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Hospital Happenings

News | Dec. 14, 2023

Defense Health Network, Medical Readiness Command, West leverage resources to improve patient care

By Jean Graves, Medical Readiness Command, West

William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, Texas answered the call for assistance by providing two respiratory specialists, Staff Sgt. Adolfo Uribe, and Sgt. Christopher Allen to support patient care at Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Fort Johnson, Louisiana.

Uribe, outpatient pulmonary services noncommissioned officer in charge for WBAMC, said he volunteered to help in the spirit of teamwork.

“This is the second hospital I’ve had the opportunity to help out like this,” he said. “I enjoy it. As the NCOIC, I am focused more on administrative tasks than patient care. This gives me an opportunity to stay fresh and up-to-date on my skills.”

Allen, a former Geronimo with 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Johnson, reclassed to 68V a year ago and is the inpatient services respiratory NCO at WBAMC.

“I love taking care of Soldiers as a respiratory specialist,” he said. “Coming back to Fort Johnson to help out makes me proud knowing I’m helping the Army provide better patient care.”

Both Uribe and Allen agreed the experience has been great and the team at BJACH has been welcoming and supportive.

LT. Col. Grigory Charny, deputy commander of clinical services for BJACH, said it’s important to have a strong respiratory team on staff.

“It is crucial to have respiratory services in both the outpatient and inpatient setting,” he said. “Especially now, during the season of increased likelihood of respiratory illness. Without these respiratory specialists, everything becomes more difficult whether it’s a breathing treatment in the clinic, an intubation in the emergency room, or continued respiratory and pulmonary care on the wards when a patient is admitted.”

Col. Stephen Tanner, deputy commanding officer, WBAMC said his military medical treatment facilities was happy to support the request.

“One of the strengths of the military health system is our ability to reach out across the enterprise to support each other in times of need,” he said. “It is important that military treatment facilities support one another because we all go through periods of time when we have shortages of personnel due to a myriad of factors. Supporting each other in this manner helps us all meet the healthcare needs of our beneficiaries and aids in the health readiness of our service members and their families.”

Capt. Kelvin Cook, chief of operations for BJACH, said partnerships like this with WBAMC illustrate the collaborative efforts MTFs have across the enterprise to ensure the best access and quality of care to beneficiaries.

“Through shared resources our network is synced in providing top quality patient care under a joint model that ties together all mission partners,” he said. “While mission and requirements evolve and develop continuously, flexibility is key in managing our personnel assets. The ability for us to extend our personnel to other agencies and vice versa shows that the system is built to support and provide the best care to our beneficiaries.”

Cook said BJACH has and will continue to support backfill requests of medical doctors, biomedical maintenance specialists, behavioral health technicians, combat medics and more for missions overseas and in the continental United States.

Charny said leveraging personnel assets is the key to success.
“We are all part of one healthcare network who serve the same population and we rely on each other to get through difficult times,” he said. “A portion of our staff is always at risk of deployment, training, or attending school away from the hospital. MTF collaboration during staffing shortages and mutual support is extremely important in maintaining good quality care for our patients.”
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