By Sharon D. Ayala, WRMC Strategic Communication & Executive ServicesJuly 27, 2011
As part of a two-day visit to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in early July, U.S. Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker conducted a town hall meeting for all medical personnel assigned to the installation. Nearly 300 military and civilian personnel attended the 1 ½-hour session to learn more about the Schoomaker’s ‘top 10’ list of priorities and take advantage of asking him questions.
For the last four years, Schoomaker has been the driving force behind many of the current healthcare initiatives and innovations in Army Medicine. Last year, he introduced his ‘top 10’ priorities to the Army Medicine community.
These initiatives, which include the Comprehensive Behavioral Health System of Care Campaign Plan; Culture of Trust; Patient Centered Medical Home; and several other important initiatives, are closely aligned with Army Medicine's Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The BSC is a management tool used by organizations to focus and align an organization to its strategy.
"These are my ‘Top 10’ priorities across all of Army Medicine," Schoomaker said. "I want you to be"familiar with and cognizant of"these initiatives and understand what we're trying to do in synchronizing our efforts with the Balanced Scorecard."
Over the last 10 years, the Army Medical Department (AMMED) has been transformed into a major leader in the field of medicine. In part, this is due to the advances in the treatment of the most severe wounds sustained on the battlefield.
"If there is any good side of war, it is that war has always offered opportunities for major advances in health, and prevention and the treatment of injuries, illnesses and severe wounds," Schoomaker said.
"Through collaborations with civilian trauma specialists, Army medicine has led the world in revising some of the ways that trauma surgeons and [other medical professionals] approach the most seriously injured and wounded patients,” he said. “We've also advanced the science of understanding behavioral health problems that are associated with trauma and stresses in life."
It is in some measure due to these advances in military medicine that more beneficiaries are choosing to get their care in the Military Treatment Facility, according to Schoomaker.
Military medical beneficiaries recognize that the Army Medicine community deems the Soldier and their Families well-being very important and continues to provide the best health care possible, he said.
Despite being a nation at war, Schoomaker said that young Americans are still continuing to raise their hands in the oath to defend their nation; something he attributes to the trust they have in AMEDD personnel.
"Mothers, fathers, husbands and wives still allow their Soldiers to go out and do dangerous things because they know (Army Medicine personnel) will be there for them," he said.
As the remaining five months of the Army Surgeon General's tenure begin to wind down, he offered special thanks to those in attendance for what they do.
“The nation, certainly its leadership, the Army and the Department of Defense are very grateful to all of you," Schoomaker said to town hall attendees. "…You should feel proud of your accomplishments and service."