By Tamara PassuttAugust 29, 2017
VICENZA -- As Lt. Col. Bender relinquished command August 1, 2017, he reflected on the fantastic support the community has brought as a partner to the Health Clinic.
After closing the Birthing Center in 2014, the focus has been on outpatient access to care for the active duty, beneficiaries and the DOD/DODEA Civilian population. With the feedback through JOES (paper surveys received in the mail after a healthcare visit), ICE comments and the newly established Patient and Staff Advisory Council, the Health Clinic is continually adapting to meet the needs of the patients. As an example, the clinic is now open on all training holidays to ensure both active duty and families can be seen for their care needs, routine physicals, CYSS physicals, immunizations, medication refills, and behavioral health needs.
The accomplishments under Lt. Col. Bender's Command have been numerable including successfully enhancing behavioral health access through the collaborative Embedded Behavioral Health Program on Del Din.
When the Department of Defense mandated the closure of the Camp Darby Clinic, Lt. Col. Bender ensured a network to be in place to coordinate the care of beneficiaries regardless of status with Liaisons and American Support Staff remaining on site.
With the support of the Command Team the Health Clinic has met all obstacles head-on and persevered for the benefit of the community which they serve.
"No matter the job or the specialty, everyone here works together to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients", said Bender.
On Caserma Ederle, with the largest concentration of Soldiers south of the Alps, and the highest readiness rates in Europe, and patient satisfaction, the Dependents and Civilian DOD employees have also been afforded greater access to care. This has been no easy task but was accomplished through the hiring of a dedicated civilian provider team, increasing the capacity from 7 to 10 Primary Care Managers, and in-creasing PCM's daily appointment availability from 16 appointments per day to 19.
The facility is also better-meeting the needs of in-processing families now with a Family Medical Benvenuti and Clinic tour every Wednesday at 1:15 p.m., allowing families the chance to get acquainted with the clinic and start their healthcare in Italy on the right foot.
As Lt. Col. Kane Morgan took command of the USAHC-Vicenza at Hoekstra Field, he proudly announced his pride and excitement about the future opportunities to continue serving the community.
The new commander has recently spent 5 years with a USASOC special mission unit at Ft. Bragg, NC, including multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq with his team. He is a Physician Assistant and graduate of the Inter-service Physician Assistant Program; his civilian education includes a Bachelors of Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University, a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina. Lt. Col. Morgan's military education includes the Command and General Staff Officers' Course, the Military Freefall and Airborne Courses, the Flight Surgeon Course, and Ranger School. He has earned the Expert Field Medical and Combat Medical Badges and is a recipient of the Purple Heart.
Though Lt. Col. Morgan describes himself as an introvert, he has not hesitated to reach out to every member of the USAHC-Vicenza team, thank them for their contribution and share his vision to continue their medical, professional and personal excellence every day.