FORT STEWART, Ga. -"The proof of the pudding is in the eating" is an old saying meaning that the true value or quality of something can only be judged when it's put to use. So, if you need to be convinced that Winn Army Community Hospital's Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Stewart is tops in a class of many high achievers, then pay close attention to the proof that turned up during this year's AUSA Army Medicine Symposium and Exposition in San Antonio, Texas, May 17-22.

The U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command awards were developed to recognize the hard work and extreme dedication of those who set themselves apart from their peers. Dr. Carolynn M. Warner, Battalion Surgeon, WTB, was named Southern Regional Medical Command Primary Care Manager of the Year, and William English was awarded SRMC's Nurse Care Manager of the Year honors as well as the 'Best of the Best' award, U.S. Army WTC's Nurse Case Manager of the Year.

"These are professionals who have paved the way for a better WTC, set best practices, navigated unchartered waters to create a strong and positive foundation for those who follow," said Lt. Col. Bill Reitemeyer, commander, WTB at Fort Stewart. "It is a great honor to have both recipients chosen to represent Southern Regional Medical Command for the Primary Care Manager and Nurse Case Manager from our battalion here at Fort Stewart."

WINN's WTB is leading the way and has an unprecedented compassion and dedication to the Warriors, the staff, and the mission of WTC.

"Having met both Dr. Warner and Mr. English a few months ago, I know they are both enormously talented and dedicated, so we are proud to have them on the team and grateful for their expertise and love of Soldiers," said Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, the Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition. "Such dedication and the positive impact they have had on Warriors in Transition and their Families is deserving of special recognition."

"This is the purpose behind the awards presented on May 18 at WTC award ceremony during the annual [AUSA] Army Medicine Symposium and Exposition in San Antonio, [Texas] - I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the fine work done by Dr. Warner, Mr. English and all the award recipients."

Dr. Carolynn Warner
Dr. Warner said she was truly humbled to be selected for the honor.

"We spend our days surrounded by Warriors suffering from life altering illnesses, catastrophic injuries, or suffering cumulative injuries acquired during a life of service," she said. "These men and women are awe-inspiring: demonstrating resilience and achieving their goals in spite of sometimes overwhelming odds - I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to this amazing program."

According to the WTB commander, Dr. Warner's foresight and keen ability to project and execute long range planning and training development in order to build and develop her medical teams are nothing short of magnificent.

"The initial development of Dr. Warner's medical team consisting of one Battalion Lead Nurse Case Manager, three Company Lead Nurse Case Managers, 16 Nurse Case Managers, four Social Workers, two Occupational Therapists, and four Medical Support Assistants has transformed medical operations for our wounded, ill and injured Warriors," Lt. Col. Reitemeyer said. "Dr. Warner diligently identifies needs, anticipates outcomes, proposes solutions and facilitates the working relationship between Command and Control and Medical Management."

Moreover, under Dr. Warner's watch, the WINN's WTB has implemented security measures to improve safety for Warriors on multiple levels.

"Dr. Warner ensures that all safety concerns are addressed, medical conditions are appropriately diagnosed and treated and maintains the level of balance required to determine when the medical decision retention point has been met in an appropriate time frame," Lt. Col. Reitemeyer said.
"She ensures a warm hand-off of incoming Warriors by inserting herself into the transfer process, plus she is the primary initial medical contact - a step that has been recognized in the Battalion Surgeon forum as a desirable best practice and may become the standard."

William English
English, walking away with both the regional and national award for Nurse Case Manager, said the recognition he received was more than a team effort - it was a Family working together.

"It is such an honor and a privilege to work with the Warriors who have sacrificed so much for our great nation," English said. "This award would not have been possible without the support of the Family at WINN and Fort Stewart."

Lieutenant Colonel Reitemeyer said he nominated English primarily because he consistently demonstrated complete autonomy, sound clinical judgment and facilitated strategic and therapeutic communication of the interdisciplinary team, personifying the best the nursing profession has to offer.

"While maintaining a caseload of terminally ill patients, he singled-handedly manages our Tampa Veterans Affair mission," Lt. Col. Reitemeyer said. "He remotely manages Tampa VA Warriors, establishing trust in working relationships with the Special Operations Command Care Coalition, command representatives and paves the way for unorthodox equipment requests that benefit Warriors and their Families."

English successfully managed and transitioned more than 90 Warriors last year.

"Many of these Soldiers were some of the most complex patients in the Army," Lt. Col. Reitemeyer said. "Mr. English's Fort Stewart caseload has only recently been reduced to one terminally ill patient, of whom he is supremely dedicated."

English completes home visits, coordinates respite care, advocates for recommended surgeries and innovative procedures that while medically accepted, are not mainstream treatments, but always in the best interest of the Warrior.

"Mr. English dedicates an immense amount of time ensuring Warriors and their Families receive the best care possible and transition to their highest level of functioning possible with needs met," Lt. Col. Reitemeyer said.

"His office hours are borderline on excessive, always ensuring the needs of the Warriors and Families are met. His dedication is unmatched and noted by those in this and other Commands, as well as his colleagues and most importantly, by the Warriors and their families under his care."