By Mr. Ronald W Wolf (Army Medicine)December 14, 2018
FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Lt. Gen. Nadja West, commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Command and The Surgeon General of the Army, held a town hall that was attended by over 200 of her staff at the Defense Health Headquarters, Dec. 14, 2018. The event was also broadcast live on Facebook to another 200 viewers.
West discussed some of the impending changes to Army Medicine, although she made it clear that most decisions are not yet final. West emphasized the Army's top priority is readiness. West stated that there is a commitment to ensuring the best access to care for Soldiers, family members and retirees, regardless of future reorganization or changes to military medicine.
Future reorganization and realignment of Army Medicine will be duly considered by Army Senior Leaders with a clear focus on continuing medical readiness of the force and to support wartime requirements.
The audience asked questions on topics which ranged from Tricare to graduate medical education to civilian professional development. The "future" was on everyone's mind, including the future of civilian positions and future of the Medical Service Corps. "The future is still bright for the Medical Service Corps," West said. Viewers who were watching live on Facebook asked several questions or provided comments as well.
West deferred several questions from the audience to subject matter experts on her staff who were also in attendance, for example, on Tricare.
"Army Medicine has much to be proud of," West said. She specifically mentioned the excellent work being done by trauma surgeons, physical therapists, occupational therapists and physician assistants in Army Medicine. Brooke Army Medicine Center is one of the top three surgical residencies in the United States, she said. She emphasized the value of graduate medical education that is available for Army Medicine clinical professionals.
West also mentioned the first steps in the Army's medical reform with the reassignment of the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command from Army Medical Command to Army Materiel Command effective Oct. 1, 2018. This organization better aligns medical sustainment with the Army's broader sustainment enterprise under one senior command.
Another reform occurred with the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School Health Readiness Center of Excellence assigned to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command effective Oct. 19, 2018.
West concluded by thanking everyone for what they do for Army Medicine.
"There will always be a need for great professionals of your caliber to do what you do every day. No matter what we look like, as long as we have an Army, we're going to have Army Medicine at some configuration. So, thanks for what you do and have a really great holiday, and be safe," said West.