News: Army Surgeon General Hosts Rare Convening of Medical Commanders
Story by Valecia Dunbar
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - More than 350 leaders of military medicine convened at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, last month for a two-day leadership and training conference that was rare in both its occurrence and its agenda which challenged leaders to “ask the questions that would get them fired.”
In this provocative context, Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho invited leaders to think critically without repercussion and set the tone for a discussion on the “signals of change” that question the nation’s need for Army Medicine capabilities in the future.
“We are seen through the lens of public healthcare and we are seeing small signals of change for which we need to be in a position to respond,” said Horoho.
The ability of U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) to meet future needs rests in the transformation of Army Medicine from a healthcare system, which focuses on treatment of disease, to a System for Health which focuses on disease prevention. A key component of the System for Health is the Performance Triad, the Army surgeon general’s initiative to improve stamina, readiness, and health through quality sleep, enhanced activity, and improved nutrition. The Performance Triad directly supports the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign and the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) Program.
The training session was an opportunity to invite tactical level leaders to form “silos of influence,” said Horoho, that will broaden group interaction and information sharing to better disseminate key messages across tactical, operational, and strategic levels. Horoho called for the proactive alignment of strategic capabilities to address readiness and skill sustainment across MEDCOM and have a direct impact on service delivery to more than 3.9 million beneficiaries worldwide.
“No other provider can deliver the services and capabilities that we can,” said Horoho. “What we need to talk about is how we ascertain our value, because what we have really been working towards is to make ourselves obsolete. That should be our goal because if we have not been working to drive ourselves out of business, then we are not serving our customers.”
The transformation of MEDCOM is grounded in the successful implementation of the Operating Company (OC) model which will enable Army Medicine to move toward a System for Health through the integration and standardization of processes across the organization. According to the Army Medicine 2020 Campaign Plan, the OC framework is designed around integrated, standardized, and clearly defined processes across the organization, performance metrics, and decision making; thereby driving accountability and a high focus and priority given to process quality, repeatability, and standards to drive a better, more consistent patient experience while also containing costs.
The CP end state is a System for Health that enables Ready and Resilient Soldiers, Families, and communities in order to Prevent, Shape, and Win our nation’s wars.