News: San Antonio Military Health System celebrates first year
Story by Maria Gallegos
SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Military Health System celebrated its one-year anniversary with a ceremony at the San Antonio Military Medical Center Sept 14.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Byron Hepburn, commander of the 59th Medical Wing and SAMHS director, and Army Maj. Gen. M. Ted Wong, commander of Brooke Army Medical Center and Southern Regional Medical Command, as well as SAMHS deputy director, hosted the event.
Hepburn and Wong welcomed the audience of military and community leaders, and both announced the successful accomplishments in military medicine as well as increased partnerships with the city of San Antonio.
They noted the successes of the past year, including the successful integration of 1,900 airmen and civilian personnel into SAMMC, improved accessibility to patient-centered medical homes and enhanced secure email communication between providers and patients.
The health system employs 12,000 military and civilian employees with combined budgets of over $1.18 billion annually.
“Our airmen are honored to serve side-by-side with their Army colleagues here at SAMMC, the Department of Defense's only Level I trauma center in the U.S.,” Hepburn said.
Under the new military health system, airmen and civilian personnel were integrated with the Army at SAMMC Sept. 15, 2011. SAMHS provides oversight for the healthcare delivery to more than 240,000 DOD beneficiaries in the San Antonio metropolitan region.
Health-care services are provided by San Antonio Military Medical Center, Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, 19 primary care clinics and more than 100 specialty services.
“The SAMHS fosters an opportunity for synergy, enabling BAMC and the 59th Medical Wing, in collaboration with health-care partners, to make system-wide improvements that elevate our quality of care, and increase the efficiency in delivering health care,” Wong said.
“We believe that all our active duty members, dependents, and retirees deserve the best possible care and I am excited about the opportunities our health system will afford our patients and the city of San Antonio in the years ahead,” Hepburn said.
“Our patients will remain our top priority and our sole reason and purpose for our existence, as we provide high-quality, safe and accessible care while maintaining our patients' trust and confidence,” Wong said.
According to its website, SAMHS is responsible for providing oversight of clinical, educational and business operations for all military treatment facilities in the San Antonio area.
Its objective is to provide the highest quality of health improvement and health-care services for the DOD beneficiary community, sustain the readiness skills of the medical force, support graduate medical education and other education and training, and support basic and clinical biomedical research.
For more information about SAMHS, visit http://www.health.mil/About_MHS/Organizations/MHS_Offices_and_Programs/SAMHS.aspx