News: Top military medicine official visits SAMMC, burn unit, wounded warriors
Story by Maria Gallegos
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The top official of military medicine visited with wounded warriors, toured the new burn unit, and the emergency department at San Antonio Military Medical Center, June 8.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and Director of TRICARE Management Activity, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, visited the hospital after he was the guest speaker for the graduating class of the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium.
Lt. Col. Booker King, associate director for the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center, gave the burn center tour.
“After I read your bio,” said King as he welcomed Woodson, “I noticed we went to the same school.”
After sharing their medical similarities and background, King explained the mission of the burn and rehab center as they walked through the unit.
King and Woodson conversed about research, nutrition, rehabilitation, resuscitation, and burn wound care.
Noting the responsibilities of burn care and also a vascular surgeon, Woodson commented on how working in the “burn unit is the most difficult job of all.”
At the end of the tour, Woodson visited with wounded warriors in the burn unit and gave them words of praise and gratitude, and ensured they were receiving the best medical care.
“Do you have all you need?” asked Woodson to Staff Sgt. Terrance Page and his family, who was in his room.
“I have everything I need; I’m taking things one day at a time,” Page answered.
Page was injured, May 29, by a dismounted improvised explosive device which caused burn injuries to his body.
“It is my honor and privilege to meet you,” Woodson said.
Before heading off to the emergency department, Woodson also thanked the burn staff for their hard work and dedication in providing medical care to the patients.
“Thank you all very much for your talents and compassion in taking care of our wounded warriors,” Woodson said. “Our wounded warriors care cannot be better without you.”
Emergency department and the rooftop helipad tour were next on the schedule and Col. James King, chief of the emergency department, continued with the tour.
“This is such a beautiful place to be,” said Woodson after his tour of the facilities. “This medical center is paving the way for other medical centers to follow. I appreciate everything that is done here.”
SAMMC is the largest inpatient medical facility in the Department of Defense, the only burn center, the first rooftop helipad, and only Level 1 Trauma Center in the United States. SAMMC plays a critical role in patient care, graduate medical education and research, as well as taking care of wounded service members.