RHC-A military treatment facilities administer COVID-19 vaccine

By Terry J. Goodman Regional Health Command-Atlantic Public AffairsJanuary 11, 2021

Fort Belvoir, VA – Readiness of the force in support of Army operations is always a priority within the military treatment facilities of Regional Health Command-Atlantic. In today’s environment, this includes the receipt and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine within Army Medicine’s largest regional health command in accordance with the Department of Defense’s vaccination guidelines and in coordination with U.S. Army Medical Command and the Defense Health Agency.

Since RHC-A’s medical facilities began receiving the vaccine two weeks ago, the vaccine was administered to healthcare professionals, dental clinics, and installation first responders at nine Army installations Fort Meade, Maryland, Fort Campbell and Knox, Kentucky, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Rucker, Alabama and Forts Gordon, Benning and Stewart in Georgia.

Pharmacy Supply Supervisor Jennifer Clark races against the clock to transfer Blanchfield Army Community Hospital’s initial shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine from container to freezer today. The hospital began inoculating healthcare workers and first responders within hours, marking the start of its phased-in vaccination program to mitigate the spread of the virus. Under CDC and Department of Defense guidelines, military and civilian healthcare workers and support personnel at Blanchfield directly involved in the hospital’s COVID response and who are at the greatest risk of contracting the virus are vaccinated first. Vaccines authorized for emergency use are offered on a voluntary basis. The DoD announced it would continue to distribute vaccines in a phased-in format adding additional prioritized personnel. Ultimately, the plan is to make the vaccine available to any service member, retiree and family member, DoD civilian and contractors who volunteer to receive it. (Rel
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Pharmacy Supply Supervisor Jennifer Clark races against the clock to transfer Blanchfield Army Community Hospital’s initial shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine from container to freezer today. The hospital began inoculating healthcare workers and first responders within hours, marking the start of its phased-in vaccination program to mitigate the spread of the virus. Under CDC and Department of Defense guidelines, military and civilian healthcare workers and support personnel at Blanchfield directly involved in the hospital’s COVID response and who are at the greatest risk of contracting the virus are vaccinated first. Vaccines authorized for emergency use are offered on a voluntary basis. The DoD announced it would continue to distribute vaccines in a phased-in format adding additional prioritized personnel. Ultimately, the plan is to make the vaccine available to any service member, retiree and family member, DoD civilian and contractors who volunteer to receive it. (Rel (Photo Credit: David E. Gillespie) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lyster Army Health Clinic Commander Lt. Col. Danielle Rodondi administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Staff Sgt. Ryan Asca, EMS paramedic.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lyster Army Health Clinic Commander Lt. Col. Danielle Rodondi administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Staff Sgt. Ryan Asca, EMS paramedic. (Photo Credit: Janice Erdlitz, Lyster AHC Public Affairs ) VIEW ORIGINAL

Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg has already started administering the second dose to post personnel who received the first round of the vaccine a few weeks ago.

Col Robin Ramsey, RHC-A’s chief of Operations (G-3), the regional lead in coordinating the receipt and distribution of the vaccine throughout the region, is impressed with the staff within the RHC-A Headquarters directorates who have been coordinating efforts in support of this important mission to keep our medical professionals, installation first responders and ultimately our fighting force safe across the region.

“The efforts of this team to take this task head-on ensuring that our MTFs are getting the vaccine as quickly as possible is truly incredible,” Ramsey said. I also have to commend the efforts of our MTFs’ operations and logistical staff who we collaborate with daily once they are identified to receive the vaccine.”

Regional MTFs identified to receive the vaccine within the next week include Moncrief Army Health Clinic, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Guthrie Army Health Clinic, Fort Drum, New York. In addition, these facilities have smaller medical facilities, for example occupational health clinics, within their organizational structure at other installations that will also be receiving the vaccine.

Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi, RHC-A commanding general, visited Blanchfield Army Community Hospital earlier this week to get an overview of its vaccine administration operation and to meet and thank the logistical and medical personnel responsible for receiving, storing and ultimately administering the vaccine.

BG Lodi said, “Our Soldiers and Civilians tasked with COVID response are more appreciated than ever! It was a pleasure seeing the incredible testing and vaccination coordination from the team.”

Office of the Surgeon’s General’s Lt. Col. Ken Lutz, a plans officer with the DoD COVID-19 Vaccine Operational Planning Team, lauded RHC-A Headquarters for its efforts and coordination of its vaccine administration efforts and responsiveness in support of Army Medicine and the Army’s Operation Warp Speed.

“Success is safely getting vaccine off the shelf to the people who need it most,” Lutz” said. RHC-A’s incredible planning and preparation for this vaccination campaign was instrumental in making the U.S. Army the highest performing military service for vaccine administration and postured the Department of Defense among the highest performing within 65 national jurisdictions.”