HONOLULU, Hawaii (June 22, 2018) - Army Medicine's top leader engaged with Pacific military partners, Army medical staff and beneficiaries during a four day visit to Oahu, June 19-22.
Army Surgeon General and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM), Lt. Gen. Nadja West, met with Regional Health Command-Pacific (RHC-P) leaders to discuss the region's readiness mission and status in maintaining a medical force that's ready to deploy in support of the warfighter and ensuring the delivery of safe and accessible care as a high-reliability organization in pursuit of improved patient safety, outcomes and effectiveness.
The Army Surgeon General sighted Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley's statement that readiness is the number one priority and there is no other number one, stating that RHC-P is excelling at operationalizing how the medical community attains readiness. "It is making sure that our Soldiers are medically ready and that we also have...ready medical capabilities so that our own personnel within MEDCOM are ready to go wherever they need to go ...and that they are at the top of their skill in order to do that," stated West.
West, who also presided over RHC-P's change of command ceremony June 20, also discussed the important role of the RHC-P commander and team, against a regional backdrop which boasts geographical diversity and varied international dynamics. "Our vision is that we are premier, expeditionary and globally integrated to face the challenges of today and tomorrow, along with our Army. Being globally integrated, you have to talk with and interface with your partners around the world to ensure that we have the capability, the assets and just the knowledge and sharing the information because we are not in this alone," she said.
During the visit, West also met with leaders from Tripler Army Medical Center, Schofield Barracks Health Clinic (USAHC-SB), Warrior Transition Battalion-Hawaii, Dental Health Command-Pacific and Public Health Command-Pacific in order to receive feedback on Army Medicine initiatives and priorities.
Col. Deydre Teyhen, USAHC-SB commander, discussed with West, along with RHC-P's newest Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Dennis LeMaster, and Col. Michael Place, who will be promoted and assume the role of deputy commanding general next month, on how the clinic has improved health and medical readiness over the last 24 months. "[We've] implemented a three tiered approach which engages readiness at the installation and community level through the Community Readiness and Resilience Council, at the leader level through integrated education on injury prevention and military treatment facility outreach and at the Soldier level in growing capability at USAHC-SB, Move to Health Initiatives and Army Wellness Center programs," Teyhen said.
According to Teyhen, currently, there are 1,300 more Soldiers medically ready to deploy due to community and installation synchronization, leadership education and engagement, as well as cutting edge programs that benefit Soldiers.
The Army Surgeon General also engaged strategic partners at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, located at Camp Smith, as well as with U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Commanding General, Gen. Robert Brown.
Following the USARPAC visit, MEDCOM leaders transitioned to a roundtable discussion with military leaders from 25th Infantry Division, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, located at Schofield Barracks-Hawaii in order to discuss how Army Medicine can advance support to commanders. "We are enablers. That's what we do, and we are here to support. We are supporting of those line leaders who require us to be at the top of our game to ensure we provide any services that they need to make sure their Soldiers are ready," West said.
The Army's 44th Surgeon General, who also holds the distinction of having been the highest ranking female to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy - West Point, also took time to speak with medical staff and beneficiaries during a town hall, addressing safety. "That is number one in our facilities to make sure that we practice safe healthcare delivery to everyone that comes through our doors. It's extremely important because people's lives are at stake if we don't do what we are supposed to do in a safe manner, West said.
West also discussed checks and balances being used in order to advance the high reliability organizational concept, emphasizing a work force that is properly trained, credentialed and meets all specialty standards. She also discussed Army Medicine's commitment to internal and multiple voluntary external performance reviews, such as with the not-for-profit independent agency, The Joint Commission, which serves as the nation-wide medical community's evaluative, accreditation and certification body. "The good news is that we compare very favorably to our civilian counterparts. And so...think of it. 100 percent of our [facilities] participate. So we are comparing ourselves to the cream of the crop and we are doing very well with that," West added.
To wrap up her visit, West toured the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA) on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. During the office call, West heard how the organization is providing the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel to their families and the nation.
RHC-P's mission is to provide combatant commanders with medically ready forces and ready medical forces conducting health service support in all phases of military operation.
RHC-P's area of responsibility includes all medical, dental, public health, and warrior care and transition services in Hawaii, Washington, Alaska, Japan, Korea and throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
To learn more about RHC-P and what their subordinate commands are doing for beneficiaries and the community, visit www.army.mil/rchpacific.