NEWS | Dec. 12, 2017

Regional Health Command Pacific Reflects Upon 2017 Accomplishments

By Ana Allen Regional Health Command Pacific

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Regional Health Command-Pacific (RHC-P) reflects upon major accomplishments celebrated this year in support of its mission of providing combatant commanders with medically ready forces and ready medical forces conducting health service support in all phases of military operation. 

The Department of Defense's (DoD) new electronic health record, dubbed Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS, was successfully deployed at Madigan Army Medical Center October 21. MHS GENESIS integrates inpatient and outpatient solutions that will connect medical and dental information across the continuum of care, from point of injury to the military treatment facility. This includes garrison, operational, and en route care, increasing efficiencies for beneficiaries and health care professionals. According to a Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization fact sheet, when fully deployed, MHS GENESIS will support the availability of electronic health records for more than 9.4 million DoD beneficiaries and approximately 205,000 MHS personnel globally. 

Madigan, one of the largest military hospitals on the west coast, opened the DoD's first Center for Autism, Resources, Education and Services (CARES) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington State on Aug. 9. The center is a joint installation partnership between Madigan and the JBLM Armed Forces Community Service. JBLM CARES focuses on providing patient-centered care for military children with autism and their families. "We believe that as we provide better support to our special needs kids and their families, our community and military readiness improves. And that's something we can all celebrate," stated Madigan Commanding Officer Col. Michael Place. Eligible patients receive occupational, physical and speech therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Systems Navigation, Child Youth School Services (CYSS) Respite Care and more. 

The region also co-hosted its Sixth Annual Behavioral Health Summit Sept. 7-8 at Tripler Army Medical Center's Kyser Auditorium, gathering mental health professionals from the Pacific region together to discuss best practices, emerging treatments, research topics and approaches to care to help military families and veterans on their journey toward lifelong resilience. RHC-P Chief of Staff Col. Laura Trinkle provided opening remarks. "This summit is a shining example of unity, demonstrating the partnership we share delivering quality health care between Army Medicine, our friends at the VA, the behavioral health professionals in our communities and other trusted advocates. We are all here today, on an island in the middle of the Pacific working toward a common goal. Yet the collective improvements gained here will impact the way we deliver world-class medical care not just to our ohana on Oahu - but throughout the entire region."

A Madigan subordinate unit, the California Medical Detachment at Presidio of Monterey, began pediatrics and family medicine care in the newly opened Major General William H. Gourley Clinic VA-DoD Outpatient Clinic, located in Marina, California. The facility, which conducted a ribbon cutting Aug. 3, allows for the treatment of military veterans of the Monterey peninsula military community, along with the family medicine and pediatrics TRICARE Prime patients of the DoD. At the clinic, the VA's health care system and the Army's Patient-Centered Medical Home model work in harmony, emphasizing the health partnership between patient and provider. 

RHC-P also held the Pacific Warrior Trials at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. During the week-long competition, which concluded Nov. 10, about 80 wounded, ill or injured soldiers and veterans from the Pacific region trained and competed in eight adaptive sporting events ranging from swimming, track, field, shooting, archery, cycling, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Tripler Army Medical Center Commanding Officer Col. Andrew Barr, summarized his thoughts on the stories he heard from participants, emphasizing the immense sense of accomplishment and resiliency among the Soldiers. "Through your effort, through your struggle, through your accomplishments, some of you reveling in victory with medals, but all of you rebelling in your accomplishments and the ability to finish the race, that's what the Warrior Games are all about," he said.

At the Army level, RHC-P took second place overall in the Army's Best Medic Competition, which concluded Oct. 29 at Camp Bullis, Texas, hosted by the U.S. Army Medical Command and the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School. This year's competition, which included 28 teams, was designed to physically and intellectually challenge medics in a simulated tactical environment. The region was represented by 2nd Lt. Adam Schafer, 65th Medical Brigade, and Sgt. Ryan Harpster, Bassett Army Community Hospital, at the U.S. Army Best Medic team event alongside other two-person U.S. Army medic teams. "The most challenging part of the competition was staying sharp and attentive to the small details while I was very physically uncomfortable," stated Schafer. "There was never a point where I was not hot, freezing, sore, in pain or struggling with fire ant bites. It required a mental toughness to push out those distractions which was crucial for our success."

RHC-P also hosted various high-level distinguished visors to the region, which included the Second Lady of the United States, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and the Army Surgeon General. During these visits, RHC-P personnel were able to emphasize many of the outstanding programs, award-winning initiatives and staff contributions making up the region. 

Throughout the year, RHC-P medical personnel also projected global health engagements and humanitarian missions for Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Palau, Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Mongolia.