LANDSTUHL, Germany – Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) conducted a change of command ceremony on June 29, 2023, welcoming Col. Theodore R. Brown as the 36th commander of the largest American military medical center outside the United States.
Col. Andrew L. Landers relinquished command of LRMC to Brown, who previously served as the Chief, Health Services Division, at Human Resources Command, Ft. Knox, Ky.
Brown received his commission from the United States Military Academy in 1996 and completed his residencies and board certification in Family Medicine at Fort Bragg, N.C. in 2003.
“It is an honor to stand before you as the incoming commander, and I am humbled by the opportunity and responsibility entrusted to me," he said. "We must never lose sight of our responsibility as stewards of the dual profession of military medicine. The medical professionals of LRMC are guardians of a legacy that stretches back generations. … As such, it is our duty to uphold the highest standards of integrity, compassion, expertise, and excellence."
The ceremony didn’t mark the first meeting between Brown and Landers, who worked together more than two decades ago at the Family Medical Program at Womack Army Medical Center in North Carolina.
“I'm sure on more than a few occasions then, I, a third-year resident, woke Dr. Landers from a deep sleep to discuss a case," Brown said. “I've been privileged to have Col. Landers as a teacher, mentor, physician, colleague, fellow commander, and friend.”
Most recently during Landers' tenure, LRMC completed a successful reaccreditation process through The Joint Commission, was accredited as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons, transitioned to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), and was welcomed into the German Society for Trauma Surgery, or Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie – DGU, becoming the first American trauma center in coalition with a foreign trauma network. . Landers also oversaw LRMC operations during Operation Allies Refuge, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the hospitals initial transition to MHS GENESIS, the Department of Defense’s new electronic health record.
"I stand here today, 25 months after taking command, even more humbled by the privilege that it was to be your commander and director," Landers said. "Personal and professional readiness was our mantra, and this team executed the mission flawlessly, all while maintaining a focus on high-quality, compassionate, and safe patient care."
Brig. Gen. Clinton K. Murray, Commanding General, Medical Readiness Command, Europe/Command Surgeon, United States Army Europe/Director, Defense Health Region Agency Europe, Defense Health Agency, emphasized Landers' achievements.
"If you look at when (Landers) took command, we were in the middle of the pandemic, a global impact that we had not seen for over 100 years," Murray said. "Soon thereafter, he had to respond with the 86th Medical Squadron moving a lot of casualties here to Ramstein, determining who needed inpatient care versus outpatient care. It was the largest humanitarian mission the United States military has ever done."
Landers, who has commanded Landstuhl Regional medical Center since May 2021, is slated for assignment with the 68th Theater Medical Command at Sembach, Germany.
About Landstuhl Regional Medical Center:
As the sole U.S. medical center overseas and the U.S. military’s medical evacuation center, LRMC’s primary role of critical combat care is to either treat and remedy patients’ medical concerns and return them to their units or stabilize and transfer them to another facility for further care.
With a 99 percent survival rate, the LRMC team has successfully treated more than 97,000 wounded, injured and ill U.S. troops and Coalition Forces from 56 countries who were aeromedically evacuated from throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Strategically located near Ramstein Air Base, Germany, LRMC is the largest American medical facility outside the United States, the only American College of Surgeons verified Level II Trauma Center overseas and the only American trauma center associated with a foreign trauma network (the German Society for Trauma Surgery, or Deutsche Gesellschaft für Unfallchirurgie – DGU).
The Defense Health Agency medical center and its six additional clinics in Germany, Italy and Belgium are jointly staffed by more than 2000 dedicated professionals, including over 1,000 Army, 260 Air Force, 800 Department of Defense civilians, 300 Local Nationals, as well as Marine Corps, Navy, and Veterans Affairs personnel. This team cares for nearly 205,000 beneficiaries living and working throughout Europe.
The facility offers 53 medical specialties, houses 65 beds and averages more than 2,000 outpatient visits each day. An average daily workload includes 16 inpatient admissions, 26 operating room cases and 2 births.