FORT LEE, Va. – Lt. Col. M. Jordan Inman assumed command of Kenner Army Health Clinic at a ceremony here Friday in Wylie Hall auditorium.
Brig. Gen Paula C. Lodi, commanding general of Regional Health Command - Atlantic, presided over the change of command and performed the traditional formalities of retrieving the Army Medical Service colors from outgoing commander Lt. Col. Nichelle A. Johnson and entrusting them to Inman.
The viewing audience included about 100 in-person guests and many watching via Facebook livestream.
Acknowledging Johnson’s many accomplishments during her two-year tenure at the Kenner helm, Lodi noted in her remarks how the assignment “started out one way and evolved into something completely unexpected” – referencing the health crisis brought on by the pandemic.
“Under her leadership, the Kenner team showed remarkable tenacity and resilience,” Lodi said.
That was on top of the many changes within the military health system and Army Medicine.
“In the midst of tremendous reform and reorganization … the ability to operationalize our senior leader’s vision while providing steady high-quality medical support to the day-to-day mission is critical,” Lodi said. “For the past two years, we have had the right leader here at Kenner to be in command of this journey. Her successes contributed to her mission focus and the readiness of her organization and … this installation. She is a visionary leader whose positive attitude and energy help transform Kenner and made it one of the highest performing clinics in MEDCOM.”
Highest on the list of Johnson’s accomplishments, by far, is leading the Kenner team through uncharted COVID-19 waters. The foundation of that response was providing safe and effective health care. It meant diverting face-to-face appointments to tele-health visits, enacting safety measures such as the drive-thru pharmacy, and setting and enforcing mask-wearing, social distancing and patient screening protocols. There was also the matter of communicating health guidance through town halls, command briefings and social media messaging.
Under Johnson’s leadership, the Kenner team enhanced health and readiness for 20,000 beneficiaries and 10,000 trainees supported by the five clinics of Fort Lee MEDDAC. She commanded 291 civilians, 88 Soldiers and 61 contracted staff members since May of 2019.
In her remarks at the ceremony, Johnson described how excited she was to take the role as KAHC commander knowing it would be a period of enormous change. What she didn’t realize was a pandemic was right around the corner. She acknowledged the clinic team for enabling her to navigate those treacherous waters. She also thanked the many professionals at CASCOM, garrison and other tenant organizations across post for their support.
Johnson welcomed Inman’s family saying, “I believe we are placed in the right situation and location at the right time. After being here with this fine Kenner family, I do not have a shadow of the doubt you are the right person to hand the reign’s over to. You are getting a team of professionals who are dedicated to serving this community.”
The outgoing commander is heading to Fort Polk on a compassionate reassignment. Inman previously served as the assistant chief of staff for Resource Management/G8 at Regional Health Command Europe.
The incoming officer said he has already witnessed the strong connections and partnerships Kenner enjoys within the Fort Lee community. “I have no doubt sustaining those relationships is one of the most important things to do moving forward,” Inman said. “People first – that is how organizations run best. Our priority at Kenner is people – caring for people along with treating our patients like family and developing our leaders.”