Defender 6 sends: EFMP respite care enhances caregivers’ quality of life

| July 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch
Commander, Installation Management Command



WASHINGTON — Starting this month, the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, is standardizing and streamlining the process for delivering respite care to eligible families in need of support.

EFMP is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, and medical and personnel services to families with special needs.

EFMP is focused on helping these families find the support and care needed to ensure all their members can thrive. Respite care provides this support for caregivers.

Caring for a family member with special needs, especially one with severe or chronic medical conditions, is an around-the-clock job. There may be no end to a caregiver’s love, but everyone who shoulders these types of responsibilities needs a break to rest and recharge.

EFMP respite care provides that break. Qualifying families are eligible for up to 40 hours of respite care a month, for each certified family member.

To enhance service delivery to EFMP-enrolled families, Installation Management Command has revised EFMP respite care policies and procedures. The revision is effective this month.

Revisions include changes in eligibility criteria and the Family Services Needs Matrix, and online training for EFMP managers and physicians. Also, an EFMP respite care panel will be established at each garrison to review and recommend approval or disapproval of all respite care submissions to the garrison commander, who is the decision authority.

Garrison EFMP managers are available to provide more detailed information to families currently receiving respite care.

This revision to policy and procedures is part of the Army EFMP Strategic Action Plan to improve services and support for families with special needs.

Also, as part of the strategic action plan, at the beginning of this fiscal year, EFMP added 43 systems navigators, or non-clinical case managers, at 26 garrisons stateside and overseas to connect families with required systems of care.

The Army’s focus on enhancing the effectiveness of EFMP could not be more important or timely. EFMP is one way the Army keeps key promises it made in the Army Family Covenant: providing access to high-quality medical care, educational opportunities and family programs that foster an environment in which families can thrive.

While the Army’s commitment remains as strong as when the covenant was signed in 2007, we are operating in a different fiscal reality in 2011.

Just as any Soldier or family member asks “Is it worth it?” before opening their wallet, we are doing the same, making sure we are using resources as efficiently as possible to provide quality services to families.

Army life poses challenges for any family, but especially for families with special needs.

It is part of our job and our commitment to make sure we are delivering the right services in the right way, to support the health and well-being of all family members.

Soldiers or family members who have questions about EFMP-related services can visit Locally, call Tripler Army Medical Center at 433-4441, from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tripler EFMP is located on the ocean side of the hospital – wing 7C.

Support and Defend. Defender 6.

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Category: News, Standing Columns

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