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MEDCOM NOW

December 1, 2007
Volume 1, Issue 10

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Office of the Army Surgeon General and Army Medical Command
MEDCOM NOW
a newsletter highlighting Army Medical Action Plan Update
the challenges and BG Tucker Named Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition
successes of
Army Medicine One of the Army’s top advocates for the care and treatment of its ill and wounded Soldiers
and their Families now will serve as Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and
Transition. The Army has assigned Brig. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, who has been Deputy
Commander of the Army’s North Atlantic Regional Medical Command as well as Director
In this issue: of the Army Medical Action Plan (AMAP), to lead the service’s Warrior Care and Transition
effort.
AMAP Update—BG
Tucker Named Tucker, a two-time combat veteran, has been known by the media as a “bureaucracy
Assistant Surgeon buster,” and was charged with transforming wounded warrior care in March following
General for Warrior news reports a month earlier about substandard living conditions and procedural
Care and Transition
obstacles for wounded Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
AMAP Update
Continued “As a leader of Soldiers, I am humbled by this responsibility and the implications it will
have on the force for years to come,” said Tucker, a 35-year Army career veteran.
MEDDAC Bavaria
NCO Wins EFMB— “What we do today to transform the military health care system and respond to the needs
Named Europe’s Top of our Soldiers and their Families – at a time in their lives when they need us most – will
Medic for 2008 shape the force for years to come. Anything other than a complete transformation of the
system is unacceptable.” Tucker and his staff have spearheaded efforts to create Warrior
Warrior in Transition Transition Units (WTU) to give better leadership and supervision to Soldiers recovering
Definition Updated
from wounds, to improve their housing and other service facilities and to establish centers
Army Breaks Ground to provide administrative and social-work services for Soldiers’ and Families.
for New Hospital on
Fort Belvoir According to Maj. Gen. Gale S. Pollock, Acting, The Surgeon General, Soldiers who are
recovering from injuries or illnesses in our hospitals, or who are leaving the Army for
American Legion
Commander Visits
civilian life or to receive care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, have earned the
Walter Reed very best service and support we can provide. They have an advocate in Mike Tucker.
He impresses everyone with his energy and enthusiasm as he aggressively tackles these
Landstuhl Participates important issues. He will continue that focus in his new position as Assistant Surgeon
in Ceremony to Honor General for Warrior Care and Transition.
Veterans
Weed Army While Tucker’s title has changed, his team remains focused on providing policy and
Community Hospital program oversight of 35 WTUs. In the WTUs, each patient is assigned a squad leader, a
Selects Employee of case manager and a primary-care manager to make sure the wounded Soldier receives
the Year appropriate treatment and adequate administrative support, and his or her Family’s needs
AMEDD Wins 13 are met. Tucker, a former drill sergeant, said that during his career he has faced many
Awards at 2007 challenges, but the personal responsibility he feels for improving the lives of his fellow
AMSUS Conference Soldiers is what drives him to bust through the bureaucracy.
The Way Ahead The general is quick to credit the team of Army physicians, nurses, social workers,
benefits counselors, platoon sergeants, squad leaders and other support staff members
who have stepped up to this new challenge and who have repeatedly shown their
dedication and commitment to serving and caring for their brethren. “Our team has worked
hard to change the way we provide care to our ill and wounded,” Tucker said. “I am proud
of their work.”
MEDCOM NOW Page 2 of 4
AMAP Update Continued
The AMAP Chief of Staff agrees, adding that it has taken
courage and leadership to see this vision through.
Staff Sgt. Gabriel Camacho slides
down the inverted rope. The Expert “We are determined from top to bottom (of the organization)
Field Medical Badge Competition
was, held Nov. 4-6, 2007, to transform this process,” said Col. Jimmie O. Keenan, Chief
Grafenwoehr, Germany. Story and of Staff for AMAP. “General Tucker has empowered all of us
photo courtesy MEDDAC Bavaria
public affairs.
to make a difference. Of course, it is not perfect. We will
have to make adjustments as we move through this process Brig. Gen. Michael S. Tucker,
MEDDAC Bavaria NCO Wins Assistant Surgeon General
to make sure we are truly meeting the needs of our troops, for Warrior Care and
EFMB—Named Europe’s Top
Medic for 2008. and we will. There is so much passion and commitment at all Transition. Photo courtesy
Gary Sheftick, Army News
levels of the organization from our specialists to senior Army Service
Staff Sgt. Gabriel Noel I. Camacho, leaders to make sure we are serving our fellow Soldiers as
NCO-in-charge of the education
and training at the U.S. Army fiercely at home as they served the nation on the battlefield. I
Medical Department Activity- can see the sense of duty and responsibility in the eyes of
Bavaria, proved he mastered Army
medical and Soldier tasks when he everyone on the staff. We all know what we are doing is the
was named "Top Medic in Europe" right thing for our fellow Soldiers.”
for 2008 in the rigorous 60-hour
Expert Field Medical Challenge
(EFMC). Keenan said the transformed military health care system focuses on the total care
Camacho, scored highest among of ill and wounded Soldiers and their Families, including the severely injured. No
nine candidates to earn top honors longer will a Soldier or a Soldier’s loved one have to search for the ID card
in the Nov. 4-6 event. He will
represent U.S. Army Europe in the section, how to get billeting or even a ride to the airport. The WTUs will also link
Army Medical Command EFMC at Families to warrior medical care, rehabilitation and benefits as they have never
Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio,
Texas next spring.
been before with the addition of Soldier Family Assistance Centers.

Brig. Gen. David A. Rubenstein, The Installation Management Command-sponsored assistance centers will
USAREUR Command Surgeon and
Commander of the Europe provide help with documents, payments, access cards, insurance and more. Ill
Regional Medical Command, and wounded Soldiers will also receive legal assistance concerning Medical
presented Camacho the USAREUR
EFMC trophy, an Army Evaluation Board and Physical Evaluation Board cases. “These warriors have
Achievement Medal and a risked life and limb to defend our nation’s freedoms, and it is our duty to honor
commander's coin of excellence at
an awards ceremony after the
and serve them with compassion and dignity,” Tucker said.
event.
"These Soldiers are warriors in need of healing. They need to know that’s what
"You're all winners, but one of you
just had the most points,” we are there to do for them, so that their focus is on recovery and not whether
Rubenstein said. I'm going to fund their rent will be paid.”
the top six of you to go back to Fort
Sam Houston to compete for the
title of Army's best medic."
Warrior in Transition Definition Updated
"I am extremely excited to compete
in the MEDCOM EFMC. This event The official definition of a Warrior in Transition has been updated. The revised
has given me a clear perspective in
terms of what I need to build upon definition is as follows:
in order to be successful at Fort
Sam Houston. I sincerely hope I
see all the same candidates from Warrior in Transition: Medical Holdover, active duty Medical
Europe compete down in San Extension, Medical Hold and any other active duty Soldier who
Antonio as well. We will definitely
show the rest of the Army that requires a Medical Evaluation Board. An active duty Soldier with
there are warrior medics in complex medical needs requiring six months or more of treatment
Europe," Camacho said.
or rehabilitation. Initial Entry Training (IET) Soldiers are only eligible
Candidates for the EFMC must if they require a Medical Evaluation Board or when deemed
have earned either the Expert Field appropriate by the local MEDCOM commander and the IET
Medical Badge or Combat Medical
Badge. Staff Sgt. Camacho has Soldier’s commander. A Soldier's mission while assigned to a WTU
both. The EFMC consisted of is to heal. Soldiers assigned to a WTU may have work
challenges in land navigation,
medical skills in field setting, an assignments in the unit, but such work may not take precedent over
obstacle course, and a 12-mile road the Soldier's therapy and treatment. Unit commanders must clear
march with full gear in three hours
or less. They were also tested on
UCMJ (Uniformed Code of Military Justice) actions, other legal
communication and warrior skills actions, investigations, property/hand receipt issues and Line of
tasks Duty determinations prior to the transfer to the Warrior Transition
Units.

www.armymedicine.army.mil/medcom/index
MEDCOM NOW Page 3 of 4
American Legion Commander
Visits Walter Reed

Army Breaks Ground for New


Hospital on Fort Belvoir
A new chapter in Army healthcare in the National
Capital Region began Nov. 8 at a groundbreaking
National Commander of the ceremony for a new hospital on Fort Belvoir. The new,
American Legion Martin F. state-of-the-art, 120-bed facility will replace DeWitt
Conatser talks with Command Sgt.
Maj. Jeffrey S. Hartless, a Purple Army Community Hospital, which opened in 1957.
Heart recipient who is command
Soldiers delivering shovels: Soldiers
sergeant major of the new Warrior
Transition Brigade at Walter Reed.
The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) from the DeWitt Health Care Network
dressed in period uniforms to deliver
Photo and story courtesy Kristin ordered Walter Reed Army Medical Center to close, the shovels to the “groundbreakers” to
Ellis, WRAMC Stripe and combined its medical care for service members, represent the 232 years the Army has
military retirees and their Family members at two put “Boots on the Ground” and the
During a recent visit to Walter Medical Command’s continued
Reed Army Medical Center, locations in the National Capital Region: the National dedication to healing the war wounded
the national commander of the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and Fort both on and off the battlefield. Story
American Legion discussed the photo courtesy Army News Service
transition of warriors from military Belvoir. The new hospital is slated to open by spring
to other medical care. Martin F. 2011.
Conatser, commander of the
nation's largest veteran's
organization, voiced his concern
over the transition process for a
Soldier from the Army to Landstuhl Participates in Ceremony to Honor
Veterans
Veteran's Affairs.

Maj. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker,


North Atlantic Regional Medical
Command and Walter Reed To commemorate those who have died in war, representatives from Landstuhl
Commander, told Mr. Conatser Regional Medical Center participated Nov.18 in two local Volkstrauertag
that they share the same goal.
"We use the term Warrior in
(national day of mourning) ceremonies at Martinshoehe and Mittelbrunn,
Transition because whether you Germany.
are ill or injured, you are in a
major transition in your life," Among the honored guests in attendance at both ceremonies was Walter Horn,
Schoolmaker said. "There, of
course, is a distinction between a
who served as a 20-year-old soldier with German General Erwin Rommel,
war injury and an illness... but to commander of the German Africa Corps, before spending a year as a prisoner
us, it doesn't matter if it's from an of war in London. For Specialist Michael Kruse, the experience was one he
enemy or elsewhere - we'll take
care of you."
looks forward to repeating next year.

Mr. Conatser’s goal was to "get The color guard, along with Lt. Col. Steven Hale, LRMC deputy commander for
up to speed" on improvements
made in outpatient care. The
administration, joined their German military counterparts in the formal ceremony
retired Sgt. Maj. toured the living that included speeches by local mayors and the laying of wreaths at war
accommodations, received memorials.
briefings from the Warrior
Transition Brigade and the
Physical Evaluation Board and “I get a lot of pride in the fact that we get to
toured and visited with Soldiers come out with our fellow Germans and
at the Mologne House. participate in this,” said Army Staff Sgt.
"It's veterans helping veterans. Dennis Stewart, who led the four-member
No matter what the injury this is color guard. “I loved the ceremony,” he said
probably the hardest time in their while preparing to join the procession in
lives," Mr. Conatser said. "Many
of us have shared the same Martinshoehe from the church to the war
experience and know the memorial park.
frustration that can come with it."
Representatives from Landstuhl
He explained that 2.7 American Regional Medical Center join their “It’s an honor to be a part of these
Legion members at posts German military counterparts and local ceremonies alongside our German
throughout the country are citizens in paying respects Nov. 18
during a ceremony in Martinshoehe, neighbors,” said Specialist Kruse, who works
assisting Soldiers any way they
can and will continue to do so. "It Germany, commemorating those who in the magnetic resonance imaging
have died in war. Story and photo
looks like quality health care and
courtesy Chuck Roberts, LRMC public department at LRMC.
the Soldiers here feel they are affairs
getting quality healthcare," he
said.

www.armymedicine.army.mil/medcom/index
MEDCOM NOW Page 4 of 4
OW
Office of the
W
Surgeon Weed Army Community Hospital
General and Selects Employee of the Year
Army Medical Col. Margaret Bates, commander, Weed Army
Command Community Hospital, Fort Irwin, Calif., congratulates
Ms. Maria Salvatierra, human resource assistant for the
MEDDAC Personnel branch. Story & photo courtesy Master
Sgt. Reynaldo W. Herevi Jr.
Coming Events Ms. Salvatierra was selected as employee of the month
WACH Public Affairs

SFAC Directors’ for this quarter and was also named as the 2007 Weed
Conference Army Community Hospital (WACH) employee of the
December 3-6, 2007 year.

OTSG/MEDCOM
Change of Command
AMEDD Wins 13 Awards at 2007 AMSUS Conference
December 13, 2007 The Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS) presented a total
of 13 awards to the AMEDD at its 113th annual conference held Nov. 11-14 in Salt
Happy New Year
January 1, 2008
Lake City, Utah.

Warrior in Transition “I walked to the stage so many times to present the awards, the audience laughed
Leadership and and asked if I was using the stage for PT (physical training), “said Maj. Gen. Gale
Training Conference Pollock, Commander, US Army Medical Command and Acting, The Surgeon General.
January 13-18, 2008 “These awards are truly a direct reflection of the teamwork happening throughout the
AMEDD.” The awards and recipients include:
Martin Luther King
Holiday
January 15, 2008 AMSUS History of Military Medicine Essay Award, Lt. Col. M. Nicholas Coppola, MS;
John D. Chase Award for Physician Executive Excellence, Maj. Gen. Carla G.
Hawley-Boland, MC; Clinical Nursing Excellence Award, Col. Patricia A. Patrician, AN;
Joel M. Dalrymple Award, Mr. Leonard A. Smith, Ph. D., William Crawford Gorgas
Medal and Prize, Col. Ralph L. Erickson, MC; Donald F. Hagen Young Physician
Contact Award, Maj. Simon H. Telian, MC; Walter P. McHugh Award, Capt. Christopher
Duncan, MS; Outstanding Federal Healthcare Executive Award, Brig. Gen. David A.
MEDCOM NOW Rubenstein, MS; Outstanding Medical Information Management Executive Award,
Submit AMAP good news Col. Claude Hines, Jr., MS; Carl A. Schlack Award, Col. Dennis A. Runyan, DC; W.
features to OTSG /MEDCOM David Sullins, Jr., Award for Outstanding Service to Optometry, Col. George L.
Public Affairs Adams, III, MS.

Also receiving awards were Ms. Nancy Radebaugh in the Safety Category for
5109 Leesburg Pike, Ambulatory Medication Reconciliation and Ms. Jeannie Lee, in the Quality Healthcare
Suite 671 for Life Category for the Federal Study of Adherence to Medication in the Elderly.
Falls Church, VA
22041 The Way Ahead
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the Commander and Acting Surgeon
PHONE: General during this period of transition for the AMEDD. On Dec. 13, I will turn over the
(703) 681-1942 responsibilities for the AMEDD to your new Surgeon General, Maj. Gen. (P) Eric
Schoomaker. During this holiday season, I wish you all good health and continued
FAX: prosperity in the New Year.
(703) 681-4870
In support of Warriors and Family members we remain Army Strong!
E-MAIL:
mike.j.elliott@us.army.mil Major General Gale S. Pollock
Commander, US Army Medical Command
Acting, The Surgeon General

www.armymedicine.army.mil/medcom/index