Transforming RHC-P strengthens command, health care

| December 23, 2016 | 0 Comments
The Regional Health Command-Pacific is involved in diverse projects. (Photo illustration by Amy M. Parr, Regional Health Command-Pacific Public Affairs)

The Regional Health Command-Pacific is involved in diverse projects. (Photo illustration by Amy M. Parr, Regional Health Command-Pacific Public Affairs)

Amy M. Parr
Regional Health Command-Pacific Public Affairs

HONOLULU — As 2016 wraps up, Regional Health Command-Pacific, also known as RHC-P, closes a year full of transformation and continuation of the region’s metamorphosis started in 2015.

The U.S. Army Medical Command, or MEDCOM, realignment brought the Public Health-Command Pacific and the U.S. Army Dental Command-Pacific under the RHC-P umbrella in 2015.

Further strengthening the command, 2016 added Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Bassett Army Community Hospital, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; and the Presidio of Monterey Army Health Clinic, Calif., growing the team through a consolidation with the Western Regional Medical Command.

Additionally, this year delivered a new leadership trio to the region. In January, the command welcomed Brig. Gen. Ronald Stephens as deputy commander, stationed at JBLM. In March, Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Watson III became the region’s senior enlisted adviser. June brought Brig. Gen. Bertram Providence to the helm as RHC-P’s commanding general.

While the command team may be new, they are dedicated to the success of RHC-P’s people, military treatment facilities and the delivery of accessible, safe and high-quality world-class medical care.

“Our region experienced a lot of growth this year, successfully bringing together two commands into one,” said Providence. “The inclusion of new members has made us stronger and expanded our regional capabilities. I’m proud of our team, our accomplishments and excited for the future of Army Medicine.”

Regional Health Command-Pacific Soldiers assigned to the health care specialists (68W) military occupational specialty, more commonly known as a combat medic, complete a casualty evacuation exercise at Tripler Army Medical Center. Trainers demonstrates how to properly secure a casualty for transport ensuring live-saving techniques are properly conducted during the casualty evacuation training exercise.

Regional Health Command-Pacific Soldiers assigned to the health care specialists (68W) military occupational specialty, more commonly known as a combat medic, complete a casualty evacuation exercise at Tripler Army Medical Center. Trainers demonstrates how to properly secure a casualty for transport ensuring live-saving techniques are properly conducted during the casualty evacuation training exercise.

In addition to providing medical care to the region’s more than 250,000 beneficiaries, RHC-P conducts global health engagements in support of allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

RHC-P leverages Army Medicine capabilities found in its nine direct reporting units to build relationships, further health capability, increase capacity and generate readiness for service members through a variety of activities.

Throughout the past year, RHC-P leaders hosted distinguished military members from Bangladesh, China, Japan, Mongolia and Vietnam, conducting senior leader engagements in partner nations throughout the region. These engagements allowed each nation to review what has been conducted in the past and inform what should be done in the future.

Regional members also conducted various subject matter expert exchanges in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nepal, Palau, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Through these exchanges, each nation shared best practices and increased the ability to work together side by side on a variety of missions in the future.

Medical support was provided by RHC-P service members and units to both U.S. participants and in support of partner nations during major regional exercises such as Pacific Pathways, Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Rim of the Pacific, Key Resolve, Keen Edge/Keen Sword, Yama Sakura, Pacific Partnership, Pacific Angel, Balikatan, Cobra Gold and Humanitarian Mine Action Program.

Members also participated in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief programs with Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Samoa and Sri Lanka. Humanitarian Mine Action and Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command missions were supported by RHC-P personnel this past year to not only assist mine victims, but support the families of those service members who made the ultimate sacrifice and are still waiting to be reconnected with their loved ones.

Col. Ann Sammartino (left), 18th MEDCOM (DS), accepts the colors from Brig. Gen. Patrick Sargent, July 10. (Photo by Master Sgt. Anthony Elliott, RHC-P Public Affairs)

Col. Ann Sammartino (left), 18th MEDCOM (DS), accepts the colors from Brig. Gen. Patrick Sargent, July 10. (Photo by Master Sgt. Anthony Elliott, RHC-P Public Affairs)

RHC-P providers assisted various Ministries of Health and the civilian populations they support by providing a variety of medical services, such as fistula repair and otolaryngology and urology surgeries in Bangladesh and Palau.

The combined global health engagement efforts conducted by RHC-P during 2016 directly supported national and regional security and stability by improving partnerships, advancing U.S. national priorities, enhancing health care and public health systems, while reducing the potentially destabilizing impact of infectious disease outbreaks and natural disasters.

In August, the Army Surgeon General and MEDCOM Commanding General Lt. Gen. Nadja West and Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald C. Ecker, senior enlisted adviser, MEDCOM, came to the region to see the work RHC-P members were doing firsthand. This visit allowed West an opportunity to engage with Army Medicine team members in her initial command visit to the region.

West said it was a great opportunity to “get feedback from across all levels on how Army Medicine in the Pacific is furthering readiness, as well as identifying the regional health command’s leading practices.”

2016 was indeed a year full of transformation – transformation of a team, and the transformation of lives through military medicine care and partnerships. RHC-P leaders look forward to the coming year, where the command will continue medical readiness and diplomacy in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Na Koa Imua – Warriors Go Forth!

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Category: Health, News, Year in Review

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