FORT CAMPBELL, KY (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Blanchfield Army Community Hospital received a visit from leaders of the Defense Health Agency and Army Medicine,
Visitors observed interagency integration, with an eye on readiness, following the hospital’s administrative functions being transferred from the Army to DHA last year.
“This is the first in what we hope to be a series of visits to Army medical treatment facilities to discuss with commanders, leaders and staff on the ground with regards to the Military Health System transition. Part of this is to build relationships and understand what challenges [MTFs] are having on the ground, and from my perspective, to make sure we’re resourcing readiness in the right way and are also supporting, all the way down to the MTFs, what their needs are for support,” said Mr. Joseph Rheney, US Army Medical Command, deputy chief of staff for Resources, Infrastructure and Strategy.
BACH Commander, Col. Vincent B. Myers invited Rheney and Mr. Robert Goodman, Defense Health Agency deputy assistant director for Financial Operations, to visit the hospital and outlying clinics, to hear from staff, gather data and review resources used to support BACH’s mission.
“It was critically important for our top two financial leaders with DHA and MEDCOM to view the complexity and mission of our first-hand organization. The operations at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and the readiness support for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell partners was on full display,” said Myers.
As the primary military treatment facility in DHA’s Southwest Kentucky market, BACH supports the medical readiness of service members from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 5th Special Forces Group, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and other units on Fort Campbell and is responsible for healthcare delivery to approximately 73,000 Military Health System beneficiaries enrolled to the hospital.
Military clinics and hospitals, like BACH, are also an important aspect in maintaining a ready medical Force. They serve as a platform for Army, Navy and Air Force physicians, nurses, medics and other service members with health care specialties to use their medical skills for deployment in clinical settings when they aren’t.
“Blanchfield supports Army readiness by ensuring Soldiers are medically ready to deploy. In addition to Blanchfield serves as a great opportunity for Army medical personnel assigned to operational units to come and practice their skills to make sure they are ready to do their mission during wartime,” said Rheney.
One example is Maj. Amanda Haney, an OB-GYN assigned to the 101st whose day-today duties are at BACH Women’s Health Clinic.
“I’m personally what you call a ‘mapped’ provider to a unit. If that unit deploys, they take me as their battalion surgeon. Even as OBGYN’s we are military doctors and we also maintain training on things that are not associated with OBGYN,” said Haney.
If Haney will support a Role 1 facility in the field, like a Battalion Aid Station, providing primary and emergency care. She could also deploy in support of forward surgical teams because her OBGYN training includes surgical skills.
“It is a partnership that goes both ways with the hospital ensuring that at any time, the Soldiers are ready to go, and for the medical operational forces to hone their skills and make sure they are ready to go,” said Rheney.
“We’re here to support and not change any of that. The DHA is here looking to make sure we have the right information for what the resourcing is going to be and what those expectations are for how those resources are used,” Goodman said.
Myers considers the visit a success as he continues to build upon the resources he is responsible to use effectively and expand on partnerships to support increased readiness for the 101st and the Fort Campbell population BACH serves.