Tripler Army Medical Center
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Tripler Public Affairs Office, 808-433-5785|
|Release Number 04-003||Jan 23, 2004|
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office
Story & photos by Margaret Tippy
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office
HONOLULU - Tripler Army Medical Center staff has been busy up at Schofield Barrack's Soldier Readiness Process (SRP) Center. More than 4,000 Soldiers have gone through the multi-medical stations set up to make sure Soldiers are ready to deploy, said Maj. Laura Trinkle of Tripler's Managed Care Division, and one of the "Dream Team" staff working long hours since mid-December when the process began.
Close to 2,000 medical consultations were written by Tripler staff by mid-January at the SRP taking place in Conroy Bowl, and all were referred to Tripler in-house staff. Of those, more than 4,000 Soldiers less than 100 were medically non deployable and that includes the Reserve Component going through the process, Trinkle said.
Medical screenings being provided include audiology; blood drawn at the laboratory station; immunizations given and entered in the computer system; optometry station where anything needed is ordered and delivered to clinics within two days; mental health screenings; pharmacy prescriptions written for six-month supplies of any chronic medications needed; consults tracked to follow Soldiers through the process to Tripler and back to Schofield; medical records reviewed by clinicians to approve deployment in terms of medical readiness; and finally the preventive medicine station checking to make sure the pre-deployment survey is completed, said Col. (Dr.) David Crudo, commander of the Schofield Barracks Health Clinics who is also in charge of the medical SRP.
"….We're lucky the med center (Tripler) is 20 miles from us and we can pull all these people (into the SRP)," Crudo said.
More than 60 clinicians - doctors, nurses and technicians - who normally work at Tripler worked at the SRP. The mastermind behind the SRP medical organization is Master Sgt. Matthew S. Momiyama, assistant clinical chief noncommissioned officer (NCOIC) of Department of Nursing and the NCOIC of the medical SRP.
"The behind the scenes credit goes to Master Sgt. David Cruz (NCOIC of Logistics Department)," Momiyama said. "He's been worth his weight in gold."
"It is going really well," Crudo said. "Some of the people I've talked to who have been through this at other units, other posts, say 'This is so comprehensive. It's much more than any other post has done.'
"Any medical concern that needs to be addressed, a consult is generated, and the specialists at Tripler will see them the next day," Crudo said.
Pfc. Jarod Myers, 19, with Company C, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, was very pleased with the medical SRP.
"It's pretty quick. I had a problem and had to be seen at Tripler (with a consult) and they got me right in," the Colombia City, Ind. native said. Myers was scheduled to deploy Jan. 21st for Iraq.
All the consults are tracked by Lt. Col. (Dr.) Vincent X. Grbach and Dream Team members who work in to the late hours of the night making sure Soldiers are being taken care of properly, and the correct decisions are being made about deployability.
As a result, fewer Tripler non-Active Duty appointments were available. Because of this surge in medical activity, some of Tripler's patients are receiving their healthcare through the civilian network downtown with Health Net Federal Services.
The biggest impacts so far have been seen in Orthopedic, Neurology, and Pulmonology Departments at Tripler, said Col. Suzanne Evans, chief of the Managed Care Division.
"If they can't be seen here (at Tripler), they're seen downtown," Evans said.
Three pharmacists and two technicians have been working at the SRP to support Tripler's readiness mission. As a result, pharmacy services at Tripler have seen an increase in waiting times during peak hours from seven to 30 minutes, said Lt. Col. Curtis S. Hansen, chief of Department of Pharmacy.
"The pharmacy is very involved in the SRP, screening medications, giving Soldiers anti-malaria pills, screening medication records, and counseling Soldiers on their medications," Hansen said. "We're here to support the Soldiers and the doctors."
Allergy and cholesterol medications are some of the more common chronic medications Soldiers need to have an ample supply of when deploying, Hansen said.
Dr. Brian White, pharmacist, one of Tripler's clinical pharmacists, is a gifted manager, and his computer skills and clinical leadership served as the catalyst for our SRP support activities, Hansen said.
In addition to all this activity, more than 25 physicians, nurses, and technicians from Tripler have or are getting ready to deploy in support of Iraq and Afghanistan missions.
Tripler staff is gearing up for future SRPs - one scheduled the week of Jan. 26th and continuing through March as 4,000-plus additional Soldiers - both Active and Reserve Component - get ready to deploy.