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    WBAMC celebrates namesake’s 231st birthday

    WBAMC celebrates namesakes’ 231st birthday

    Photo By Marcy Sanchez | Staff Sgt. Enock Guto, noncommissioned officer in charge, Nutrition Care Division,...... read more read more

    FORT BLISS, TX, UNITED STATES

    11.28.2016

    Story by Marcy Sanchez 

    William Beaumont Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office

    William Beaumont Army Medical Center lies in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert. An area characterized by gun-toting outlaws from Billy the Kid to John Wesley Hardin.

    It’s only appropriate WBAMC’s namesake be of an important medical figure who gained prominence through his research which started off with a gunshot.

    “It’s great for us to be able to celebrate (Beaumont’s) birthday today,” said Col. John A. Smyrski III, commander, WBAMC. “Beaumont was a great pioneer in medicine who really set the stage for a lot of future research, procedures and events to occur.”

    On Nov. 21, 1785, William Beaumont was born into a family of farmers in Lebanon, Connecticut. On June 2, 1812, Beaumont was granted a medical license by the Third Medical Society of the State of Vermont, after presenting himself for examination on the anatomy of the human body, and the theory and practice of physic and surgery.

    According to James H. Dempster’s “Pathfinders of Physiology,” rather than settling for private practice, Beaumont joined the Army as an assistant surgeon in 1812 and saw battle from the front lines during the U.S. War of 1812 against Great Britain. It was as an Army surgeon Beaumont was placed among the epoch-makers of medical history.

    On June 6, 1822, a young voyageur by the name of Alexis St. Martin was accidentally shot in the abdomen at a fur-trading post in Mackinac Island, Michigan. The cavity that resulted from the wound was reported to be the size of a man’s fist.

    Beaumont removed the bullet and treated the wound but St. Martin was left with a permanent gastric fistula, meaning a passage was created between the abdominal walls into the stomach. Initially Beaumont wanted to close the wound by sutures, but St. Martin would not submit to it. Beaumont saw an opportunity to conduct studies on gastric fluid and process of digestion. Because of his studies on St. Martin, Beaumont was dubbed the “Father of gastric physiology,” and their names became synonymous with the studies of gastric juice and their functions.

    “I feel truly honored to be part of an organization named after (Beaumont),” said Smyrski. “Beaumont was a pioneer, and just like him, we are pioneers. We here at William Beaumont now, we are creating the future of Army Medicine.”

    During the celebration, Smyrski mentioned current ongoing advancements at WBAMC such as the utilization of a minimally-invasive surgery robot at levels above Army-wide standards.

    “We’re going to continue to excel,” said Smyrski. “We’re figuring out ways to get to YES (You deserve Exceptional Service campaign, an initiative aimed at providing patients a better experience beginning with their first point of contact with hospital staff), we find solutions and support our beneficiaries.

    “This celebration, this birthday party, is in honor of Dr. William Beaumont but it’s also for (WBAMC staff),” said Smyrski. “It’s for all of us to be able to share together, in his name, all of the great things that we have accomplished and what we’ll continue to accomplish in the years to come.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.28.2016
    Date Posted: 11.28.2016 15:06
    Story ID: 215867
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

    Web Views: 62
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