Fort Belvoir, VA – More than 100 senior Army medical leaders, staff members and guest speakers from across Regional Health Command-Atlantic and other organizations participated in a hybrid, training event held Dec. 8-10 combining in-person and virtual attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The purpose of the leadership forum was to provide a common view of the current operational environment in the Atlantic region in the midst of medical reform, a pandemic, and a reorganization. The forum focused on both human dimension topics: diversity & inclusion, talent management, and leadership; as well as strategy regarding mission and key tasks in support of Army readiness.
Regional Health Command-Atlantic Commanding General Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi presents Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, Army Surgeon General and U.S. Medical Command Commanding General, with a regional coin during the region's strategic leadership forum. (Regional Health Command-Atlantic Photo)
“While in-person attendance was the goal, the hybrid event exceeded my expectations” said Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi, RHC-A commanding general. “The quality of engagement and discussion on a wide range of critical topics is a testament to the dedicated, intelligent leaders we have on our team – and their acknowledgement of how critical it is we function as a team in support of the Army Medicine’s mission.”
Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of U.S. Army Medical Command, gave a live presentation to RHC-A leaders and commended the RHC-A team for its efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You are performing phenomenally, Dingle said. “As a result of the pandemic, senior leaders are learning and now understand the complexity of the Army Medicine mission with what you do every day in the military treatment facilities, soldier recovery units, veterinary detachments, dental treatment facilities, and public health…you make it look easy.”
As the key note speaker, Dingle set the stage in discussing Army Medicine transformation and its future end state. “Where we are now in Army Medicine, it is imperative that you
leaders understand your mission, your purpose, and our responsibility to ensure we are ready to support the Force.” Army Medicine efforts are nested with in CSA’s (Chief of Staff of the Army) priorities of Readiness, Modernization, and Reform, so the 5 R’s of the Army Medicine Vision - Ready, Reformed, Reorganized, Responsive, and Relevant are intentional.
“As commanders, you have to carry the water for change, it is riding on our shoulders…we are absolutely Ready, Reformed is change, Reorganized is to change in order for us to be responsive to the needs of the warfighter and those you support in order to remain relevant. All commanders must focus on the mindset towards modernization in step with the Army.”
Maj. Gen. Jill Faris, U.S. Army Medical Command G3/5/7, engaged the command teams in current MEDCOM readiness training initiatives.
“In order to be more efficient, we are leveraging civilian-military partnerships and Army medical simulation centers across all Components to enable individual and collective readiness training, she said. “Capturing readiness to ensure a ready medical force is a priority.”
Forum attendees also heard from the Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Medical Command, who talked about the Army’s ‘This is My Squad” initiative and Project Inclusion.
“Leader development is investing in Soldiers” said Command Sergeant Major Diamond Hough. “If you want the best warriors, build them”.
He led a candid discussion on the three corrosions, sexual harassment and assault, extremism and racism, and suicide within the Army, offering that the solution is leadership. He further challenged each of the command teams to “build cohesive teams that are highly trained, disciplined, and fit; who are ready to fight and win”.
While the first day appropriately put “People First”, addressing Talent Management and Personnel updates, the second day focused on updating leaders about the transformation of the Military Health System, the reform and reorganization of U.S. Army Medical Command, and a refocus on the Region’s mission and key tasks in support of senior mission commanders on its supported installations
The event concluded with a presentation followed by discussion with author and motivational speaker, Mr. Simon Sinek who discussed his theory of having an infinite mindset and how this relates to working in a healthcare setting, particularly during a pandemic and in the context of the Army Chief of Staff “People First” strategy
“Leadership is a team sport and no one is strong enough to do it alone,” Sinek said. “We have to allow others to contribute, involve the front line, and make the infinite game a team sport”.
“You solve a cultural problem with people and not processes,” he added. “You must play an infinite game with a just cause in order to establish a climate of trust.”
“Over the course of the three-day event, the leaders of the “Ready Now!” region clearly demonstrated commitment and dedication to close out 2020 strong and to orient on the New Year with an infinite mindset.” Lodi said.