By Nikia SimonJune 19, 2010
FORT RILEY, Kan. - A major investment for Fort Riley was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Farrelly Health Clinic June 10 at 8072 Normandy Drive with Soldiers, Family members, installation leadership and distinguished visitors in attendance.
"With the opening of this $26 million, 52,000-square-foot facility, we not only have a physical building to conduct health care, but the opportunity to fundamentally change the way health care is delivered," said Col. Jeff Johnson, commander of Irwin Army Community Hospital.
FHC will provide outpatient health care to Soldiers and Family members from 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Engineer Battalion, and 1st Infantry Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. Family members assigned to these units will continue to receive outpatient care at FHC throughout deployments.
The premier facility formally introduces a patient-center medical home model to Fort Riley, treating Soldiers and Family member under one roof.
"It's going to bring the care Soldiers and Families receive more in line with each other because they are going to receive their primary health care in the same place," said Col. Craig Webb, IACH chief of primary care and community medicine.
When all of the medical home teams are put into place, Soldiers and Families will be assigned to a medical home team and clinic according to their unit. This will make it easier to keep track of which providers are seeing which units and their Families and will allow better relationships between patient and caregiver.
Patients have services available to them in the disciplines of radiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral health, optometry and radiology all within the clinic. Other available services include patient administration, pharmacy and laboratory.
Chiropractic care also will be accessible only to active-duty servicemembers.
The model allows patients to be seen by the same provider in the same medical home team each time they make an appointment.
"A major benefit to Soldiers and Family members is seeing your assigned provider the vast majority of the time. It will streamline care provided to beneficiaries," Webb said.
Under the patient-centered medical home model, providers including a primary care physician, nurse practitioner, pediatrician and physican's assistant are assigned to particular brigade elements.
This medical home team will be privy to brigade-specific details to ensure optimal, tailored services are offered while maintaining continuity of care and confidentiality, Johnson said.
"All of the assigned providers working in a close proximity will create an environment for a free exchange of information to better understand the overall picture, interdependent teams centered on the patient," Johnson said.
If the desired provider is unavailable, the patient will be seen by one of the 4 to 6 providers in their medical home.
Mary Compton was asked to cut the ribbon for the ceremony. Compton's husband, Sgt. Maj. Teddy R. Compton, currently is deployed with DHHB.
"I felt honored to participate in the ceremony more so because they wanted to recognize spouses of deployed Soldiers who are going to be part of this clinic. The ceremony represented a new start for us," Compton said. "Now when my husband comes home in January (my entire Family to include two children) will be able to receive care at the same facility."
For those who are receiving outside care, there is no need to worry about the changes within IACH affecting their choice of primary care providers. Families who are happy receiving outside care may continue to do so.
"It's a continuous circle - and this new facility illustrates a sphere of exceptional health care with a core of patient-centered access," Johnson said.
The facility was named in honor of Pfc. Hubert Farrelly, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions as a medical aidman in an armored ambulance during a military operation involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam in 1966. Farrelly served with Troop C, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division and died March 22, 2009.
FHC will start seeing patients June 14. For even greater convenience, hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"The bottom line you will see is increased continuity of care and improved overall satisfaction with health care services," Webb said.
For additional information about the Farrelly Health Clinic and the patient-centered medical home concept, call 785-239-8341 or visit http://iach.amedd.army.mil/sections/clinics/FHCMain.asp.