Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs
KALAELOA — After months of preparation and planning, the Warrior Ohana Medical Home Clinic opened, here, in a ceremony held April 20.
Brig. Gen. Keith Gallagher, commander, Tripler Army Medical Center and Pacific Regional Medical Command, said the new clinic is part of the Army Medical Command’s larger medical home initiative.
“It’s a program to improve primary care access and quality by bringing Army medicine closer to home for our Army families, through a standardized, cost-competitive system for health,” he said. “Here at Tripler and at our military treatment facilities in the (PRMC), we have begun transformation to medical homes in clinics like family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics (and the) Schofield Barracks Health Clinic. … Our goal is to complete this transformation in two years.”
The new clinic will make things easier on Army families living too far from TAMC, said Mary Nilges, group practice manager for the clinic.
“Now, families living farther out won’t have to make the drive to Tripler for basic medical care,” she said.
The clinic is on the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station in Kalaleloa, and it is currently open to family members of active duty Soldiers. The clinic provides the full scope of family medicine one would expect to receive in any private-practice doctor’s office.
The goal is to ensure all patients receive necessary care. Currently, the clinic hosts a staff of seven primary care managers, or PCMs, and its enrollment is approximately 1,355 per PCM.
“We will make every effort to ensure that the patient gets an appointment when they want it, including same-day appointments,” Nilges said. “We strive to provide same-day access with the patient’s health care team, so that (patients) will not have to rely on urgent care centers or emergency rooms for primary care.”
For services unavailable at the Warrior Ohana Medical Home Clinic, licensed practical nurse care coordinators will work with patients to set up specialty appointments and other PCM-referred care. Clinic staff will also book follow-up appointments and procedures.
The clinic is not an urgent care center, so if patients go to the emergency room or receive care outside of the clinic, they should contact their Warrior Ohana Medical Home team, as soon as they can.
According to Nilges, there’s a very good reason why the word ohana, Hawaiian for family, is a part of the clinic’s name.
“We will go the extra mile to ensure that when patients need care, they get it from their own health care team — the doctors and nurses who know them and their families,” she said. “We encourage that continuous relationship, because medical research tells us that patients with access to a personal health care team are healthier.”