Blanchfield Army Community Hospital
Fort Campbell, KY – Regional Health Command Atlantic Command Team visited Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and Fort Campbell January 11th–12th, to discuss healthcare operations and readiness support for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and other units on the installation.
Led by Brig. Gen. Mary V. Krueger, RHC-A commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rebecca Booker, RHC-A senior enlisted leader, RHC-A optimizes Army Medicine health services in order to generate Soldier and Medical Force readiness in support of the Total Force. RHC-A supports the Defense Health Agency in providing world-class care for service members, retirees, and families at 14 military treatment facilities in the region from New York to Alabama.
BACH Commander Col. Vincent B. Myers took Krueger to the hospital’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing site, which is operated by BACH staff and reinforced with 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Soldiers as needed.
In order to accommodate more patients seeking testing, Myers recently set aside the additional step of telephone-based triage used to book COVID-19 testing appointments.
“We were experiencing a high call volume on the hospital appointment line for COVID testing due to a rise in testing demand after the holidays. This significantly increased the time for beneficiaries to receive an appointment for a COVID test. The move to eliminate appointments for COVID testing may result in longer wait times at the test site but will ensure beneficiaries receive testing as they need it,” said Myers.
Once the swab is collected at the test site, the samples are sent to the hospital’s lab for processing and certification. Most beneficiaries who use the COVID-19 test site are able to get their results within 48 hours through the TRICARE Online Patient Portal.
The general and sergeant major spent time in the Fort Campbell training area and observed capabilities at the Alfred V. Rascon School of Combat Medicine. The medical simulation training center enables the readiness of 101st and Fort Campbell Soldiers, and other Soldiers in the region by providing hands-on instruction on the latest battlefield trauma and critical care techniques.
“Having an opportunity to visit Rascon today was phenomenal. Their current capabilities are awesome and right on point with what we need for Army Medicine, including FORSCOM [U.S. Army Forces Command] medics and MEDCOM medics in the region,” said Booker.
Both she and Krueger said they would lend their support in making additional courses available to support readiness.
“One of the programs we’re looking at bringing is the Medical Master Gunner Course. It’s a prolonged field care course at Fort Hood that we want to bring to our region,” said Booker, “It saves resources like TDY funding when we’re able to send our Soldiers to a program locally.”
After meeting with 101st Airborne Division leaders, Maj. Gen. J.P. McGee and Command Sgt. Maj. Veronica Knapp, Krueger, and Booker returned to BACH where they joined the hospital command team and Intensive Care Unit staff for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting marking the unit’s official grand opening.
The $9 million renovation included eight brand new ICU rooms equipped with virtual health capabilities in each suite. This technology enables BACH critical cares teams to conduct secure virtual health consultations at the patient’s bedside with Defense Health Agency specialists like pulmonologists and intensivists on staff at major medical centers.
“I want to personally thank the RHC-A team, Brig. Gen. Krueger and Command Sgt. Maj. Booker, for visiting Fort Campbell to support our ICU Ribbon Cutting, tour our facilities and meet the BACH team. The support they provide BACH through these challenging times during operations amidst COVID is greatly appreciated,” Myers said.