By Jeff Troth, MEDDAC - Fort Carson PAO

FORT CARSON, Colorado -- Col. Dennis LeMaster relinquished command of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity -- Fort Carson to Col. Patrick Garman, during a ceremony at the post's William Reed Special Events Center May 18.

"It is truly my privilege to be able to be here for two officers for whom I have so much respect," said Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Tempel, commander of Regional Health Command -- Central (Provisional), the higher headquarters of MEDDAC Fort Carson.

LeMaster assumed command of the MEDDAC and Evans Army Community Hospital in January 2014. Under his leadership the organization strengthened quality care and patient safety modeled on tenets of a "high reliability organization." Evans was identified as one of the Army's "Top 4" hospitals during a Secretary of Defense Military Health System Review; it joined just four others to earn Army VPP "Safety Star" site certification; it opened the Mountain Post Medical Home off-post primary care clinic; and its Ebola Virus Disease response was recognized as a best practice across Army Medicine.

"These accomplishments really happened and we had many more that were above Evans' daily routine business of over 3,500 primary and specialty care appointments, 450 behavioral health appointments, 3,500 prescriptions filled and 21 operating room cases," said LeMaster.

"Like no man is an island, no organization is an island," he added. "The foundation of Evans' success lies in the support and collaboration of our nearly 2,400 civilians and Soldiers that deliver healthcare to the over 71,000 Soldiers, family members and retirees that Evans Army Community Hospital serves. I am so very, very proud of them."

During his tenure as the MEDDAC commander LeMaster was also Fort Carson's Director of Health Services. In this position he partnered with senior commanders across the Mountain Post to propel Soldier medical readiness to its highest level in more than three years. LeMaster was appointed as the Director of the Colorado Springs enhanced Multi-Service Market. In this role he used his medical expertise to work with Air Force leaders at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Peterson Air Force Base to improve health care throughout the city.

"Along with providing world-class care to your patients, you have formed an exemplary bond with our sister services and other Army organizations," Tempel said. "In concert with the Air Force's 10th and 21st Medical Groups I can't say enough about the great team work and how well you work together to integrate the care between our services."

LeMaster has been confirmed for promotion to Brigadier General and will assume command of the US Army Regional Health Command -- Europe (Provisional).

"Colonel LeMaster you and your staff at Evans Army Community Hospital have truly elevated the level of care here. Your contributions have simply been immense, you have touched the lives of so many people," said Tempel. "You have undoubtedly left a legacy here, showing unwavering professionalism, integrity and dedication to duty as a highly successful and visionary leader."

Tempel said that Garman "a proven leader in peace time and a proven leader at war" was the right person to take command of MEDDAC Fort Carson.

"Col. Patrick Garman, in addition to your healthcare knowledge and skills, you possess the leadership necessary to ensure this command continues to excel as an organization through professional development, and attention to the important challenges facing the Army," said Tempel. "I know you are the right leader at the right time for Evans, for this Region, and for Military Medicine."

Garman comes to Fort Carson as the former Chief of the Pharmacy Branch, U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School/U.S. Army Health Readiness Center of Excellence, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. During his 25 years of military service, Garman has served in Afghanistan, England, Hawaii, Maryland, and Africa.

"My family and I are excited to be part of Evans Army Community Hospital, an organization held in very high regard across the Medical Command," said Garman. "Evans is a hospital known for its provision of quality health care and its commitment to the readiness of Soldiers."

"Col. Garman, as you assume command I know you will champion Readiness and promote and oversee an exceptional system for health," Tempel said. "Under your leadership, I'm confident that Evans is going to continue to excel as a key partner in Colorado Springs and surrounding communities."