By Tamara PassutJune 26, 2019
By: Tamara Passut
Unit Public Affairs Representative
VICENZA, Italy - Lt. Col. Kane D. Morgan relinquished command of the U.S. Army Health Clinic Vicenza, providing "Army medicine south of the Alps" to Lt. Col. Joseph Matthews during a ceremony on Hoekstra Field, Caserma Ederle, Italy June 25, 2019.
The U.S. Army Health Clinic Vicenza is the only U.S. Army Medical Clinic in Italy, and serves as a medical readiness platform and healthcare facility for service members and their families stationed at Caserma Ederle, Vicenza.
Under Morgan's command, since June 2017, the Health Clinic conducted more than 85,000 outpatient visits, filled more than 132,000 prescriptions and ensured the readiness of the U.S. Army forces and the health of the Vicenza military community.
U.S. Army Col. Michael A. Weber, commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, reflected on Morgan's command with praise. "The challenges of military healthcare delivery are unique for the Vicenza clinic; different from any other Army health clinic in the Landstuhl footprint. Yet, under Kane's leadership, the clinic thrived," said Weber.
"Not only were our Soldiers consistently above health readiness standards, but they were also incredible stewards of the U.S. Army as guests here in Italy, receiving the battalion streamer for zero DUIs under Kane's command, as well as committing over 5,000 volunteer hours at both military and host nation partnership events," said Weber.
During his remarks to the family, friends, honored guests and hospital staff in attendance, Morgan discussed the ever-changing environment and mission focus during his time in command.
"We have experienced many changes and fluctuations in the past two years. Yet, the mission of the Health Clinic remains to put healthy paratroopers out the door across Europe and Soldiers on the ground within the continent of Africa. Our team has also ensured Soldiers the comfort of knowing their families are taken care of here at home, so they can focus on their missions," said Morgan.
Morgan's remarks were filled with thanks for his family's support, gratefulness to the Soldiers, Civilians, Local Nationals, supporting organizations, and the people of Italy. "To our partners in healthcare delivery, the TRICARE Area Office, International SOS, Ospedale San Bortolo, and other host nation facilities, words cannot express my thanks. It is truly a "Team of Teams," said Morgan. "I offer a heartfelt thank you to this entire community for your hospitality and support. It has been an honor to be a part of the Vicenza Military Community and Health Clinic Family," said Morgan in closing.
Morgan's next assignment will be at the Secretary of Defense Executive Fellows program (SDEF) a program designed to place military officers or civilian employees with sponsoring institutions to gain experience in executive-level business practices.
Matthews, a graduate from United States Military Academy at West Point, earned his medical degree and Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. He has previously served as Brigade Surgeon of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and then served as Battalion Surgeon for 4th Batallion, 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida and deployed as the Command Surgeon for Combined Joint Special Operations Task-Force- Afghanistan.
Matthews comes to the USAHC-Vicenza from Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he was the Assistant Chief for the Medical Corps Branch, Human Resources Command.
"For me, today is the culmination of years of preparation, hard work, and more than a fair amount of luck. I cannot take full credit for this honor and would be remiss if I didn't recognize the many professionals that have helped lead and mentor me throughout my career," said Matthews. "I am truly grateful for this opportunity to serve the Vicenza military community and its war fighters directly while helping to ensure they are ready to answer our nation's call."
The new commander's remarks reflected a great appreciation for the Health Clinic's proven accomplishments under Morgan's leadership. He also expressed heartfelt thankfulness to his family, who have journeyed across the ocean to a foreign country to support him and his mission.
"To my new clinic family, I promise to equip you with the tools you need to accomplish our mission. Together, we will provide outstanding patient care and ensure the readiness and health of the force," said Matthews.