‘T.E.A.M.’ mantra empowers workforce, builds morale at Army medical maintenance division

By C.J. LovelaceOctober 3, 2023

Teamwork at Tracy
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sandhya Suresh, a civilian biomedical equipment technician, works alongside a teammate at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Medical Maintenance Operations Division at Tracy, California. The facility has embraced the “Together, Everyone Achieves More,” or T.E.A.M., philosophy and it’s been paying dividends throughout the workforce. (Photo Credit: Katie Ellis-Warfield) VIEW ORIGINAL
COL Welde and Tracy team
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Marc Welde, commander of U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command, takes a selfie photo with team members at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Medical Maintenance Operations Division in Tracy, California, during a recent site visit. Also pictured from the AMLC command team is Sgt. Maj. Akram Shaheed, background center. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

TRACY, Calif. -- As the saying goes, “Together, Everyone Achieve More.”

It’s a phrase that pays for the workforce at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Medical Maintenance Operations Division in Tracy, where Director Isaac Newman has promoted the “T.E.A.M.” mindset among the workforce.

Newman said the approach has increased communication, trust, teamwork and a sense of pride for MMOD-Tracy, while empowering employees and management alike to lead by example and take decisive action toward the collective mission.

“We’ve got people from all walks of life here at Tracy, and that makes us stronger in many ways,” Newman said. “We have different perspectives and points of view from everyone. It brings together different opinions and solutions to problems, allowing us to think outside the box.”

MMOD-Tracy is one of three USAMMA medical maintenance facilities across the continental U.S. The others are located at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania and Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

USAMMA is a direct reporting unit to Army Medical Logistics Command, the Army’s Life Cycle Management Command for medical materiel.

The T.E.A.M. mantra at Tracy ties in with AMLC’s “Engage for Success” campaign, aimed at enhancing employee engagement within the organization and building stronger teams. The initiative puts people first and focuses on building adaptive, unified teams within AMLC to support global medical materiel readiness and support missions.

It’s exactly what Newman has worked to instill at MMOD-Tracy since coming on board as director about three years ago. Employees at all levels have bought into the mantra.

“The T.E.A.M. philosophy promotes the idea that by working together effectively and leveraging the strengths of each team member, a group can achieve outcomes that surpass what individuals could achieve on their own,” said Ralph Constantino, lab manager for test, measurement and diagnostic equipment, or TMDE. “It’s a philosophy that values collaboration, mutual support, and shared responsibility in pursuit of our mission.”

“I love the culture here,” said Sandhya Suresh, a civilian biomedical equipment technician. “Everyone is super friendly and we all work with one thing in mind -- to deliver the best support to our mission by working together.”

Rachael Romero, a contract administrative assistant, called the team “a close-knit group of individuals who share the same vision” for success.

“I believe that our teams effectively communicate and share their knowledge,” she said. “Our leadership team does a great job of being transparent and communicating with our teams, and we feel like a sense of belonging here at Tracy.”

Newman said he started working to instill the T.E.A.M. philosophy back when he served as chief of operations at MMOD-Tobyhanna. He decided to build on that following his arrival at Tracy.

“Everybody has buy-in, everybody has a voice,” he said. “It’s really propelled us to a higher level and been really fun to watch everybody grow and get after it knowing that leadership will stand behind them.”

Constantino echoed many of Newman’s sentiments, emphasizing that the MMOD-Tracy management team values diversity and empowerment throughout the workforce.

“Employees are empowered and encouraged to take ownership of their roles, make decisions and have a say in the direction the command is heading,” he said. “Tracy’s culture fosters innovation, collaboration and sense of inclusion.”

The self-starter and can-do attitude played out in November 2022 as the MMOD-Tracy team successfully and safely moved its operation into a new building at the Tracy Defense Distribution Depot.

The move allowed MMOD-Tracy to expand its mission capability as the technical center for excellence for the Army’s medical imaging equipment and what’s known as Special Purpose (medical) TMDE, or SP-TMDE. It also consolidated its facility under one roof, with an additional 140,000 square feet of functional warehouse storage and workspace.

“The entire Tracy team worked together by planning, organizing and perfectly executing the move at no expense to USAMMA,” Constantino said. “It took only two weeks to complete, with no occurrences of any mishaps or safely infractions. The entire move was fluid.”

Every week, the MMOD-Tracy leadership team regularly solicits feedback from all levels of the workforce through its director and staff meetings, a key touchpoint with the workers that builds buy-in and trust, according to Newman.

“From my point of view, to bring somebody that’s working the bench … it allows them to sit down and be a part of the table with everybody else, listening to all the supervisors and management,” he said. “At the end of each meeting, they all applaud the communication, the crosstalk and the ability to work together as a team to make it happen.

“It’s a testament how this philosophy has really taken off and helping grow the organization.”