Garmisch, Germany – More than 400 active-duty military medical leaders, providers, and planners from all branches of service, as well as civilian counterparts from across Europe, Africa and the continental United States took part in the 2023 Medical Readiness Command, Europe Health and Readiness Symposium Nov. 6-9 in Garmisch, Germany.
The theme for this year’s symposium was - “Transforming Military Medicine in Eurasia, Africa and Middle East: Improving Health while Building Readiness and Partnerships.”
The host for the four-day health and readiness symposium was U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Roger Giraud, commander of Medical Readiness Command, Europe, and director of Defense Health Network Europe. During his opening remarks, Giraud emphasized the importance of teamwork, readiness, and partnerships among the uniformed medical services.
“The partnerships in building health and readiness starts here, in this room,” said Giraud. “This is the team that will deliver care here in Europe and Africa and, this is the team that will build readiness. We have an important mission here and our servicemembers and their families rely on the people in this room to be masters in their track. We must be the symbol of strength, hope and comfort for them.”
According to symposium planners, the intent for the symposium was to provide an opportunity to enhance the quality of patient outcomes and population health by providing advanced continuing medical education opportunities to improve the knowledge, skills, and practices of military health care providers across the European Military Health System.
“None of us can get the mission done without each other,” added Giraud. “It takes a team to deliver care and to win. We are a group of leaders, and up and coming leaders. We must win, it’s what our nation expects.”
In addition to enhancing the quality of patient outcomes and improving the knowledge and skills of healthcare providers, the symposium provided an opportunity for military medical leaders and providers to share ideas and lessons learned, and strengthen readiness and partnerships among the services.
“We have to strengthen our relationships so we can be better able to support,” said Giraud. “And we must set priorities for our people so that we can plan, prepare, and execute the mission of delivering care and building readiness. We must hold each other accountable, and we must be masters of our craft because somebody is relying on us every day.”
Providing quality medical care to U.S. servicemembers and their mission is a top priority for all DOD medical leaders across the theater and area of operation.
“We must be ready and make it happen, and more importantly, we must make it better,” added Giraud. “We have to understand our requirements and identify our gaps if something were to cook-off in this theater.”
According to symposium planners, medical engagements like this are critical in supporting U.S. military operations and ensuring the health and readiness of all DOD servicemembers.
“The servicemembers we support depend on us day in, day out to make the right decisions,” said Giraud. “We have to ensure our organizations are trained to accomplish their collective missions and we must ensure that our people are trained to their highest level.”