Spouse of secretary gets briefings at TAMC, Schofield

| January 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) Medical Simulation Specialist, Marc Hernandez, left, provides an information to the spouse to the 23rd Secretary of the Army, Leah Esper, center, and the TAMC Commander, Col. Andrew Barr, right, at the TAMC Simulation Center, Jan. 11, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Peter Sky)

Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer

TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER — Readiness is the Army’s top mission, and the staff here demonstrated how they contribute to the ability to “fight tonight” by providing state-of-the-art medical care and optimal patient-centered support.
The medical center was the first stop of an all-day tour for Leah Esper, wife of Secretary of the Army Mark Esper.

While here, she visited the Keiki Co-op, a full-day child care site conducted by child care providers with priority given to parents who work at TAMC. The service is a partnership between Child Youth Services and TAMC.

The co-op is one of the ways the Army in Hawaii strives to meet one of the most important needs of its families: child care.
From there, Esper received a briefing from TAMC medical simulation specialist Mark Hernandez at TAMC’s Medical Simulation Center. Hernandez demonstrated how staff use high-tech mannequins that can breathe, sweat and bleed to help train the next generation of medical practitioners, both in the hospital and out in the field.

From left, U.S. Army-Pacific Senior Spouse Patti Brown, Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) Protocol Officer Joel Jenkins, Spouse to the 23rd Secretary of the Army Leah Esper, TAMC Commander Col. Andrew Barr and TAMC Senior Spouse Anne Barr meet at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, Jan. 11, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Leanne Thomas)

Having mannequins that are this realistic helps bring real-world training to Soldiers and the staff, Hernandez said.

After a walk-through of TAMC’s Behavioral Health Department, the TAMC portion of the tour wrapped up with a presentation, by Lt. Col. Jennifer Mbuthia, MD, about the Pacific Asynchronous TeleHealth (PATH) platform, which allows for provider-to-provider teleconsultations. This helps doctors and patients manage health care concerns during deployments and over various time zones.Esper, herself a former Army spouse, said she understood firsthand the importance of teamwork and communication over time zones in providing optimal health care.

Her tour picked up at Schofield Barracks, where she met with students and staff at Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School, one of Hawaii’s many military-impacted public schools, which was renamed for the late Hawaii senator in 2016. It had previously received an approximately $26.5 million upgrade through funds from the DOD’s Office of Adjustment, with the state contributing about $6.6 million in matching funds.

Leah Esper, wife of Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, observes an American flag-inspired quilt featuring photos of Soldiers who died in service to the country. The quilt was on display at the Survivors Outreach Services office on Schofield Barracks, Thursday, Jan. 11. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

While there, she read “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss to a group of students at the school’s library, which was constructed as part of the aforementioned upgrades.

“I have three kids of my own, and I don’t know if they would have been as quiet and well-behaved as you were, so thank you very much,” she told the students at the end of the story.

Next up was a visit to the Soldier Family Assistance Center (SFAC), where staff took her through the office, explaining the various services it offers, including those available to Soldiers new to Hawaii, Soldiers transitioning to civilian life, Wounded Warriors and spouses searching for work, among other things.

Esper finished the day at the Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) quarters, which is dedicated to supporting Gold Star families. There, Esper observed an American flag-inspired quilt sewn by the group in memory of their fallen Soldiers, as well as artwork created by the children of those Soldiers.

The SOS was perhaps the most moving portion of the tour, with Catherine Ignacio, SOS coordinator, expressing her gratitude for Esper’s visit and emphasizing the meaningfulness of her visit in assuring service members’ families of the Army’s continued dedication to them.

Esper in turn thanked Ignacio and the rest of the SFAC staff for their continued work in supporting the Army’s mission.

Leah Esper, wife to Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, greets students at Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School before reading “The Lorax” to them on Thursday, Jan. 11. (Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

Tags: , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *