By Breanna Hockenbury, Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical Command (JTF CapMed) Communications
Wednesday morning I woke up early and instead of going to JTF CapMed I hopped on a bus, headed north on 14th Street, and joined approximately 200 Warriors in Transition and Family members at Walter Reed Warrior Transition Brigade’s morning formation. Sitting together in the Karen Wagner Gym bleachers, we heard from BG Steve Jones, JTF CapMed Deputy Commander, about the National Capital Region Medical Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) transition and the relocation of Army Warriors in Transition to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD or to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Belvoir, VA, when Walter Reed Army Medical Center closes in August. BG Jones provided some updates on the transition but mainly listened and addressed the questions and concerns from Army Warriors in Transition and their Families.
He explained to us how relocation and room assignments at the new facilities would be decided—medical requirements will be the first deciding factor with case managers, providers, and Service Command and Control assigning each Warrior in Transition to the appropriate facility and room as part of the enhanced discharge planning process. BG Jones also explained that “the ultimate goal is to provide patient and Family-centered care that best supports the healing of all warriors.” Warrior Transition Unit Cadre from Walter Reed will move prior to the Warriors in Transition’s to ensure that the facilities and rooms are ready to provide care.
Warriors in Transition and Families also had a chance to browse posters that displayed photographs of the new facilities to get a sense of where they would be living and receiving care after the transition. BG Jones invited all of the warriors to take tours of the new facilities once they are re-assigned to their new location. BG Jones also stressed that the new facilities are a significant improvement from what is currently available at Walter Reed.
When BG Jones opened up the floor to Warriors in Transition’s questions and concerns, they were primarily interested in parking, child care, and the timeline for moving. Although, at this time, parking at both facilities is competitive, warriors will enjoy the benefit of dedicated warrior parking in convenient locations at clinics and their lodging. Child care services at the new facilities will be similar to what is currently available at Walter Reed today.
At the end of the townhall, BG Jones encouraged warriors to email him personally if they had specific questions about how the transition would affect their Families. For more information about the National Capital Region Medical Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) transition, please visit the JTFCapMed website.