By Amy Guckeen Tolson, USAG RedstoneDecember 16, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Pardon their mess - they're busy creating the wow factor for the sake of wellness.
Amidst the sawdust, hard hats and buzzing of drills at Fox Army Health Center, a great change is occurring that will better aid the staff, patients and entire Redstone community in living a lifetime of wellness.
"When you come into a healthcare facility, the first thing you see are the outer aesthetics," Tracy Lonon, chief of facility management branch at Fox, said. "We want to create an environment that when people come to FAHC, they are wowed. We want them to leave with a great impression of their entire health-care experience."
That won't be hard to do with the extensive renovations Fox has undergone this year, the most visible of which has been a complete overhaul of the front entrance. Once complete in mid-March, patients will enjoy a larger, more relaxing waiting area, complete with Seattle's Best coffee and a television to entertain them while they wait for their number to scroll across the bottom of the screen. Occurring simultaneously with a pharmacy facelift, two more full-service pharmacy windows will be added to the five currently in place, as well as an additional overflow window.
"It may be an inconvenience now, but the end result is going to make everyone happy," Lonon said of the changes.
Soldiers will benefit from an additional receptionist in the Warrior Clinic, as well as larger waiting and exam rooms, and an overall better utilization of space. While it primarily serves AIT Soldiers on sick call, once the school departs, the clinic will provide more robust Aviation Medicine and Physical Exams as an integral part of the Patient Center Medical Home. The Warrior Clinic is expected to move from its trailer currently located in the parking lot of Fox, into their new space by the end of the month.
"The renovations will allow our providers to see more patients and reduce the waiting time of their visit while in our facility," Lonon said. "By expanding our internal resources, it allows us to serve more patients each and every day."
It's not just the inside of Fox that's getting the star treatment either. While patients may have primarily noticed the parking hassles the renovations have caused, there's more to look for outside than just a parking spot. Workers have been busy creating an NBA size basketball court, one-mile walking trail with fitness equipment, and combative pit to benefit not just the patients and staff of Fox, but the whole Redstone community.
"The exterior upgrades are not only for Fox staff, it's for the entire Redstone community," Patricia Terry, adjutant/public affairs for Fox, said. "The newly installed equipment is for them to use and enjoy. Come anytime."
Behind the scenes, the information management division, which handles IT for Fox, is also getting a facelift. Scheduled to be complete by mid-February, personnel that couldn't fit into the space they once had will now benefit from a better flow and use of space, which will allow them to better serve the Fox population.
"I believe that once the renovations are complete our patients will be impressed with what we've done and have a fond appreciation of what we're doing on their behalf," Lonon said. "All these changes are being done to enhance patient care at Fox Army Health Center. The patient population is going to feel like we're investing in them. Without the patients we wouldn't be here."
And that investment is never ending. As construction on the current renovations winds down, ideas for continued improvement of the facility are winding up. This fiscal year, renovation attention will be turned to the Dental Clinic, laboratory, and all windows in the building. Dental patients will benefit from a larger sterilization room as well as larger treatment rooms, laboratory staff will be able to work more efficiently as their equipment is compartmentalized to create a better flow, and the whole facility will notice a difference in the energy efficient windows that will replace the old ones.
"The renovations will facilitate a sense of community for both staff and beneficiaries," Fox commander Col. Elizabeth Johnson said. "In addition, the renovations will provide opportunities for greater efficiency for Fox Army Health Center as a whole to better serve our valued patients. This is exciting!"