody we missed in October," Holloway explained. "
The 99th RSC's mission is to provide facilities, programs and services to Soldiers, civilians and their families in the Northeast Region, to support Army readiness, to sustain the All-Volunteer Force and to ensure infrastructure for current and future mission requirements.
The 99th supports readiness in many ways, such as providing vehicle maintenance at 26 Area Maintenance Support Activities, equipment storage and maintenance at nine Equipment Concentration Sites, administrative support at 14 Regional Personnel Action Center hubs and satellite offices, and training support at more than 250 Reserve Centers located throughout its 13-state region.