By Chuck Roberts, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Public AffairsOctober 23, 2007
LANDSTUHL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER, Germany - A new Army health system is firmly in place to assist Soldiers as they prepare for return to duty or transition to civilian life.
"We are ready and prepared to receive you," said Capt. La'Shonia White, interim commander for the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) that oversees the program for Soldiers stationed at Baumholder, Kleber, Landstuhl, SHAPE, Wiesbaden and Vicenza.
The Soldiers she referred to are those undergoing a medical evaluation board or requiring complex medical care longer than six months. On June 15, Europe Regional Medical Command (ERMC) stood up WTUs in Landstuhl, Heidelberg and Vilseck specifically to best meet their medical needs. In the Landstuhl region, about 95 percent of the Soldiers referred to the program met the criteria for entry into the program, said Captain White.
Soldiers who meet the medical criteria are released from their unit and reassigned to a WTU in their local area. Single Soldiers who live in Baumholder, for example, would physically relocate to the WTU barracks in Baumholder, while married Soldiers would remain at their local residence with their Family.
At their WTU, each Soldier is assigned a primary care manager, a case manager and a squad leader to facilitate their medical needs.
The WTU program operates from the concept that it is imperative that the Army provide Soldiers a continuum of integrated care and services from the point of injury, illness or disease until their return to duty or transition from active duty.
The goal of the Department of the Army is to provide each Soldier with the best care possible. Each Soldier's case is unique, and they must be provided a system of care that is flexible enough to address each Soldier's needs with dignity and compassion. The Army owes its Warriors and their Families a quality of care and service that is commensurate with the sacrifice they provide to our nation, said Captain White, who helped stand up the LRMC WTU and will remain in that position until Capt. Eric Lehmann assumes command later this month.
Although the focus of a Soldier assigned to a WTU is their medical care, Captain White said careful consideration is placed on providing them an opportunity for meaningful work and training opportunities.
"These are Soldiers and we will treat them as such with the dignity they deserve," said Captain White. Helping establish a program such as the WTU, she said, has been an "honor and privilege to be a small part of this aspect of Army history."