Brooke Army Medical Center held a relinquishment of command ceremony April 28 to bid farewell to the commanding general.
Brig. Gen. Shan Bagby took command of BAMC a little over 10 months ago. He will soon begin his new assignment as the commanding general of Regional Health Command-Central.
“As I depart, I want to personally thank everyone for their support, their dedication and professionalism over what has become a very quick tour,” Bagby said. “This has been among the busiest, really hectic, but most rewarding tours and times of my entire professional life and I want to thank you all for being a big part of that.”
Brig. Gen. Wendy Harter, the current RHC-C commanding general, praised the departing general for his leadership.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be here today to honor an outstanding leader and Soldier for the great work he has accomplished in a particularly challenging time,” Harter said. “When I turned over the reins of BAMC not quite a year ago, COVID had escalated to an all-time high, and in the months that followed, Brig. Gen. Bagby faced unrelenting challenges. We are here today to celebrate his success in meeting those obstacles, and express our heartfelt appreciation for his strategic vision, his leadership and his commitment in supporting both military and community-based missions here in San Antonio.”
Harter spoke about the many ways BAMC contributed to the fight against COVID-19 and how the organization under Bagby’s leadership supported not only the Department of Defense and military medicine, but the local community as well.
“Strategic readiness is evident daily with an average of 12 traumas, 55 admissions, 186 ER (emergency room) visits and 3,600 outpatient visits,” she said. “BAMC’s case mix index of 1.7 is the highest of all DoD military hospitals.”
Adding, “BAMC stood up remote COVID-19 screening and testing operations for more than 35,000 patients. In the first two months of vaccination operations, he and the BAMC team safely administered more than 40,000 COVID vaccinations to staff and DoD beneficiaries.”
Bagby said he was sad to leave, but joked that he still hoped he would be invited back for potlucks.
“Good leaders, just like great organizations, have to be flexible, agile and adaptable in order to remain ready and relevant, because if you are not willing to change you become quickly irrelevant, so I welcome the new opportunity,” he said.
The outgoing commander praised Team BAMC for their “well-earned reputation of excellence in quality of care, as the premier medical facility and the DoD’s only Level 1 Trauma Center.”
Bagby talked about the many challenges BAMC faced over the past year, such as the global pandemic, political unrest and social turmoil, highlighting a few of the initiatives BAMC implemented as a result of COVID-19, including the research conducted, drive thru pharmacy, COVID wards, increased ECMO capacity and the vaccination site.
“These efforts have been praised across the joint base command and San Antonio,” he said. “In addition, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our beneficiaries and patients, which after all, at the end of the day is who we serve.”
Bagby also applauded the staff for their dedication during the winter snowstorms.
“These events were a demonstration of your resilience and ingenuity in overcoming challenges; not only meeting, but exceeding standards and expectations,” Bagby said. “To sum it up, your performance as a team is remarkable.”
Bagby said he has confidence that BAMC will be well taken care of under the leadership of acting commander Army Col. Michael Wirt.
The outgoing commander concluded by thanking the staff for making his time at BAMC “memorable and rewarding.”