Womack Army Medical Center began providing pediatric services in the primary care clinics in late July. WAMC developed pediatric care at the main facility into a more subspecialty service.

Appointments can now be booked at Clark Health Clinic, Joel Health and Dental Clinic, Robinson Health Clinic and Troop and Family Medical Clinic.

“Part of the reason to do this is not just to have pediatricians in the outlining clinics where most of our patients are enrolled, but to increase access to those pediatric services,” said Col. Anthony Hirtz, director of Medical Services, WAMC. “It was a particular challenge for this pediatric clinic to effectively fill all the roles as a patient-centered medical home, as well as have its staff do all of the inpatient services — nursery, neonatal intensive care.”

To improve access, five more pediatric providers have been sent into primary care clinics to augment the pediatric care teams, Hirtz said. With recent hiring actions, those numbers could increase.

Currently, the core providers at a patient-centered medical home have been Family physicians and physician assistants. But, in addition to pediatrics, the goal is to ultimately augment those provisions with services such as internal medicine, nutrition, psychology, pharmacy and clinical pharmacy support, he said.

According to Hirtz, the Fort Bragg community has about 35,000 pediatric patients, most of whom did not previously  have easy access to their providers. Based on anecdotal evidence, customers have indicated that the increased access makes them happier.

“One of the great things about taking care of the military population is that we are a resilient community — and I don’t just mean Fort Bragg, but the community. We get used to change, even when it’s a change that we didn’t see coming,” explained Hirtz.

For more information about pediatric services being provided in the primary care clinics, visit www.wamc.amedd.army.mil or contact the Patient Relations Division at 907-6037 or 907-8069.