By Mr. Paul Boyce (FORSCOM)April 9, 2007
From Maj. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, Commanding General, Walter Reed Army Medical Center:
We are gaining momentum - progress can be seen in nearly every facet of healthcare here at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. With the valued assistance of the Army Staff providing support, coupled with congressional leaders and others examining overarching processes, it's clear to me, our nation's warriors in transition are going to benefit greatly from these sweeping improvements. We are dependent upon these dynamic groups to join with us and continue to unravel the complex issues that still face our servicemen and women. They have served us with greatness and honor - let us honor them with great healthcare service.
Accomplished last week:
Soldier and Family Assistance Center (SFAC) continues enhancements:
WRAMC continues to improve reception at the SFAC. This week, the Personnel Section gained four additional staff members. They centralize personnel in- and out-processing for all GWOT Soldiers arriving and departing WRAMC. Members of the section will conduct bedside inprocessing for inpatients and assist with discharge planning when inpatients transfer to outpatient status. The Personnel Section will begin full operation this week by preparing personnel files on all Soldiers awaiting separation from WRAMC and coordinating with the Installation Transition Center for timely and effective processing. The SFAC ID card section now has the capability to go to the wards and process ID cards at a patient's bedside.
Student Company Soldiers relocated into Leased Apartments - more apartments under review: The Medical Center Brigade, in coordination with the Garrison Staff, gained approval for leased apartments for Soldiers attending enlisted training programs at WRAMC. The leased facilities are located in local apartment complexes approximately 5.5 miles from WRAMC. WRAMC runs shuttle service to get students to the installation for their classes. This was done to make room for outpatients a few weeks ago and to ensure wounded Soldiers are close to the hospital. The apartment complexes are in gated communities with on-site security. Each apartment unit is completely furnished and has several amenities such as, secure access, 24-hour front desk service, free outdoor parking, convenience store, on-site dry cleaners, swimming pools and fitness centers. The Brigade will increase the Student Company NCO staff to provide oversight at the apartment complexes. Since last week, the Baltimore District Corps of Engineers has been exploring other local areas for more apartment spaces to accommodate a surge capability.
Clothing Issue Point getting faster and better: From its opening day a week ago, the Clothing Issue Point has been streamlining the process of clothing issue. Since then, 47 medical hold and medical holdover Soldiers have been sized and clothing issued. A popular item for direct exchange is boots; however, nearly 100 separate items are already available for issue and delivery to Soldiers. The facility will soon be able to double or triple its servicing capacity.
Infrastructure -- Garrison leadership and base-operations contractor working hand-in-hand: In support of the Garrison, IAP, the base-ops contractor, established new "Do-It-Now" teams and are providing a dedicated and streamlined response capability to high-priority service orders. This team, focused on Soldiers and Soldier Family living quarters, is dedicated to reacting to maintenance or repair requests as quickly as possible. The team includes a dedicated cadre of qualified technicians including: electricians, plumbers and painters. So far "Do-It-Now" teams have performed a variety of jobs at Soldier/Family quarters, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and preventive maintenance work on critical and auxiliary systems. Additionally, repairs were made to the HVAC system at the Wagner Sports Center, while new carpet was installed in the Guest House to enhance the quality of life for Soldiers living there.
Building 18 Repairs: The contract for roof repairs was awarded 15 March and the notice to proceed was issued 29 March. The Corps has obtained the permit necessary for the use of Georgia Avenue during crane operations and is reviewing the contractor provided safety submission. The Contractor should begin work this week pending approval of the safety submission. The revised schedule for completion is 28 May. The Corps continues to move ahead with scoping the interior and exterior "in kind" repairs until a decision is reached on the future of the building. The Corps is anticipating a decision from ACSIM.
Building T-2 assessments: The Corps team assessed Building T-2 on 3 April 07. As part of the assessment, the team will provide:
* a preliminary analysis of the renovations/repairs measures to building T-2 inclusive of ADA compliance measures, fire protection compliance measures, air quality and hazardous material testing measures, electrical and mechanical upgrades, and interior/exterior upgrades with preliminary rough order of costs;
* a basic analysis of providing approximately 12,000 square feet of temporary trailer office space for brigade members and;
* the availability of leased office space for brigade members within a few mile radius of WRAMC.
The preliminary report with associated costs will be provided by 13 April 07. The Corps anticipates MEDCOM and Garrison approval to begin scoping the work by 20 April and will define the project management plan, acquisition strategy, scope, budget, and schedule by 30 April 07.
WRAMC Main Section Facility Condition Assessment: The assessment team is making progress and has completed assessments on:
* Old Hospital (Bldg 1)
* Abrams Hall (Bldg 14) and
* Delano Hall (Bldg 11).
The Mologne House (Bldg 20), Guest House (Bldg 17), Steam Plant (Bldg 15), Chiller Plant (Bldg 48), and the Auxiliary Chiller Plant (Bldg 49) are scheduled to be completed by Friday. The assessment continues on schedule. All on site field assessments are scheduled to be completed by 25 April with draft reports submitted for review by 25 May.
Improved command and control of our warriors in transition is on track:
The Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) continued to coordinate a myriad of details with the Medical Center Brigade staff to develop movement plans and timeline for movement of the WTB into Abrams Hall.
* Name of the Wounded Warrior Transition Brigade has been changed to the Warrior Transition Brigade
* Inprocessed 29 new personnel into the WTB
* WTB Headquarters has moved into Building 38 in preparation for the Brigade's activation to Initial Operational Capability on 25 April
* Continued Left Seat / Right Seat Ride for 13 new Case Managers with current experienced Case Managers
* Coordinated furniture, phone, and computer hook-ups in Building T-2 for the Medical Center Brigade to facilitate their move from Abrams Hall
* Performed a Purple Heart ceremony for Specialist Ryan Alexander on the Capitol Steps on his way to Balboa, California for community-based healthcare. Within 30 days:
* Conduct comprehensive one-week Training Program for all incoming cadre 16-20 April 2007
* Activation of Warrior Transition Brigade on 25 April 2007 (Initial Operational Capability)
* WTB Company A Change of Command on 27 April 2007
* WTB companies B and C Changes of Command on 8 June 2007 (Full Operational Capability)
Preparing for the week ahead The last few weeks have been intense. As I reflect and ponder what we've accomplished and what is still ahead, I believe the responsibility and opportunity we at WRAMC have before us is awesome, yet clear. We have the warriors and family members of yesterday, today and tomorrow counting on us. We owe it to them and the next generation of service members to get it right. We have the best and brightest working on this monumental task. This will be our greatest legacy to these warriors and their loved ones.
Now is the time and this is the place. Warrior Care!
Major General, Medical Corps,