STUTTGART, Germany -- Lt. Col. Maria Bruton formally assumed command of the U.S. Army Health Clinic Stuttgart from Lt. Col. Keith Burnette during a change of command ceremony held at Patch Barracks, Aug. 21, 2019.

Bruton comes to AHC Stuttgart from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas where she last served as the executive officer to the Chief of the Army Nurse Corps. She takes over an Army health clinic with a plethora of achievements and success stories accomplished during Burnette's tenure.

Burnette, who served as clinic commander since Nov. 2017, thanked members of the "Champions" team in attendance for their hard work and for making the organization what it is today. He credits the Champions' success to its "ability to come together, keep together and work together as medical professionals." He echoed the clinic's motto one last time as outgoing commander by telling staff members to "Keep Serving Like a Champion All Day."

Under Burnette's leadership, the Champions compiled an impressive record during his 22 months at AHC Stuttgart. The Champions led Medical Department Activity Bavaria in Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measure performance, patient satisfaction score, and accreditation standard compliance; they maintained a Joint Outpatient Experience Survey (JOES) patient satisfaction score of 98.5 percent; and recently they were identified as the only health clinic to win both The Joint Commission Compliance Trophy and Safety Trophy with a score of 96.8 percent, just to name a few of the clinic's achievements.

"You join a tremendous team with a great reputation, and I am confident that you will lead the Champions to the next level," Burnette said as he welcomed Bruton to the Champion family.

Even though Burnette and his family will depart Stuttgart for his next assignment, they will all remain in Germany. Burnette will be assigned as the Senior Medical Logistics Officer for the United States Army Europe Surgeon Cell Office in Wiesbaden.

Col. E. Lee Bryans, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria commander, presided over the ceremony and the passing of the command's colors. He extended his utmost confidence and trust in Bruton to lead the clinic to continued excellence.

"I charge you two things to keep foremost in your mind as you take command today and for the next two years: it is dignity and respect," said Bryan. "Make sure we take care of our people. Always remember that our people are our strength."

As the new commander of AHC Stuttgart, Bruton expressed her excitement in being part of the organization and integrating with her new community.

"First you have to observe. Then you begin to have conversations. And lastly, you slowly build the relationship," Bruton explains. "I intend to follow this advice because relationships matter to me as much as the results."

Bruton looks forward to keeping with the Champion tradition as she pledged to serve her new community.

"I look forward to serving this community, building partnerships with all stakeholders, and cultivating a sense of family, responsibility and caring within the Army Health Clinic Stuttgart," said Burton.

To learn more about the people and facilities of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria (MEDDAC Bavaria) and the clinics they support in Ansbach, Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Stuttgart and Vilseck, visit the MEDDAC Bavaria website at rhce.amedd.army.mil/bavaria.