USARHAW retirees, spouses learn about changes underway in Army, health care, more

| October 23, 2018 | 3 Comments
Brigadier General Michael L. Place, Deputy Commander of Regional Health Command- Pacific (RHC-P) provides opening remarks for the Retiree Appreciation Day event, hosted by the U.S. Army Retiree Council-Hawaii Oct.20th, Fort Shafter, Honolulu. The event brings together military, retirees, surviving spouses and family members to discuss topics pertinent to the Army retired community and provide updates about current programs. (Photo by Mark Eavey)

Brigadier General Michael L. Place, Deputy Commander of Regional Health
Command- Pacific (RHC-P) provides opening remarks for the Retiree
Appreciation Day event, hosted by the U.S. Army Retiree Council-Hawaii
Oct.20th, Fort Shafter, Honolulu. The event brings together military,
retirees, surviving spouses and family members to discuss topics pertinent
to the Army retired community and provide updates about current programs.
(Photo by Mark Eavey)

Aiko Rose Brum
Chief, Internal Communication
U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — The Retiree Council of Hawaii is actively addressing the needs of retired Soldiers living here in Hawaii.

Working jointly with U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii’s Retirement Services Office – part of the Directorate of Human Resources – the council held a Retiree Appreciation Day at the Hale Ikena, Fort Shafter, Oct. 20.

More than 280 retirees and spouses received updates about the Army, health care, the commissary and other pertinent topics from a host of speakers. They also learned significant changes now affecting both the Army and the Department of Defense.

The council is reviewing how these changes impact local retirees, said retired Brig. Gen. James E. Hastings, co-chair, during opening remarks.

As the events began, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Joel Jenkins asked the audience to render their tribute to fallen retirees.

The keynote speaker, Brig. Gen. Michael L. Place, deputy commanding general, Regional Health Command-Pacific, lauded the Army’s Soldier for Life program, which assists Soldiers with transition from active duty and long-term association with the Army and service traditions.

“Congress’ ability to fund the services this year has been amazing,” said Place. “It makes a huge difference to our Army.”

He reminded the audience they are among the folks who influence and keep Congress moving forward to achieve desired goals for retirees, and their actions are commendable.

He added, “The secretary (of the Army) and the chief (of staff) are devoted to improving the readiness and lethality of our Army.”

One of the most significant changes Place addressed was health care. Patrons will no longer use a separate system in each branch of the military, he explained. Instead, the Military Health Agency will take over authority, direction and control.

TRICARE is also changing. In the future, only TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select will be available. The enrollment window will be open from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10.

“I, along with all my colleagues, have no intention of doing anything other than to provide you with the very best quality of care that we can,” said Place, stating personnel should have no anxiety over changes taking place at the top. He said health care delivery is a personal exchange, and it will remain that way.

Dr. Kamal Masaki of the University of Hawaii presented substantial information about the warning signs of dementia and how to keep our brains healthy and active.

Retirees left the Retiree Appreciation Day more aware of many of the approaching changes within the Army and how they will impact their households.

Hastings invited all attendees to talk with their Retiree Council members about the issues important to them and what actions the council members could take with government and leaders on their behalf.

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Category: News, Observances

Comments (3)

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  1. William S. Rafferty says:

    Hoping to find out more information on why a valet parking company was allowed to reserve spaces that would allow free parking for many wounded veterans, and not force the hospital patients to pay $7.00 .
    I have visited many military hospitals around the country and have never seen a private contractor charging money to park on government property.
    They are also charging handicap patients.
    I find this very unfair.

    • haw says:

      Hello, William — I will send your comments to Tripler Army Medical Center on Monday. When I get a reply, next week, I’ll further respond. HAW Staff.

    • haw says:

      Aloha from Tripler Army Medical Center, in answer to your question about valet parking:
      Valet parking has been at Tripler now for almost 10 years. This patient service was brought on by request of several patients who said they would rather pay for parking than drive around looking for parking.
      This service was added back then – almost 10 years ago and has been a huge success for our patients who comment often, that they love it! Every day the valet is almost full due to its popularity. In the 10 years we have provided this service there has only been a modest increase – once- in the cost for valet parking and the money collected from the valet directly pays the vendor who provides this service. Valet parking is here to stay for the foreseeable future due to its great success. Mahalo for your comment!

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