- Introduction: A Top-Level Look at the Future of Federal Medicine
- Military Health System in Time of Transition as Conflicts End
- Army Medicine: Redefining Its Role in the Generation of a Ready and Resilient Force
- Air Force Medicine: Averting an Identity Crisis
- Moving Forward with Reforming the Indian Health Service
- The Clinical Pharmacy Specialist's Growing Provider Role in VA
- Public Health Service Pharmacy: Accelerating Transformation
- Military Pain Management’s Future: Less Invasive, More Data-Driven Techniques
- Navy Medicine: Strong, Agile and Ready
- Telemental Health in VA: A New Source of Support for Veterans
Maintaining Troop Readiness After More Than A Decade Of War Cont.
The Road Ahead
Last year, as the leader of a comprehensive Health Services Support Assessment Team in Afghanistan, my team and I critically assessed our medical capabilities and made recommendations to improve the efficiency of the health services delivered to servicemembers within the Combined Joint Operations Area. Never before in the history of Army Medicine has such an assessment been made of healthcare and services on the battlefield spanning 10 years of combat. Through this experience and assessment, I developed a much deeper understanding of the road ahead and future for Army Medicine.
U.S Army Pfc. Ian Flores (foreground), a health care specialist for 54th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, Task Force Dolch, and native of Lafayette, IN., leads a litter team while practicing to evacuate a casualty to a Black Hawk helicopter during training in Logar Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Rosalind Arroyo)
As we face a time of economic strain on critical resources, I see this time not as a challenge but as an “era of possibilities.” For Army Medicine, warrior care never ends. My intent is for Army Medicine to excel and continue as America’s premier medical team — leading the nation providing care to those who serve our nation. As the conflict in Iraq winds down and our troops come home to their families, I thank all of our soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen who served in Iraq and those who provided the critical support on the homefront. Your heroism, courage and strength are unparalleled, and your hard work and sacrifice have made the world a safer place today and for future generations.
On the horizon is a joint medical community. With our sister services, we will continue to strengthen and build collaborative partnerships with the Veterans Administration, our Military Heath System, and TRICARE partners and civilian organizations to provide responsive, reliable and relevant healthcare to ensure a healthy fighting force.
Army Medical Home
In the future, much of Army Medicine will be practiced at the Army Medical Home (AMH). AMH is a primary-care model being adopted throughout the Military Health System and in many civilian practices throughout the nation. The AMH model integrates patients into the healthcare team and encourages them to be active participants in staying healthy. It’s healthcare as it should be — easy to access, patient-centered, team-based and quality-focused. We are transforming all of our primary-care clinics, those on Army installations and in civilian communities to provide soldiers and families improved access and continuity of care.
We enhanced our training and reorganized as an organization to support the full spectrum of operations to support our soldiers and families — especially those striving to recover and rebuild their lives after a severe burn, a single or multiple amputation, a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress. For some, these wounds and injuries of war are often referred to as the “new normal.” For our soldiers and family members, the new normal is not about lost limbs or long recovery times but resiliency and the future for a productive, rewarding, life without limits as we restore them to health and a semblance of normalcy.
The Army medic is the first link in a chain of care that runs from the battlefield to the medical center and continues unbroken until the soldier is restored. For some soldiers, this means a return to duty or even a return to the battlefield. For others, it’s making the transition from active service to life as an honored veteran in their community with healthcare provided by the Veterans Administration.
MEDCOM Non-commissioned Officer of the Year Staff Sgt. Ilker Irmak plots his assigned points during a day time urban warfare orienteering land navigation event on Fort Lee, Va., Oct. 5, 2011. During the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition 2011event, the warriors were allotted three hours to plot, navigate to, and annotate identifying information of four six-digit grid locations located all over the post.
At the Army Medical Department Museum at Fort Sam Houston, TX, is a statue of a combat medic kneeling over a wounded soldier — the symbol of Army Medicine. Although we have many responsibilities, our wounded, ill and injured soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and their families will always remain our highest priority today and in the future until care is no longer needed. Our commitment is for a lifetime, if that is what is needed. We are experts at battlefield medicine and trauma care. Our goal and commitment is to help our wounded warriors uncover their “unlimited potential” to grow in mind, body and spirit.
The level of care our soldiers require does not end when they return home from deployment. After more than 10 years of war, a considerable need will remain for many years for the medical care and support services Army Medicine provides our soldiers and families. We remain focused on developing medical innovations and enhancing our partnerships to deliver the best healthcare and support services possible to ensure optimal readiness for America’s fighting force. Our history has pointed the way to our present and our present will help shape our vision for the future.
We are Army Medicine. Serving to Heal — Honored to Serve!