Army Medicine: Redefining Its Role in the Generation of a Ready and Resilient Force

By Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, RN, Surgeon General, U.S. Army

Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho,

Promoting health for more than 9.7 million beneficiaries in the Military Health System (MHS) is a shared responsibility among the military services, purchased-care providers and beneficiaries that requires team collaboration to successfully achieve medically ready forces, healthy beneficiaries and a high-quality, cost-effective system for health.

The Army Medical Department (AMEDD) is a key component in that shared responsibility. Army Medicine has developed and continues to develop initiatives to meet the changing needs of soldiers and their families during the past decade at war. We must continue to maintain the adaptability and flexibility to meet future Army requirements.

U.S. Army soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade 1st Cavalry Division, practice loading patients into a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during medical evacuation training at Contingency Operation Site Warrior, Kirkuk province.

During the past 11 years, Army Medicine has focused on supporting an Army at war in two simultaneous theaters of conflict. It has improved training, modified processes, eliminated non-essential missions and made significant contributions to global healthcare, medical research and training. But now, with the end of those conflicts in sight, Army Medicine must look forward and chart a new course that will support the strategic reset of the Army, increase soldier readiness, improve the health of all of its beneficiaries and ensure that medical diplomacy is a strategic Army asset. In the face of certain budget constraints, this transformation is critical to ensure Army Medicine continues to set the example for the Army, DoD and the nation in quality healthcare, wellness, prevention and collective health.

My expressed vision for Army Medicine continues our mission to care for soldiers, families and retirees but broadens that mission to engage all patients in multiple ways to influence health outside of clinic visits. Guiding and encouraging patients to make healthier choices when not under our care will increase the Army’s medical readiness and improve patient health outcomes.

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