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    SMART Initiative expands to Ohio

    SMART Initiative expands to Ohio

    Photo By Lt. Col. Angela Wallace | On August 14, 2018, The Health Collaborative and the U.S. Army Reserve announced the...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Col. Angela Wallace 

    Army Reserve Medical Command

    CINCINNATI, Ohio -- On August 24th, military medical students sat eagerly in their seats awaiting recognition after completing an exciting two weeks of working with their civilian counterparts to hone their military skills. The approximate 25 graduates represented the Army’s Active Component, Army Reserve and Ohio National Guard as well as the Air Force medical community and included a variety of specialties including operation room technicians, practical nursing specialists, dental technicians, pharmacy technicians and a host of other skillsets.

    Their training is based on the continuation of an Army Reserve initiative called Operation Hospital S.M.A.R.T. (Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training), which just completed its fourth iteration, but this graduation celebration marks a new relationship.

    On August 14, 2018, The Health Collaborative and the U.S. Army Reserve announced the continuation of Operation Hospital S.M.A.R.T. with a new group of partners in Cincinnati, Ohio. Operation Cincinnati SMART is the next step to the innovative, first-of-its-kind partnership which focuses on high-quality, individualized specialty medical training for service members to improve their knowledge, skillsets and increase individual readiness.

    “Many of our Army Reserve enlisted medical personnel do not work in the medical field in their civilian capacity. Thanks to the diverse patient populations at these hospitals and clinics, the unparalleled facilities and state-of-the-art Diagnostic Imaging Technology, service members will gain real-time access to cutting-edge technology and training. Our Soldiers will greatly benefit from this unique experience and unrivaled expertise in order to advance their medical knowledge, successfully meeting our Army Reserve’s demand for a constant state of readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Mary E. Link, commanding general for Army Reserve Medical Command.

    During the two week training period, service members partnered with their civilian counterparts at one of four Cincinnati medical centers for 14 days of immersion training utilizing cutting-edge technology. Maj. Gen. John Harris, the assistant adjutant general for the Ohio National Guard, emphasized the importance this training brings to service members who only perform their duties a couple of times a month.

    Recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were devastating, recalled Harris.

    “We placed our medical unit on a KC-135, and sent them to Puerto Rico. They were in a more austere environment than most of the medics had ever experienced. The only skills they had were the ones they brought with them. There was no post-mobilization training. There was no train-up period. The people who made the difference were the people who honed their skills through their civilian experiences and through training like this,” Harris said.

    The founding class of Operation Hospital S.M.A.R.T. began its first rotation on June 5, 2017, with radiologic and laboratory medical technologists at Hackensack University Medical Center. Twelve U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from across the country and two active duty Air Force personnel from the 87th Medical Group stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst were part of that inaugural rotation.

    Col. Cindy Saladin, the commander of Northeast Medical Area Readiness Support Group, and her deputy commander, Lt. Col. Michael Filipowicz, are recognized as the architects of Operation Hospital SMART, but Saladin said she always believed it would be more than just keeping her medical Soldiers employable.

    “We knew this initiative was going to be bigger than our brigade. Our intent was to find a way to close a gap on military medicine. My deputy, Lt. Col. Filipowicz, proposed we bridge that gap by building a relationship with Hackensack University Medical Center. Six months later we were at Hackensack, because, like this Cincinnati community, they recognized the opportunity and wanted to give back to our service members,” said Saladin.

    Saladin then shared a message for the students attending the Operation Cincinnati SMART training. “Take advantage of this. It was a long journey to get you here, and its important,” she said.

    Maj. Gen. Michael O’Guinn, the former deputy surgeon general for mobilization and readiness, agreed that the training and the partnership with the community were critically important.

    “This is about the readiness of our Soldiers and our Nation to help save and sustain lives on the battlefield,” O’Guinn said.

    The challenge the reserve component is faced with is sustaining the tremendous skillset service members learn through initial training, explained O’Guinn.

    “To have corporations step up and open their doors to allow us to work with them to address a gap in sustaining the skills for our Soldiers who don’t do this work every day, giving them access to world class facilities is incredible for us.

    “I’m an Ohio native, and it warms my heart to know that Ohio opened up its doors for us,” he concluded.

    To date, the Operation Hospital SMART initiative has graduated 60 military personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard who participated in either the Hackensack or Cincinnati SMART training platforms, and has prompted positive momentum in the relationship between the civilian and military medical community.



    Date Taken: 08.30.2018
    Date Posted: 08.30.2018 23:45
    Story ID: 291061
    Location: CINCINNATI, OH, US 

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