By Ms. Patricia Deal (Army Medicine)June 24, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas " Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, recognized as the “face of Army Medicine,” said goodbye to familiar faces and welcomed its newest command team members in a change of command ceremony June 23 at Sadowski Field here.
Colonel Patrick D. Sargent assumed command from Col. (Dr.) Steven E. Braverman, who led the hospital for the last two years.
Also at the event, Darnall Command Sgt. Maj. Keith Seidler relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Walls.
Braverman faced many challenges as commander, but his focus and leadership skills contributed to Darnall’s numerous accomplishments, said Maj. Gen. M. Ted Wong, commander of Southern Regional Medical Command and Brooke Army Medical Center, in his opening remarks.
“He inspired more than 4000 employees to provide exceptional health care quality and customer service to more than 175, 000 beneficiaries,” Wong said. “He successfully managed a more than $350 million budget and improved productivity by 17 percent, generating an additional $16 million in revenue.”
Wong cited many other notable accomplishments of Braverman, such as breaking ground on the $539 million new Darnall replacement facility, opening the $17 million new Women’s Health Center and three community-based Medical Home Clinics in outlying communities, and adding over $12 in state-of-the-art medical equipment.
“He demonstrated extraordinary leadership and composure, as he led the Darnall staff through a tragic day at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009. Although a sad and shocking day, Braverman’s responsiveness and professionalism enabled him to direct his staff to perform in a timely and courageous manner. This tragedy tested the limits of his leadership, he and his team executed magnificently,” Wong said.
While his command will forever be linked with the tragic events of Nov. 5, Braverman said, “In those hours, days, weeks and months that followed, CRDAMC, showed the world the true face of an Army medic, and helped to rebuild the community’s trust in Army medicine.”
Braverman said his time at Darnall was the best out of his 24-year career. The central Texas community, Fort Hood leadership, CRDAMC personnel, the WTB (Warrior Transition Brigade)"all “the best in the Army,” Braverman said.
While the hospital facilities might not be the best right now, he added, in four years, Darnall certainly will be the best in the Army and the pride of central Texas.
Braverman’s next assignment is as the Deputy Corps Chief for the U.S. Army Medical Corps in San Antonio, Texas.
This is Sargent’s fourth tour at Fort Hood. His previous assignment was as chief of staff for the Warrior Transition Command, Arlington, Va., Throughout his career, he’s had operational and deployment experience with the Army health care system, leading a series of medical units such as the 236th Medical Company; Charlie Company, 115th Forward Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division; 421st Medical Evacuation Battalion; and 62nd Medical Brigade Medical Task Force.
“I appreciate the opportunity to command this outstanding organization. I am committed to honoring the sacred trust that exists between the medical and tactical unit commanders, providing world class health care to our Soldiers, family members and retirees,” Sargent said. “I have witnessed the destructive nature of combat operations and its impact on the Soldier and Army family. I embrace the ethos of ‘providing strength for the warrior, hope for the wounded and comfort for the dying.’”
“In my previous job, I learned a valuable lesson: when you wound a Soldier you wound a family, and for the recovery process to be effective, the medical staff and patient must focus on the patient’s abilities, not their disabilities,” he said. “I am committed to being the Medical Corps’ number one patient advocate.”
Sargent said he will continue to improve upon Col. Braverman’s successes, but looks forward to implementing new ideas as well.
“It’s all about access to care for the Soldiers and their families,” he said. “I want to make sure that the community understands that we appreciate their support, and we are going to reciprocate by providing only positive experiences for them when they come in for their medical care. They can continue to trust in Darnall.”