HONOLULU (April 20, 2018) - Summer typically signals the end of the school year, summer vacations, and for a lot of military families, a permanent change of station, or "PCS" season. It's also the time of year when families are getting their children registered for schools and various sporting activities.

The Tripler Army Medical Center Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult, Pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Home, or PCMH, is currently undergoing a three-phased remodel of the outpatient clinic with the first phase due to be completed in June 2018.

Due to the clinic revamp, the PCMH anticipates challenges of decreased total available patient appointments during this transition phase. In addition, less providers will be available in the PCMH clinics due to summer PCS, deployments, and cross-coverage for other patient areas of the hospital.

Every effort is placed to provide all necessary patient care for enrollees, but during this time, parents are encouraged to start planning ahead and schedule school and sports physicals now before the busy summer season.

Here are some key things everyone should know:

First, once your child is two years of age and above, only one annual physical a year is required. Daycares and schools do not require a separate sports physical or an additional exam for entry.

Any necessary forms that need to be completed for daycare and school entry, or sports participation, can be based on this same physical, if within 12 months prior to the start of the activity.

Forms can be dropped off the PCMH clinic, or scanned and sent to your PCMH team via RelayHealth for completion.

Second, if your child had an annual physical exam done by a military treatment facility provider before your PCS to Hawaii, the PCMH at Tripler can complete your forms based on this documented exam. A repeat physical is not required unless no record is available for review.

Third, in Jan. 2018, the TAMC PCMH started offering weekend and evening clinic wellness appointments. Please look ahead and utilize these openings for well-child, school, and sports physicals before the summer.

Last, openings for physicals are available daily, and there are multiple ways to schedule an appointment at your convenience.

You can schedule a variety of appointments at any time online at the Tricare Online Patient Portal at https://www.tricareonline.com.

Also, patients can reduce unnecessary appointments and stress by communicating virtually and directly with their health care team via the RelayHealth Patient Portal secure messaging feature, https://mil.relayhealth.com.

To schedule an appointment by phone, central appointments scheduling, or the Tripler Appointment Line allows patients to dial just one number to make appointments with several clinics, call 808-433-2778 or 1-800-322-TAMC (8262). The appointment line is open Monday-Friday (except holidays), 6:30 a.m. - 4:25 p.m.

For more information visit the TAMC Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult PCMH online at https://www.tamc.amedd.army.mil/offices/Pediatric/PediatricClinic.html for more information, or call 808-433-6697, ext. 2.