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NEWS | Nov. 2, 2016

Combined efforts Strengthen Military Medical and Health Partnerships

By Amy Parr U.S. Army Hawaii

HONOLULU - A seven-person Vietnamese delegation visited Regional Health Command-Pacific (RHC-P) for a command brief and Tripler Army Medical Center tour. The visit allowed leaders from both U.S. and Vietnamese armies to share professional experiences in an effort to strengthen the military medical and health partnerships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Maj. Gen. Le Van Cau, Department of Foreign Relations, deputy director general, and Maj. Gen. Nguyen Hong Son, Military Hospital 175 commander, led the Vietnamese team as members of the two nations discussed ongoing RHC-P health engagements and how to expand the relationship in the future.

"What joins us is medicine and the disaster relief aspect," said Brig. Gen. Bertram Providence, RHC-P commanding general as he spoke about the synchronization of Army Medicine support and synergy between the two armies.

Providence stressed two priorities, being medically ready and leading regional health partnerships accomplished through various operations and activities including conferences, bi-lateral subject matter expert exchanges, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises, and medical support to operational missions.

Cau said as our two nations propose efforts to increase cooperation in the future, he believes military medicine has great potential for increased bi-lateral engagement.

Military Hospital 175 is currently undergoing a large construction program. With their hospital expansion, Son said he hopes to build relationships within U.S. Pacific Command and RHC-P as they look to establish their hospital as a regional center of excellence noting the potential military medical cooperation will provide for both nations.

According to Brad Cogswell, RHC-P Global Heath Engagements, it was clear the Vietnamese delegates want to continue on a long-term path working for mutual benefits, building an expanded and sustainable health capacity in areas such as: laboratory management, orthopedics, pain management, search and rescue, and disaster medicine.

"These combined efforts continue to strengthen the military medical and health partnerships between our two countries while contributing to regional security and stability through capacity building efforts," Cogswell said. "This is achieved by enhancing health care delivery and, public health systems that mitigate the destabilizing impact of infectious disease outbreaks and natural disasters."

To inform future health engagement efforts, RHC-P developed an Army Medicine functional area playbook that lays out how RHC-P will engage with partner nations by functional area to build capability and increase capacity.

"In the Army we say, 'Mission first, people always.' Our people and their achievements make us proud," said Providence as he spoke of a few RHC-P highlights. One is the graduate medical education program, of which he himself is a graduate.

Another is access, quality and patient safety. "In the area of healthcare, patient safety and quality is at the forefront," said Providence. "This ensures we're providing safe, accessible care for our beneficiaries."

Between the two nations, Providence said there are a lot of opportunities to explore. "I look forward to developing these relationships," he said.
In closing the brief, Providence shared the Army medical motto with the Vietnamese delegation, "One Team...One Purpose. Conserving the Fighting Strength Since 1775." Delegation members again repeated their offer for U.S. senior leadership to visit Vietnam as a continuation of the relationships built and to share more professional experiences.

About Regional Health Command-Pacific

RHC-P orchestrates the delivery of world-class medical care for service members, families and eligible beneficiaries, and provides medical readiness and diplomacy in support of United States Army Pacific in the Pacific Command area of responsibility.

RHC-P's area of responsibility includes all medical, dental, public health, and warrior care and transition services in Hawaii, Washington, Alaska, Japan, Korea and throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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