By David M. White, Army MedicineSeptember 4, 2018
David M. White
Public Affairs Office
Eisenhower Army Medical Center
"C'mon, it's medicine … not rocket science." Fortunately, Eisenhower Army Medical Center's new chief medical officer has feet in both camps.
Col. Charles Haislip is a family medicine physician by vocation but, by avocation, he is a high-powered, high-flying amateur rocket scientist.
As EAMC's CMO, Haislip serves as medical advisor to the command and assures that each provider is practicing at the top of their medical license, ready to deploy or support a deployment at a moment's notice. He takes care to note that EAMC has been and continues to shine in its primary mission.
"I believe Eisenhower is one of the premier medical centers in the U.S. military," said Haislip.
In his leisure time, he dabbles in rocketry and has served as the prefect, or chief officer, of Rocketry South Carolina, an organization dedicated to all aspects of "safe consumer sport rocketry, from small model rockets with youth groups to very large, high-power rockets with serious adult hobbyists," according to Rocketry South Carolina's website.
When he's not pushing the boundaries of altitude limits set by the Federal Aviation Administration, Haislip remains focused on his service as an Army physician.
Upon completion of his medical degree at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W.Va., he did stints at EAMC for an internship and his residency. Duty stations have included Winn Army Community Hospital at Fort Stewart, Ga.; Camp Arifjan, Kuwait; Sinai, Egypt; Kirkuk, Iraq; and Vilseck, Germany. Prior to coming back to Augusta, he was stationed at Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas, where he served as both deputy commanding officer and chief medical officer.
Concentrating on excellence, safety and quality at Fort Hood, Haislip shepherded improvements in accountability and readiness. He is well acquainted with initiatives to improve readiness.
While stationed in Egypt from 2009-2010, he identified an issue with the multinational troops regarding cardiac risk.
"Many of the multinationals had high risk factors for coronary problems," Haislip said. For a few years before I got there, there were about seven cardiac incidences per year. I set up a healthy mind and body initiative that screened for these high-risk indicators. Through screenings, education and lifestyle changes … activities that foreshadowed the yet-to-be-established Performance Triad … we saw "a 66 percent decrease in sudden cardiac death in 12 months and increases [in] overall soldier readiness."
Although he's been at Fort Gordon for about two months, and perhaps hearing an echo of his experiences in Egypt, Haislip has identified a need to improve employee wellness and maintain soldier readiness.
"Getting out to walk at EAMC is difficult," he said. "I've been out scouting routes for a walking track but it's difficult. [There is a need] for more sidewalks."
Whether it's checking sidewalks while planning staff wellness improvements, advising the commander on ticklish medical issues or dreaming up new ways to take his high-powered rockets to new heights, EAMC's CMO knows the next big idea is on the launching pad.