ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Members of the Army Public Health Center COVID-19 Task Force were presented with the Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 Army Medicine Wolf Pack Award in a virtual ceremony held here June 17.
The Wolf Pack Award was created by the 43rd Army Surgeon General and the 4th Chief of the Army Medical Department Civilian Corps to recognize exceptional teamwork by an integrated group of Army Medicine civilian and military team members who have demonstrated excellence in support of the Army Medicine mission. Quarterly winners automatically compete for the annual Wolf Pack of the Year award.
The Wolf Pack Award citation recognized the APHC COVID-19 Task Force team, which is comprised of 39 Army active-duty service members and Department of the Army civilians, for excellence in developing and implementing essential public health practices including quarantine and isolation, contact tracing, disease surveillance and reporting, epidemiologic modeling and visualization, personal protective measures, and reintegration of personnel to the workplace. The team also synchronized a wide spread public health information campaign where information was provided to all Soldiers, families, upper echelons of command to include the Army Chief of Staff, and also shared throughout the Department of Defense and the federal government.
During the ceremony, Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, commander, U.S. Army Medical Command, recognized the task force team as among the best of the best in the DOD.
“You have reached out to every post, camp and station in the Army showing the criticality and importance of what you do,” said Dingle. “You showed Army senior leaders, not just installation commanders, but COCOM commanders and corps commanders the importance of force health protection. You were writing a text book on how to execute, combat and react to this pandemic. It was simply flawless.”
The team, which also received critical support from multiple APHC directorates, produced 19 webpages receiving more than 300,000 views, and developed 105 information products resulting in 50,000 downloads. They also developed a COVID-19 knowledge management system to catalog content produced across multiple scientific communities. This searchable catalog provided information to the community and supported the development of the MEDCOM vaccine communication campaign.
“This is really and outstanding award,” said Richard Beauchemin, MEDCOM chief of staff, and chief of the AMEDD Civilian Corps. “I get to see all the nominees and they are all phenomenal. The COVID-19 Task Force provided consultative guidance in the earliest stages of the pandemic, when there were far more questions than answers.”
The award citation recognized the team for responding to 1,400 requests for information and coordinating assistance from more than 180 organizations worldwide to fulfill those requests. The team contributed to establishing the Army Public Health Laboratory Enterprise COVID-19 surveillance concept and capability, which now analyzes more than 2,000 samples per week. They also developed the Army COVID-19 Model for Epidemics (ACME) to quantify hospital resource needs based on the pandemic’s evolution, monitoring and analyzing essential metrics through multiple common operating picture dashboards.
“This is award is the culmination of 16 months of effort,” said Col. Jennifer McDannald, APHC director. “I’m extremely proud of the task force and the many people in APHC who contributed to this effort.”
The Army Public Health Center focuses on promoting healthy people, communities, animals and workplaces through the prevention of disease, injury and disability of Soldiers, military retirees, their families, veterans, Army civilian employees, and animals through population-based monitoring, investigations, and technical consultations.