San Antonio Market aims to improve access to healthcare with new initiatives

By Elaine SanchezApril 20, 2023

San Antonio Market aims to improve access to healthcare with new initiatives
Maj. (Dr.) June Struder examines an active-duty service member at the CPT Jennifer M. Moreno Primary Care Clinic, Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston, Texas, March 14, 2023. The San Antonio Market has implemented a JBSA Permanent Party Sick Call program for all active duty, permanent party service members with acute, non-life-threatening illness or injury. (DoD photo by Jason W. Edwards) (Photo Credit: Jason W. Edwards) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, April 20, 2023 – From pharmacy lockers to a new mobile app, the San Antonio Market has launched several initiatives in recent months aimed at helping beneficiaries navigate their military medical care.

“Across San Antonio, your military medical team is working tirelessly to improve your access to healthcare,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Jeannine Ryder, director, San Antonio Market, and commander, 59th Medical Wing. “We know there have been access challenges in recent years, and we are incredibly grateful for everyone’s flexibility, patience and understanding.”

The pandemic spurred nationwide access to care issues as hospitalizations increased and the number of hospital-based healthcare professionals decreased due to burnout or other factors, creating a staffing shortage that continues today across the country.

Fortunately, within the market, the delays in primary and specialty care, and longer wait times for services such as pharmacy and laboratory, have lessened due to a decrease in COVID-19 cases and an increased familiarity with MHS GENESIS, the Defense Department’s new electronic health record.

Still, there’s more work to be done, noted Army Brig. Gen. Deydre Teyhen, deputy director, San Antonio Market, and commanding general, Brooke Army Medical Center.

“We are definitely moving in the right direction, thanks to the efforts of this dedicated military medical team, and we remain committed to providing the access to care our amazing patients deserve,” she said.

In recent months, the market has launched several new products and programs to help patients navigate the system, while also working to share information on available healthcare resources that can help streamline the path to care, Ryder said. These initiatives and resources include:


A key area of focus for the market is ensuring the local military health system has adequate staffing to meet its readiness and healthcare delivery missions. However, due to a shortage in healthcare providers, the market is experiencing the same staffing challenges as the rest of the nation.

To help mitigate the staffing shortages, “hiring has become our No. 1 initiative,” Teyhen said.

To start, the market has launched monthly onboarding fairs for incoming civilian personnel with a tentative job offer. The fairs offer a one-stop resource for everything from required training to physical exams, which speeds up the process to receive an entry on duty date, or EOD – a process that historically has taken weeks, if not months, to complete. At the February fair alone, 102 personnel attended, and 100 personnel received an on-the-spot EOD, Teyhen noted.

“We want to ensure we have the right number of staff in the right place to alleviate stress on our team and improve access to care for our patients,” Teyhen said.

Appointment Line

In an effort to reduce hold times, the Consolidated Appointment Management Office, or CAMO, recently conducted a study to determine areas where they can increase efficiency and decrease wait times for patients. As a result, CAMO is bringing on additional staff and optimizing technology, which will streamline processes and have a direct and positive impact on hold times.

“This is a great step to improving patient access,” Ryder said. “We appreciate our amazing CAMO team for their ongoing hard work and dedication to patient care.”

Access to Care Guide

The market has released a new Access to Care Guide to ensure beneficiaries have the most current information and various pathways for seeking primary, urgent, and ancillary care. The guide includes information on acute and routine appointments, ways to decrease your wait time at the pharmacy, how to access radiology and laboratory services, and more.

To view the guide, visit:

Access 2 Care Mobile App

To help ensure the Access to Care Guide information is accessible to all, the market has launched a related web application. The app will display on any phone, tablet or desktop, and users will be given the option to download to their device either initially or after several visits.

To view the app, visit

Text Service

The San Antonio Market launched a new text message service earlier this year to provide timely, helpful healthcare information and updates to include changes to clinic hours of operation, health fairs, vaccine opportunities, pharmacy/laboratory services, access to care tips, and more.

Beneficiaries can opt-in by texting the key word MilCare to 1-877-345-7262. To opt-out at any time, text STOP to the same number.


Whether through CAMO or the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal, the market offers patients the option to opt for a virtual appointment for routine needs such as prescription renewal requests, review of test results, treatment plan clarification, and more.

Additionally, for healthcare questions or concerns, beneficiaries can speak to a nurse 24/7 by contacting the MHS Nurse Advice Line; call 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273) or visit, where there’s an option to chat with or without video.

Other telehealth options include:

• Doctor on Demand mobile app: This app offers urgent care, behavioral health, psychology and psychiatry services. Download “dr+ on demand” from your app store. (Note: Active-duty service members first need a referral from their provider or the Nurse Advice Line.)

• Telemynd: This site offers behavioral health, psychology, and psychiatry services. Patients can request an appointment by filling out the online registration form at or by calling the

care support line at 1-866-991-2103. (Note: Active-duty service members first need a referral from their provider or the Nurse Advice Line.)

Walk-in Clinics

Contraceptive Services

The San Antonio Market offers walk-in contraceptive services for active duty, retirees, and family members at Patients in Need of Contraception, or PINC, clinics.

PINC clinics are located in CPT Jennifer M. Moreno, McWethy Troop Medical Clinic, Reid Clinic, and Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center. Randolph Clinic offers daily expedited birth control clinic appointments. For detailed information on walk-in clinic days, times and eligibility, visit Patients also are encouraged to download the Decide + Be Ready app ahead of time to learn about their birth control options.

Musculoskeletal Injury Services

The San Antonio Market offers walk-in/direct access (no referral) physical therapy services for active duty, permanent party service members with acute injuries at the following locations: Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno Clinic (2nd floor), WHASC (3rd floor, C-wing) and Randolph Clinic (1st floor, PT Clinic). For detailed information on walk-in clinic days, times and eligibility, visit


Last year, after the MHS GENESIS implementation, pharmacy wait times were close to an hour. The average is now 30 minutes, Teyhen said. This is due, in part, to new initiatives, which include:

• Q Anywhere: This text messaging service allows beneficiaries to activate their new prescriptions from their mobile device to make filling prescriptions easier. Patients simply text "Get in Line" to 833-256-3632. The system will activate all new electronic prescriptions received over the past 14 days. (Note: Westover and Schertz Medical Home do not have this service at this time.)

• Pharmacy Lockers: These lockers offer 24/7 access to refills. When patients call in for a refill, they just need to select the locker location. At the lockers, patients will need to register, and after will have access to the lockers with their thumbprint or DoD ID number.

• Express Scripts also remains an option for mail-order prescriptions. There is a co-pay for family members and retirees (no cost for active duty). For more on this service, visit or download the Express Scripts mobile app from the app store.

Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health will be opening a Joint Warfighter Wellness Center, staffed by behavioral health technicians, to conduct intakes and to pass on information about acute care resources and provider scheduling. By doing so, patients will have a quicker touchpoint with behavioral health and access to helpful resources between appointments. The department is also hiring additional providers to expand in and outpatient behavioral health services.

This is just the start, Teyhen said. “We will continue to strive for improvements. We also want to encourage our patients to schedule those routine appointments and tests that they may have put off due to COVID-19. We are working to ensure you have the access to care you need and deserve for your healthcare, and health and wellness, needs.”

Ryder agreed. “We appreciate all of our market teammates supporting our initiatives, and the patients and staff who spoke up to share their access to care challenges,” she said. “Please know we are listening and use the feedback as an opportunity to grow.”

“We remain honored and proud to provide the best quality care for service members, their families, and retirees.”