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Hospital Happenings

News | Nov. 7, 2022

MRC-W commander focused on readiness during BJACH, JRTC visit

By Jean Graves, Medical Readiness Command, West

Brig. Gen. E. Darrin Cox, commanding general, Medical Readiness Command, West paid a visit to Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital Nov. 3 and engaged with post and medical leaders at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Cox, a certified general and thoracic surgeon, took command of MRC, W June 23 and this was his first visit to the installation.

BJACH planned a full day of activities for Cox that included briefings, an office call with Brig. Gen. David Gardner, senior mission commander of JRTC and Fort Polk, leadership development sessions and more.

Col. Aristotle Vaseliades, BJACH commander provided Cox with an overview of the organization’s mission and vision, on- and off-post medical capabilities, discussed positive relationships with National Guard, Reserve units, local recruiting offices and readiness.

Cox attended the BJACH morning ready, reliable, care leadership huddle and addressed department heads.

“I think meetings like this are critically important to get a common operating picture,” he said. “This one compared to others I’ve attended functions quite well with the right people in the room providing the right information.”

The RRC meeting is designed to illustrate leadership commitment at all levels while developing a culture of safety that advance innovated patient center improvements within the organization.

“I appreciate how you are building readiness by taking care of patients in the world-class manner that you do,” he said.

During his meeting with Gardner, the two leaders discussed Army Best Medic planning.

“The BJACH team has done a phenomenal job and has the full support of the installation for the upcoming Army Best Medic competition,” Gardner said. “As the Army’s premier combat training center, I have no doubt this competition will be world-class.”

Cox thanked Gardner and said he looked forward to returning in January to see the MRC, W team win the competition.

“I appreciate BJACH and the Joint Readiness Center for hosting the Army Best Medic competition at Fort Polk,” he said. “It is a great way to highlight the excellence of this organization and the installation.”

Gardner who first met Cox during a winning the fight for talent trip in San Antonio in October, said health care is an important factor when Soldiers decide to come to Fort Polk.

“We very much appreciate the continued dialogue on how to care for our families at Fort Polk, especially those in the Exceptional Family Member Program,” he said.

Cox took tours of the hospital’s main campus, the Soldier Centered Medical Home, the embedded behavioral health clinic, Chesser Dental Clinic and had an aerial orientation of the Fullerton, Peason and Kurthwood training areas.

Cox said he was particularly impressed by the cooperation between the hospital and 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

“The amount of synergy and teamwork between our two teams is phenomenal,” he said.

As the commanding general of MRC, W Cox said his focus and priority is on readiness.

“With our pivot toward readiness, developing the correct way and correct type of metrics to measure our readiness is imperative to ensure we are building ready medical forces,” he said.
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