William Beaumont Army Medical Center and the Fort Bliss Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association (ASYMCA) opened its brand new Children’s Waiting Room (CWR) at the main hospital campus on Sept 1, 2022.
The children's waiting room provides parents with a secure, temporary alternative for child care for children aged six months to twelve years. Children who are enrolled are permitted to remain for up to two hours while their parents attend medical appointments at WBAMC.
“Our mission is to strengthen military families. The population we serve is junior enlisted and their families. This program provides a service to junior enlisted families that makes military life a little easier while also contributing to readiness and lowering missed appointments,” said George G. Elsaesser, executive director of the ASYMCA of El Paso.
According to Elsaesser, this program is only open to active duty military in the rank of E-6 and below and with an appointment at the hospital. “This is a free program to military members and is solely funded through donations,” he said.
“Drop off is available if there is space and if the family has been registered in the system. Families can call and schedule an appointment over the phone,” said Elsaesser.
ASYMCA of El Paso strongly recommends registering now, either by stopping by WBAMC Patient Experience office, on the first floor of the East Clinic at hospital main campus or calling 915-742-0975.
“This new childcare service will not only be a tremendous benefit for our families but it will also fill a critical gap within our local healthcare system. Family members have skipped or canceled their medical appointments simply because they could not find or afford childcare services. This has led to anxiety and frustration, putting additional stress on our Soldiers and their families. For many spouses, this creates a barrier. Access to childcare is simply just the right thing to do,” said Col. Brett Venable, El Paso market director and commander of WBAMC.
The CWR is located on the first floor of the East Clinic at WBAMC's main campus. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The ASYMCA will offer qualified childcare personnel during CWR hours.
“To be clear, the military does a fantastic job of caring for its members and their families. However, despite our military leadership's many resources, some families still have trouble making ends meet. The ASYMCA is here to help bridge that gap and give leaders one more tool to help them take care of their troops and families. The children's waiting room is one of these tools,” said Elsaesser.