Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

Posts made in: 'Medical' (6) Currently Viewing: 1 - 6 of 6

June 18, 2013 at 1:05pm

DoD directed sequestration and civilian furlough effects on Madigan

It's an ugly word, one that only Washington, D.C. could come up with. But for many at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, it will be an even uglier reality.

The furlough cuts that resulted from the inability of Congress and the White House to compromise during the 2011 debt-limit standoff will officially hit Madigan Army Medial Center Monday, July 8. The DoD directives, causing longer wait times, through Sept. 30, will impact all services.

The McChord Medical, Internal medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Radiology and Madigan's Laboratory, will remain open during the week, but patients may experience longer wait times due to reduced staffing.

Patients will have more time with their smartphones at Madigan pharmacies. Madigan's Outpatient Pharmacy will close Saturdays July 13-Sept. 28. The Mini-Mall Pharmacy will close Tuesdays July 9-Sept. 24. The drive-through window will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

TGIF won't apply to Madigan Family Medicine, including Okubo and Winder clinics. From July 12-Sept. 27 those offices will be closed.

The Allergy/Immunology Clinic will nix Friday walk-in vaccinations and shots.

Audiology Clinic will not listen to walk-in hearing aid repairs Mondays or Fridays.

Orthotics will ironically not allow walk-ins or issue orthotic supplies on Fridays.

Sadly, the Wound Care Clinics will not take walk-ins Tuesdays or Fridays, with longer wait times Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Even the Provost Marshal offices will be closed Fridays July 12-Sept. 27.

Obviously, Madigan is sick about these changes. The Regional Appointment Center will still take calls at 1.800.404.4506 and Madigan's Emergency Room will be fully operational 24/7.

June 3, 2013 at 12:44pm

A Day in the Life: U.S. Army Spc. Nkelo Kurtz and Team Farrah

Screen shot of the video capturing a day in the life of Team Farrah in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Spc. Nkelo Kurtz of Joint Base Lewis-McChord is currently assigned to the Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah Medical Team on a remote Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan's westernmost province. A pair of journalists hung out with Spc. Kurtz and Team Farrah, filing a "day in the life" story for the DoD.

Spc. Kurtz: Sick call is not the most fun job in the world sometimes, but it has to get done. We certainly see some interesting cases and I have definitely seen more here than back at home at Ft. Lewis.  In the clinic I have seen cases of appendicitis, diabetes and even an accidental, self-inflicted stab wound . There are some patients who take precedence over others in order to save life, limb or eyesight, but the most common things I see are back pain, foot pain and cold symptoms.  I usually have a pretty good idea of what someone's illness is after talking to them, especially having been here for awhile.


Read the entire story here.

May 7, 2013 at 6:20am

"SERVICE" film examines hidden effects of war on women

Army gunner Sue Downes came home a double-amputee after her tour in Afghanistan

Former Coast Guard Alexis Courneen has a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and crushed nerves in her right arm; (ret.) Army gunner Sue Downes came home a double-amputee after her tour in Afghanistan; Iraq war veteran Layla Mansberger is a Military Sexual Trauma (MST) survivor who suffers with Post Traumatic Stress-Disorder (PTSD).

A new documentary funded by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) entitled, SERVICE: When Women Come Marching Home, followed these Servicemembers and five other female veterans after they redeployed with mental and physical injuries suffered in combat.

"This film captures the unique challenges faced by female Servicemembers when transitioning home," said Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, director of the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, "but it takes a positive and balanced approach to the issues and shows the fact that there is healing. Female veterans suffered the same wounds in the same war (as men), and despite numerous trials have remained resilient and bounced back - theirs is a story of hope."


Filed under: Tacoma, Veterans, Medical,

February 15, 2011 at 5:50am

JBLM: Scenarios prep Reservists for medical record task in Iraq

Dr. Greg Jolissaint, medical director and chief for MC4's Clinical Operations Office, teaches Capt. Harry McKee Sr., patient administration officer with the 256th Combat Support Hospital, to use the MC4 system during a pre-deployment training exercise at

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Triaging mass casualties, tracking lab results and reestablishing network connectivity occurs with regularity in deployed treatment facilities. Each activity requires immense coordination. Active duty medical units train daily, fine-tuning their efforts as a team. Reservists prepare in small groups one weekend every month leading up to their deployment date. 

Helping to prepare Reservists for theater is the 191st Training Support Brigade, or TSB. The unit readies 37 Reserve medical units every year for the hardships and steep learning curves of theater. Field training exercises offer essential hands-on training with the same equipment that they will use in the combat zone. 

Unlike active duty personnel, Reservists typically have little time to master the computer system they must use on the battlefield to record, track and share medical information, the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4). 

The flow of medical information supports operations on the ground, lends to greater situational awareness and helps servicemembers receive complete, electronic medical histories.

In November, members of the 256th Combat Support Hospital, a Reserve unit, collectively trained together for the first time at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Utilizing MC4 systems, 200 reservists readied for their split-based mission during a four-day field exercise. Planned simulations showcased the need for more out-of-classroom training.

"We replicate everything a medical unit will see in theater," said Lt. Col. Paris Um, deputy exercise director for the 191st TSB. "This is a good environment for unit commanders to see how the personnel respond and perform to real-world situations. We set up units for success when they go downrange."

The exercise emulated the battlefield, operating around the clock. Ambulances delivered mass casualties with severe burns and shrapnel wounds. Actors portrayed Iraqi citizens seeking medical attention for infants. The Reservists captured all patient data in MC4 systems, which remained operational during an unscheduled communications outage.

"We're dealing with real-world conditions and problems," said Sgt. Timothy Klaus, supporting the signal office for the 256th Combat Support Hospital. "We'll be doing the same level of support when we deploy. If we arrived in theater without this experience, the hospital could be dead in the water."

According to the Learning Pyramid developed by National Training Laboratories, people retain new information more effectively through active learning. The model illustrates hands-on experience results in 75 percent training retention versus 30 percent typically achieved by classroom demonstration. The MC4 program re-focused its training curriculum in 2010, placing greater emphasis on field exercises for deploying units. This year MC4 supported 22 exercises worldwide.

Many members of the 191st TSB augmented MC4-led instruction, drawing upon their individual experiences with MC4 in theater. 

"I deployed as a medic with the 41st Brigade Combat Team in 2009," said Sgt. Richard Ramirez, member of the 191st TSB. "When I talk with users, I stress the importance of electronically charting patient data right away. The digital notes benefit the patients, the medical teams and the higher command."

Because of their experience with the MC4 system, the 191st TSB could critique every aspect of the treatment facility's implementation of MC4. They stressed the importance of accurately tracking patients throughout the facility, prioritizing the patient flow and digitally monitoring and restocking supply shelves. The exercise helps the 256th Combat Support Hospital prepare for and avoid pitfalls downrange. 

"The on-site training has been golden," said Lt. Col. Diane Adloff, who will command one of the treatment facilities for the 256th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq. "It gives us time to practice for the realities of the battlefield. Everyone needs to understand our requirements the moment when we hit the ground."


Filed under: Medical,

March 25, 2010 at 9:47am

62nd Casing Colors tomorrow

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -The Headquarters of the 62nd Medical
Brigade, and the brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), will
conduct a colors casing ceremony on Watkins Field, JBLM-Lewis Main, on
Friday, March 26 at 10 a.m.

The ceremony marks the completion of unit preparations to deploy to
Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in April.

While deployed, the 62nd Medical Brigade will provide command and control
for all major medical units deployed to Afghanistan in support of the United
Nations International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. The
brigade commander, Col. John P. Collins, will also serve as the U.S.
Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) surgeon, with oversight of all U.S. military
medical treatment facilities and capabilities in theater.

Filed under: Medical,

December 15, 2009 at 10:26am

Nice write-up on Col. John Collins, 62nd Med

Filed under: Medical,

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