FORT HOOD, Texas (Army News Service, Jan. 26, 2011) -- Family members of active-duty Soldiers stationed at Fort Hood will soon have more convenient access to healthcare with the spring opening of the Copperas Cove community-based primary care clinic.

This clinic will be the first among three Aca,!A"medical homeAca,!A? clinics opening in communities newr Fort Hoo. It's also among 17 medical home clinics the Army is opening near 11 installations across the country in 2011 with recommendations for clinics at four additional sites.

The first of these clinics opened Nov. 30 near Fort Campbell, Ky. The Army will be adding community-based clinics throughout 2011 at forts Bragg, N.C.; Hood, Texas; Jackson, S.C.; Leonard Wood, Mo., Lewis, Wash.; Sam Houston, Texas; Sill, Okla.; Shafter, Hawaii; Stewart, Ga., and Benning, Ga.

The Copperas Cove Medical Home will be located in the Town Square shopping mall on West Highway 190. The Aca,!A"medical homeAca,!A? concept of providing primary health care is different from the traditional delivery of health care in military clinics.

Col. Steven E. Braverman, commander of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, explained that the new concept was inspired from the ground up by military patientsAca,!a,,c ideas and suggestions about how Army healthcare should be.

Aca,!A"Those ideas and suggestions are embodied in a new model of healthcare being adopted across the military and leading civilian healthcare systems,Aca,!A? Braverman said.

Under the new concept, patients partner with a team of healthcare providers to develop a comprehensive, personal healthcare plan.

Aca,!A"Your team works with you and your family to take care of health issues as they arise,Aca,!A? Braverman said. Part of the plan includes prevention screening and services and management of chronic conditions.

Aca,!A"Make no mistake,Aca,!A? he assures, Aca,!A"this is not a shifting of care from the post hospital; the clinic is an expansion of the quality health care families of active-duty Soldiers currently get at other clinics on Fort Hood. WeAca,!a,,cre just bringing it closer to home and work.Aca,!A?

The clinic will be in leased space and staffed with civilian employees. Patients will still have the option of using Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center for emergency and specialized care.

The clinic is expected to employ six primary care providers and one behavioral health provider, and administer patient-centered care to over 7,000 active duty Family members. The clinic will have pharmacy and limited laboratory services. Depending on the local demands, the clinic may include some other primary care services.

According to Rick Montelongo, the group practice manager, Aca,!A"Enrollment is currently limited to active-duty family members living in the 76522, 76528, 76530 and 76550 zip codes.Aca,!A?

Montelongo assures DarnallAca,!a,,cs patients currently enrolled in clinics on post that they can choose to remain in their current clinic.

Aca,!A"However, if you prefer to change your enrollment to the Copperas Cove Medical Home, you can,Aca,!A? Montelongo said.

He said in the very near future patients will get a letter in the mail explaining how to request a change in enrollment to the Copperas Cove Medical Home clinic.

"This initiative improves access to primary care by reducing reliance on emergency rooms at medical treatment or network facilities for routine health care needs,Aca,!A? Braverman said. Aca,!A"These clinics help to validate The Army Surgeon GeneralAca,!a,,cs commitment ensuring convenient access to primary care in the community,Aca,!A? he added.

(Jeri Chappell serves with Fort Hood Public Affairs.)