JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas-This year the MEDCOM Medical Assistance Group (MMAG) was redesignated as the Army Medical Readiness Assistance Program (AMRAP). The Ombudsman Program and Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline (WSFH) will be managed by the AMRAP for more streamline assistance to beneficiaries.

According to Timothy Koenig, manager of the AMRAP program, "The name change is in keeping with the Army's medical reform efforts and the transition the medical command is experiencing and keeping readiness a priority. In this particularly challenging time, as our senior Army leadership looks for ways to improve services to wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and their families, this is another step in the direction of improvement."

AMRAP will now be better equipped at assisting Soldiers, Beneficiaries, Veterans, commands, and other stakeholders for medically-related concerns. AMRAP will coordinate the resolution of WSFH and other referring agency issues through their local Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will then in turn receive these issues from the AMRAP and provide assistance with a resolution.

The Ombudsman program is a great resource for Soldiers, including U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) and Army National Guard (ARNG) Soldiers, as well as retirees. They are located at Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) to serve as a liaison between Army Medicine, beneficiary, and the MTF Commander. They have a collaborative relationship with the MTF Patient Advocacy Office, healthcare providers, and the administrative staff.

The Wounded Soldier Family Hotline (WSFH) was created to offer wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and family members a way to resolve medical issues and communicate Soldier medically-related issues directly to senior Army leadership to improve how it serves the medical needs of our Soldiers and their families.

AMRAP supports Army Senior Leaders' awareness and dissemination of AMRAP capabilities to improve quality of life for Soldiers and Families, and support the Total Force. It works to provide advice, assistance, training, and coordination support to the Ombudsman, informs leaders of issues and ensures that Army Medicine receives Ombudsman casework information and briefings.

Ombudsman are Army Civilians who serve as a neutral, independent, and impartial resource that assists leaders in making informed decisions on a Soldiers' health, well-being, and readiness.

"Ombudsmen are located on 23 installations including Germany, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii providing support within their geographic areas. The WSFH is a 24/7 operation receiving calls and serving as a platform for Medical Command special projects requiring call center capabilities," says Mr. Koenig.

The program is committed to improving navigation through the medical care system for Soldiers and their Families as they expect and deserve the very best healthcare and support from the Army.

Since 2007, Ombudsman have assisted over 76,361 Soldiers, retirees, veterans and family members with medical-related issues which they have an on-going 98% satisfaction rate. The WSFH processed over 110,293 incoming and outgoing calls since 2007.

Mr. Koenig stated, "There is no waiting list. The Ombudsmen and Wounded Soldier Family Hotline assist Soldiers and Family Members immediately. The AMRAP will combine the Ombudsmen Program and the WSFH to streamline assistance offered to beneficiaries in need."

Soldiers and Family Members may access AMRAP services by calling the WSFH at 1-800-984-8523 or their local Ombudsman. Other agencies often refer Soldiers and beneficiaries to the AMRAP including DOD Wounded Warrior Resource Center, U.S. Army Reserve Fort Family Outreach and Support, chains of command, Judge Advocates General, Inspectors General, TSG Web Portal, Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officers, Patient Advocates, and MTF staff. However, Soldiers and beneficiaries can elevate medical related quality-of-life and other issues directly to the AMRAP.