By Ben Gonzales Mission and Installation Contracting CommandFORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - Brooke Army Medical Center patients can now avoid the long walk from the hospital parking lot as Mission and Installation Contracting Command officials helped procure a new valet parking service.In less than 30 days, MICC officials staffed and approved a valet parking contract so BAMC patients can get to their appointments quicker, no longer having to march through the rain or blistering heat.Contracts normally take up to 120 days to process, but BAMC officials wanted to start the valet service as soon as possible, said Patty Pfeninger, a MICC contract specialist. "We worked with the Fort Sam Houston Provost Marshall's office and BAMC officials to expedite this contract quickly and to draft a clear performance work statement."The contract request came in April 28 and was awarded May 27 to a small-disadvantaged business. The more than $437,000, one-year contract has an option of two additional years and calls for one supervisor and 10 valet attendants to work from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, excluding holidays."This is the fastest contract at this dollar amount I've ever worked," said Faye Shepherd-Brennen, a MICC contracting officer. "The Provost Marshall was very accommodating and cooperative, and it was a true team effort to get the contract done," he said.Under this contract, the valet attendants are fully insured, have had criminal background checks, and must attend a safety training class. BAMC security officers will be on hand until all contract measures are met.Up to 300 parking spots have been set off for valet parking, and Army officials can modify the contract if the demand for services increases.Based on the contract, BAMC patrons may use the valet service free of charge. Customers should know they should not tip the valet attendants, Pfeninger said. "People should give the valet attendants only their car keys as the contractor is not responsible for lost or stolen items, but the keys will be secured and managed by the valet supervisor at all times. This contract is important and beneficial to satisfy the needs of people coming to BAMC."By working with BAMC officials and the Fort Sam Houston Provost Marshall, MICC employees were able to develop a contract for a valet service to improve the quality of life for BAMC patrons. "This shows the value of having professional contracting officials working closely with the customer to give a product that benefits so many people," said Brig. Gen. Stephen B. Leisenring, the MICC commanding general. "We need to do whatever it takes for the wounded warriors, family members, veterans and whoever needs to visit BAMC. We understand the struggle it is for any patient -- the wounded warrior walking on crutches, the wife of a deployed Soldier who is trying to take small children to an appointment, and the difficulty it is for an elderly veteran who requires an oxygen tank to breathe - to walk up to three quarters of a mile just to get to the front door of the hospital. This contract shows the integral part MICC members play in helping accomplish our mission."