Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, Army Surgeon General and commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Command, hosted three town hall meetings during her visit to Fort Bragg, June 28 and 29, to solicit feedback from the community, Womack Army Medical Center staff and Fort Bragg leaders about Army Medicine.
The first meeting on June 28 was an opportunity for West to speak with patients and community members about their experiences in Army Medicine so her team could identify opportunities for improvement and future endeavors. Participants who were unable to attend the meeting in person were able to follow a livestream of the event on Womack’s Facebook page.
During the event, patients gave candid feedback on their positive and negative experiences at the hospital. The concerns raised included dissatisfaction with pediatric care, whether childcare could be provided at or near the hospital while parents go to appointments, specific healthcare issues, medical support to units, as well as questions about access to care and continuity of care.
West linked up patients concerned about their own healthcare experiences directly with leaders at WAMC during the meeting to ensure their needs were immediately addressed. She also promised to explore the possibility of childcare being provided during appointments across Army Medicine, not just at Womack.
“I was dual military with two little ones and the whole time I was here at Fort Bragg, Don was deployed or working offsite,” said West when answering the question about there being childcare at the hospital. “… There were times I had to go somewhere and I just had to bring the kids along, so I understand and I’d rather for someone to be able to get their appointment than do without. We’ll work on this.”
Patients also shared positive experiences, especially lauding the recently opened Pharmacy Annex, which provides drive-thru service when picking up prescription refills.
Col. Lance Raney, commander, Womack Army Medical Center, was also present at the meeting and helped provide responses to specific concerns about hospital services. He said that these forums were important because of the feedback provided by the community.
“Our team and everyone in MEDCOM gets up every morning wanting to do the right thing,” said Raney. “Sometimes we fall a little short. But, healthcare is a partnership and that partnership requires feedback.”
The next day West held a morning town hall at WAMC for staff members followed by a tour of the hospital. She ended the day with a town hall for Fort Bragg leaders.
Throughout her visit, West thanked the staff of Womack Army Medical Center for their service and commitment to providing high quality care to the Fort Bragg community.
“Thank you to what each of you do, whether you’re in uniform, a civilian employee or a contractor,” said West during the staff town hall. “You are true professionals who strive to provide the best care. I love it here. If I could move my office down here, I would.”