William Beaumont Army Medical Center held its Annual Medical Professional Development Day, virtually, from the Sergeant Audie Murphy Conference Room on Nov.13. This event afforded Fort Bliss providers, supervisory nurses and clinic NCOICs a virtual opportunity to receive updates from several Army medical leaders and earn continuing education credit required for their respective profession.
On average, health care providers must obtain at least 40 hours of continuing education credits per year. This varies depending on medical specialty, professional society affiliation, and state licensure requirements.
The 1st Armored Division command team, Maj. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, commanding general and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael C. Williams, delivered opening remarks, specifically expressing their gratitude to the WBAMC staff.
Col Michael S. Oshiki, WBAMC commander, also expressed his gratitude in his opening remarks. "First, let me start by thanking you for your resilience during this most challenging time and for joining us today on this very first virtual Medical Professional Development Day, during this global pandemic," said Oshiki.
Oshiki highlighted The Joint Commission survey and gave accolades to the organization for completing a follow-up survey one year after the provisional accreditation in 2018. "You all totally nailed it," said Oshiki.
Further explaining the pandemic's demand, Oshiki stressed the importance of the military hospital's capabilities during the pandemic, stating that cross-training of staff to cover duties across the spectrum of the hospital is a big deal. "You're all doing an incredible job caring for our patients in these ever changing conditions and writing history as you do it," said Oshiki.
The conference also welcomed two keynote speakers. Maj. Gen. Telita Crosland, deputy commanding general of operations and chief, Medical Corps, presented on Army Leader Professional Development. Crosland stated the importance of leadership development. "People first, that's our greatest strength and the ability to win. We have to invest in people. That's how we win," said Crosland.
Brig. Gen. Joseph Biehler, the deputy commanding general of operations for the 42nd Infantry Division, followed with his presentation on COVID-19: Impact of Operations to Deployed Providers. Biehler highlighted his deployment to Saudi Arabia during the current pandemic's peak. Biehler also described the medical capabilities at the Riyadh Hospital and the staff during the beginning phase of the coronavirus outbreak.
Biehler compared an Air Force infectious disease specialist who augmented the staff at Riyadh Hospital to Dustin Hoffman's character from the movie “Outbreak”. "That's what we needed, an expert. In the infantry, a rifleman is the tip of the spear, and this doctor was the tip of the spear, very talented," Biehler said. Biehler stressed aggressive quarantine measures and having direct interaction with medical leadership were key tasks during his mission in Saudi Arabia.
The day continued with additional presentations to include Legal and Ethical Quandaries in Pandemic Crises presented by Joseph A. Procaccino, Jr, The Impaired Provider: The Basics of Managing Burnout During a Pandemic presented by 1st Lt. Marlon K. Dortch, Opioid Safety: A Focus on Prescription Monitoring Programs presented by Dr. Selina A. O'Hara, Pharm. D., and The Joint Commission Updates presented by Dr. Stacey A. Frazier, M.D.
"This year's WBAMC Professional Staff Development Day, while subject to the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, afforded a rare opportunity to bring together Army medical and senior strategic leaders in a truly unique digital conference format. The education and wisdom imparted were of tremendous benefit to our medical providers and hospital staff," said David Shahbodaghi, WBAMC Continuing Medical Education director.
The final event of the day was the Joint Outpatient Experience Survey Best of the Best award presentation. The commander, along with the chief, Patient Experience, recognized the WBAMC clinics and staff listed among the top performers in the Military Health System for providing outstanding patient experience.