By 1st Lt. Mark Schneider and Capt. Aaron BergJanuary 18, 2017
ZARY, Poland -- U.S. and Polish army medical leaders came together for an interoperability forum here January 16, hosted by the 16th Sustainment Brigade.
Personnel from Regional Health Command -- Europe, the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Poland's 11th Armored Cavalry Division, and Polish hospital directors from the 105 Kresowy Szpital Wojskowy attended the forum organized by Capt. Aaron Berg, 16th Sustainment Brigade Medical Officer.
Polish officials discussed the establishment of scalable medical processes with U.S. allies in the meeting.
"I'm glad there is a way for us to meet and share a common language," said Jacek Wasik, director of the Zagan medical department. "I'm looking forward to the U.S. Soldiers and our staff working together and learning from each other."
The discussion outlined ways to provide better medical services in the Atlantic Resolve area of operation, enhance the speed of payment with TRICARE and International SOS, and create documents that Polish hospitals can process in English and Polish.
"Our priority is to support the Soldiers. The paperwork is secondary after we make sure the Soldiers are in good condition," said Dr. Marek Femlak, 105 Kresowy Szpital Wojskowy Director. "We're eager to work together to develop processes to make sure your Soldiers receive the care they need."
With the arrival of over 3,500 Soldiers from the 3/4 ABCT in Poland this month, the Army must reevaluate established medical practices it has with Allies and civilian healthcare providers to remain in lock-step with the dynamic European environment.
"Over the past 18 months we've forged a path in the European Command operating area to develop a joint medical picture, establish relationships within our Allies' health systems, and make sure our Soldiers receive the world class health care they deserve. Our Allies have been superb in their treatment of Soldiers and the emergency medical system is exceptional," said Lt. Col. Joseph Hudak, 16th Sustainment Brigade Surgeon. "Capt. Berg has been out front in this for the past year, and we continue to see positive results from these initiatives."
The forum outlined a smooth pathway and common language for transactions with TRICARE reimbursement, strengthened pre-existing relationships, and laid the groundwork for 3/4 ABCT to conduct interoperability training with Polish civilian and military medical professionals.
The representatives from the military and civilian sectors combined to set conditions for a continued persistent presence, enhance deterrence capabilities, and build a Strong Europe.