By Army News ServiceMarch 18, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Army News Service, March 18, 2007) - The Army will open phone lines Monday on its new Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline, providing wounded and injured Soldiers and their family members another way to resolve medical issues.
The hotline also provides an information channel for Soldiers' medical-related issues to go directly to senior Army leadership in order to improve the way the Army serves the medical needs of Soldiers and their families, said the commander of U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Maj. Gen. Sean J. Byrne.
"We designed this call center to be able to collectively hear what Soldiers say about their health-care issues so as issues are raised, we can identify systemic faults or problematic areas and senior leaders can better allocate resources," Byrne said. "It's all about serving our wounded and injured Soldiers and their families. If we can find a way to improve our system, we will. It's that simple."
Many wounded and injured Soldiers who have supported the war on terror, and their families, are enduring hardships in navigating the medical care system, Byrne said.
"Our Army is committed to providing outstanding medical care for the men and women who have volunteered to serve this great nation," Byrne said. "But recent events at Walter Reed Army Medical Center made it clear the Army needs to revise how it meets the needs of our injured and wounded Soldiers and their families. In certain cases, the chain of command could have done a better job in helping to resolve medical-related issues."
Leaders in the chain of command need to know that this call center exists, and that it was not created to circumvent the chain of command, Byrne said.
"In this particularly challenging time, as our senior Army leadership looks to ways to improve our service to wounded and injured Soldiers and their families, this is another step in the direction of improvement," he said "Our wounded and injured Soldiers and their families expect and deserve the very best care and leadership from our Army."
The Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline can be reached from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at (800) 984-8523. The call center is under the command of the U.S. Army's Human Resources Command.