By Ms. Melanie S Casey (IMCOM)March 4, 2009
Members of the Fort Meade Garrison and Warrior Transition Unit gathered on Friday with leadership from the North Atlantic Region and Military District of Washington to sign the Army Warrior Healthcare Covenant.
Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe Jr., commanding general of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and commander of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, and Maj. Gen. Carla G. Hawley-Bowland, commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, joined Col. Christopher Castle, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Fort Meade and Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center; Installation Commander Col. Daniel L. Thomas; and Installation Command Sgt.
Major Esmond Bakker in KimbroughA,A1s Event Center for the signing ceremony.
The covenant is "to remind patients that we are committed," said Hawley-Bowland. "[It's] one more step in that commitment to meet needs and exceed expectations."
The covenant reads, in part, "If you are wounded, ill, or injured, we will get through it together. ...We will provide Warriors and their Families the highest quality of care and services possible to honor their contributions to our nation." It was signed by Rowe, Hawley-Bowland, Castle, Thomas and Bakker as well as Col. Victoria Ransom, deputy commander for nursing; Col. Rob Tempel, commander of U.S. Army Dental Activity Fort Meade; Capt. Jaison Bloom, commander of Fort MeadeA,A1s WTU; and several others.
"Kimbrough is the best ambulatory care center in the Army," Castle said during his remarks, "and has the best WTU in the Army." WTU Soldiers, who are recovering from injuries and illness, will be perhaps the most affected by the covenant - and the most impressed by the Army's commitment.
"I am thrilled to have them make a commitment - to help walk me through and get me healthy again," said Spc. Pammy Truitt, who has been with Fort Meade's WTU since October.
There are more than 3,000 WTU Soldiers across the Army, Hawley-Bowland noted. Fort Meade's WTU currently has more than 100 Soldiers and continues to grow.
Signing the covenant "shores up the commitment," Bloom said. "You see it on the ground to the Army level. You feel their support."
"It's confirmation of care they're already giving - putting in writing what they already do," WTU Soldier Sgt. Jason Roden said.
The covenant also promises to provide a healing environment that focuses not only on the body, but also on the mind, heart and spirit.
"The Army is really trying to take care of its Soldiers emotionally, spiritually and physically," said Capt. Sue Feagin, a nurse case manager at the WTU.
Rowe agreed. The Army is "committed to taking care of Soldiers and families," he said during his remarks. "We have a duty and commitment to do that and put it on record. We're going to live it."