A ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the 2-year, $11 million renovation of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Facility's Bennett Medical Home was held June 7 at Fort Hood.
"Renovating this facility is a testament to our commitment to provide quality of life enhancements to support readiness," David R. Gibson, commander, CRDAMC, said.
Improvements to the home, which opened in 1997 and was CRDAMC's first of three Soldier-centered medical homes, include expansion of the physical therapy area, a privacy storage area for patients, a healing garden, a 4-window pharmacy and a command-team room to enhance provider communications.
"All these little things add up to make a difference and allow us to continue improving the patient experience," Gibson said.
Gibson said it was an honor for him to preside over the ribbon-cutting ceremony because he oversaw its construction during the early days of his career.
"It is a true pleasure to see this come from the ground up and to come back years later to see that we are still committed to making the investments we need to make sure we absolutely deliver the best care to what I believe is the most deserving populations on the planet," he said, referencing the Soldiers the medical home serves and the Army's mission of readiness. "That is the number one focus of the Army, but we cannot do it without each one of you. It is, in fact, a partnership."
The home serves more than 9,500 soldiers from 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 60th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Division West, Division Artillery, 36th Engineer Brigade and 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade.
During the ceremony, representatives from the units personalized the clinic's display cases by adding unit patches, photos and other memorabilia, including 3rd Cavalry Regiment's statue of a rugged mounted cavalry man on horseback.
"Old Bill represents the quintessential cavalry Soldier, said regimental sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Adam Nash, who emphasized the statue will have a welcoming effect on the unit's Soldiers when they seek care in the clinic.
"When our troopers come here for care, they know that this is their facility, as well as others," he said, praising the renovated clinic, its enhancements and the world-class care the clinic provides. "The clinic is helping us return them to duty, return them to the field and return them to the fight."
The clinic is named after Medal of Honor recipient, Cpl. Thomas Bennett, who was killed in action in 1969. Bennett was mortally wounded when he repeatedly put himself in harm's way to tend to the wounded when his unit was ambushed by the North Vietnamese.
(Story originally appeared in the June 13 edition of the Fort Hood Sentinel)