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Conde takes over as Evans’ CSM

Command Sgt. Maj. Theon Hart stepped down as the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity – Fort Carson top noncommissioned officer during a ceremony on Fort Carson’s Founder Field June 12. He relinquished responsibility of the MEDDAC to Command Sgt. Maj. Federico Conde.

Conde comes to Evans Army Community Hospital after serving as the command sergeant major for the 21st Combat Support Hospital at Fort Hood, Texas. His military career began in 1989 at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

 

KIDS - it’ Summertime… PARENTS - it’s get ready for BACK to SCHOOL!!

As we plan our summer adventures, let’s not forget that the new 2017-2018 School Year is just 2 months away. Yes, it’s true, for many School Districts within Colorado Springs and surrounding areas, the first week of August kicks off the new school year cycle for your children. So, Parents - Are you ready?

We have some tips to assist you in ensuring all the forms and paperwork are completed PRIOR to school starting. Evans Army Community Hospital and the Primary Care Department have made getting an appointment for your children easier – we have opened access to allow all our patients to book an appointment up to 12 weeks out, some of our clinics have appointments up to six months out! Sounds like a crazy idea, but we want to ensure that you and your children are seen so we can provide quality preventive health exams, ensure their immunizations are reviewed and updated, and all those school specific forms are filled out for their new school year adventure.

 

WTB Soldiers head to Illinois for DoD Warrior Games

Three Fort Carson Warrior Transition Battalion Soldiers garnered 13 medals at the Army Trials earning them slots on the Army Team for the upcoming Department of Defense Warrior Games.

Sgt. First Class Richard Hastings, Sgt. First Class Robert G. Roberts III and Spc. Jay Marquiss will join 37 other Soldiers who will represent the Army at the Warrior Games. The games showcase the skills and celebrate the triumphs and personal courage of 270 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans from all military branches and in the British Armed Forces. The games are being held June 30 to July 8 in Chicago, Illinois.

 

Evans LPN’s life is a marathon

For one Evans Army Community Hospital Soldier the journey from his home in Kenya to Fort Carson has been a long one, but just as with his marathon running, it has been one step at a time.

“Life is a lot like running,” said Spec. Samson Mutua, a licensed practical nurse assigned to Evans Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic. “Both are like a staircase. You can’t get to the top of the staircase without first stepping onto the first step.”

Mutua’s first step was in Meru, Kenya, about 140 miles northeast of his country’s capital of Nairobi. After graduating from high school in Kenya his application to study in the United States was approved. But before he could make the trip to Utah Valley University, located just north of Provo, he needed help from his friends and neighbors.

 

Women trailblazers paved the way

U.S. Army Medical Department Activity – Fort Carson hosted the Fort Carson Women’s History Month observance with a ceremony held at the Elkhorn Conference Center March 30.

The celebratory month has its roots in the socialist and labor movements — the first Women's Day took place on Feb. 28, 1909, in New York City. It honored the one-year anniversary of the garment worker's strikes in New York, when thousands of women marched for economic reforms. Within two years, Women's Day had grown into an international observance that spread through Europe.

 

Open house highlights ways to increase functionality

The Fort Carson Warrior Recovery Center held an Open House March 10 as part of its Brain Injury Awareness Month observance. The WRC uses therapy and education to treat those who have had a brain injury.

“Many of the stations at our open house required people to dual task, to challenge them a little bit,” said U.S. Public Health Service Commander Alicia Souvignier, officer in charge of WRC rehabilitation. “We had attendees do a physical task, while at the same time gave them cognitive challenges and maybe throw in a little vision task as well. This way we are challenging them on multiple facets.”

 

Evans puts Nurse First in ER

The Evans Army Community Hospital Emergency Room has started a new initiative to shorten wait times in the ER. Nurse First puts a nurse at the ER entrance so he or she is the first person a patient sees.

“Within the first minute of patients walking through our doors they are seen by a registered nurse who determines if they need immediate treatment, if they can wait or if we can get them an appointment for later that day or the next day,” said Capt. Roger Webb, the Evans ER clinical nurse officer in charge. “We started Nurse First on a trial basis almost two months ago and are currently running it during the ERs busiest times.”

 

AMIOP – Program provides more extensive services

Fort Carson Soldiers now have an additional option for beating substance abuse. The Addiction Medicine Intensive Outpatient Program offers Soldiers an alternative to once a week or 24/7-inpatient services.

“Prior to the start of AMIOP on Fort Carson the substance abuse program was doing what we consider traditional outpatient treatment,” said Eva Martinez-Klich, the chief of Evans Army Community Hospital’s AMIOP. “Soldiers were seen one or two times per week for their drug or alcohol addiction. If they required more intensive services we would send them to a civilian organization off post. Now we have a third option available for them.”

 

“Put Your Best Fork Forward” for National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month is a great time to reflect on the diet and lifestyle choices made so far this year to determine whether they have moved you in a positive direction toward your goals. By “putting your best fork forward,” you remember that every bite counts and that even small changes over time can lead to vast improvements in health and well-being! Start by focusing on the following highlights of this year’s Nutrition Month theme.

Eat a variety. Are you getting bored with your food choices? Do you feel like you eat the same thing every day? Switch it up! Instead of your typical egg sandwich in the morning, try a breakfast burrito, (add spinach, onions, and mushrooms into your whole grain tortilla with eggs) or try hearty oatmeal with nuts and cinnamon to warm up a cold winter morning.

 

Workshop gives caregiver self-care, resources

The Fort Carson Warrior Transition Battalion held their quarterly Caregivers Workshop at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center February 10 for their staff and spouses of wounded, injured and ill Soldiers.

”We are all in need of healing and working on our own resilience,” said Capt. (Chaplain) Mary O’Malley, the WTB chaplain. “So we have these workshops as a reminder for those that are in caregiving positions about how important it is for them to take care of themselves so that they can keep doing their important job of caring for our Soldiers.”

 

Technology allows Evans doctors to consult virtually

Like other organizations, Army Medicine has finite resources. It has to stay within budget and has a limited number of personnel to provide health care services to military members, retirees and their families.

Army Medicine uses technology to virtually place providers, who are in low density specialties, at military treatment facilities around the world. Teleconsultations connect providers located at smaller facilities with the specialty expertise at the Army’s larger medical centers.

 
 

Army Medicine uses virtual health to care for patients worldwide

Army Medicine is harnessing the power of 21st century tools to transform and exponentially improve both capacity and capability; not only for Army Medicine, but for the Total Force as well. They are using virtual healthcare, also known as telemedicine, to connect patients in even the most remote regions of the world with healthcare providers.

“We are facing dynamic challenges that demand our collective and immediate actions,” said Maj. Gen. Robert D. Tenhet, the Army’s Deputy Surgeon General. “Future forces, ranging from small units to traditional military formations, may be widely dispersed with minimal, if any, pre-established health care infrastructure. [This] is the reason why Army Medicine is accelerating and fully investing in virtual health.”

 

New process at Evans ER

The Evans Army Community Hospital Emergency Department is working to decrease wait times by having a provider see patients shortly after they arrive at the emergency room.

“We want to tear down the “walls” between our patients and the doctors they need to see,” said Maj. (Dr.) Matthew Angelidis, the former chief of Evans’ Emergency Department.

 

Healthy eating into the New Year

The new year is here and it is time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. If you want to succeed and make resolutions that last make sure that your goals are both realistic and attainable. Realistic weight loss is between ½-2 pounds per week for most healthy adults. The best way to lose weight is to make healthy lifestyle and dietary choices that you know you can stick with.  The following tips will help you get started.

First reflect on your current dietary and exercise routine to identify areas for improvement.  Do you eat late at night, or find yourself eating fast food too often? Being honest with yourself and creating self-awareness can help you determine what habits need to be changed. Keeping a food and exercise journal for several days can help you see what food groups are missing or consumed in excess in your diet. Once you determine areas for improvement, make sure to make SMART goals that are specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and time bound. A good SMART goal would be:  drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, 7-days per week and track intake using a food journal.

 

Evans goes low and high tech to ensure patient safety

Counting is something most people learn at an early age. And in most jobs being off by one or two on your count isn’t a big thing. But, if your job is in an operating room, having an exact count of sponges or tools is a necessity.

To ensure the count of medical items is correct in its operating rooms, Evans Army Community Hospital has started using radio-frequency ID sponges.

 

Evans employees recognized top in military

Two Evans Army Community Hospital health care practitioners were recognized for their career accomplishments during the AMSUS (The Society of Federal Health Professionals) annual meeting at National Harbor near Washington, D.C., Dec. 1.

Col. Irene Rosen was selected as the top senior female physician in the Military Health System and presented the 2016 MHS Female Physician Leadership Award. Registered Nurse Lydia Kreighbaum was recognized as the Junior Army category winner of the 2016 MHS Federal Civilian Nursing Excellence in Leadership Award.

 

Fort Carson wraps up Warrior Care Month sitting down   

The Warrior Transition Battalion wrapped up Warrior Care Month on Fort Carson with a seated volleyball tournament at Iron Horse Gym, Nov. 30. Seated volleyball is just one of the adaptive sports the WTB uses to show wounded, ill and injured Soldiers that there are still opportunities available to them.

During November the WTB also held a caregiver workshop for family members supporting wounded, ill and injured troops. The workshop provided caregivers practical advice and valuable information about available resources.

 

Fort Carson WTB gets new leadership team

The Warrior Transition Battalion held a Change of Leadership ceremony November 16 at the William Reed Special Events Center on Fort Carson. Maj. Susan Tallman relinquished command to Lt. Col. Brenden Song, while at the same time Master Sgt. Paul Aguon turned over responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. James Wheeler, Jr.

The Fort Carson WTB is one of 14 units in the Army whose mission it is to take care of wounded, ill or injured Soldiers who require at least six months of rehabilitative care and complex medical management. While assigned to the WTB these Soldiers are able to concentrate on medical appointments and transitioning to civilian life, or on returning to military service.

 

Evans OR recognized for medication safety

The Evans Army Community Hospital operating room staff was recognized by Army Medicine for an initiative to reduce the chance of post-operation medications reacting with medications the patient is already taking.

U.S. Army Medicine named Evans OR the 2016 winner of the Medication Reconciliation Improvement/Innovation Award in October. The Army Patient Safety Program sponsored the contest to recognize the great work being conducted in Army medical facilities across the world.

 

Army Honors Wounded, Ill and Injured Soldiers during Warrior Care Month

Each November the Army highlights the resilience and strength of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and their Families with Warrior Care Month. This is a dedicated time for the Army to share information and updates on the programs and initiatives provided through the warrior care system.

 

MASCAL tests Evans’ emergency response

Evans Army Community Hospital tested their emergency response systems with a mass casualty exercise October 7.

“This exercise was designed to evaluate the systems we have in place to handle an event that would overwhelm the capacity of Evans,” said Lt. Col. David Hamilton, the deputy commander for health and readiness for U.S. Army Medical Department Activity – Fort Carson. “If something overwhelms our capacity we can’t just close the doors, we have to find ways to work through that situation and find ways to provide the best support that we can within our capability and then know how to ask for help to outside agencies.”

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer among women.  Currently, there are more than 2.8 million women who have a history of breast cancer within the United States, and the American Cancer Society estimates that roughly 40,450 of those women will die from breast cancer in 2016.

The ACS also reports that in 2016 roughly 247,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 61,000 cases on non-invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the US.  Although women compose the group most commonly diagnosed with breast cancer, men have a 1 in 1000 risk of developing breast cancer, and it is estimated that approximately 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men will be diagnosed in 2016.

 

Joint Outpatient Experience Surveys - JOES helps us improve your healthcare

The Military Health System sends out the Joint Outpatient Experience Surveys.  JOES, replaced the Army Provider Level Satisfaction Survey, as a single survey for all military treatment facilities across the services. It combines and standardizes methods used to learn about beneficiary health care experiences with the goal of making them better.

 

Substance abuse clinical care realigns to Army Medicine

A change has arrived at Fort Carson for those seeking assistance with alcohol or drug abuse. They will see the same counselors, but those counselors will be in different offices on the Mountain Post.

“In 2015, the secretary of the Army took a close look at substance abuse care in the Army and decided to move it under the Army’s Medical Command,” said Lt. Col. David Yeaw, chief of the Department of Behavioral Health at Evans Army Community Hospital. “He and other Army senior leaders felt that we (MEDCOM) could provide really good substance abuse clinical care within behavioral health services.”

 

Tattoos disappear at Evans

Marking one’s body with tattoos has occurred for thousands of years. And they used to be considered permanent, unless the person was willing to sand, or cut the ink out.

Today removing unwanted ink is a much less painful experience. Lasers are used to break up tattoo ink into particles as tiny as a grain of sand, which the body can then absorb.

 

Implant turns on the world to Evans patients

“In 2004 I woke up one morning and I had a bad case of vertigo, the whole room was spinning and I had lost hearing in my right ear,” said Lt. Col. James Morrison, the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity – Fort Carson troop commander. “I went to the emergency department and they treated me. The vertigo eventually went away and never came back, but the hearing never came back.”

In the past 12 years, Morrison has seen ear, head and neck, and neurology specialists at the six posts where he was stationed, but to no avail. None of them could determine what caused the deafness in his right ear; their best diagnosis was that a virus destroyed his inner ear.

 

Course helps Evans staff conserve resources

Money, material, equipment and people are limited, no matter what you do.  Just like other organizations, Evans Army Community Hospital has a limited supply of these finite resources.

To ensure that Evans is a good steward of its resources and to better serve its patients, medical providers and administrators attended a business analysis class Aug. 29 to Sept. 1.

 

Hands offer alternative path to health

“I had very bad asthma and was on double steroid inhalers. Doctors said that I would be an asthmatic the rest of my life,” said Kimberly Kuppenheimer. "As a physician assistant, I understood the need for allopathic (mainstream) medicine, but I wanted to get off the steroid inhalers. So I started looking at alternative therapies.”

The alternative medicine she found was Healing Touch, a bio-field therapy that uses gentle, light or near-body touch to clear, balance, energize and support the human energy system.

 

Evans logistics civilians get awards

Two Fort Carson employees were recognized for their outstanding commitment and performance in health facility management and quality assurance in construction efforts at Evans Army Community Hospital.

Rashad Rajab, Evans’ facility manager, and Aaron Hicks, an engineer at the hospital, were presented U.S. Army Medical Command Facility Awards during the 53rd American Society of Health Engineers conference in July.

 

University helps front line MSAs to help patients

“When I started as a Medical Support Assistant 20 years ago I always thought that I was out of the loop,” said Gail Weyand, a Supervisor MSA in Evans Army Community Hospital’s Clinical Support Division. “We didn’t get all of the messages that were sent out and didn’t always know what was going on in our own clinic."

Today, Medical Support Assistants, those who work the clinics’ front desk, are expected to do more than just greet patients and let the doctor know that the patient is there. 

 

Evans’ JOC builds teamwork, homes

Evans Army Community Hospital’s Junior Officers Council came together August 6, not only to build cohesion, but also to help build a house for the Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity.

“Spending our Saturday volunteering with Habitat for Humanity was a great opportunity to give back to the community,” said Cpt. Mallory McCuin, president of the hospital’s JOC and the clinical nurse officer in charge of the hospital's labor and delivery ward. “And it was also a great team building experience that we are looking at doing at least quarterly.”

 

CU medical students train at Evans

Evans Army Community Hospital is one of several southern Colorado hospitals working with the University of Colorado School of Medicine to provide clinical rotations for third year medical students.

“This has been in the works for over a year,” said Col. (Dr.) Blake Graham, medical student education coordinator. “Any good medical institution gives back to the community, and in training future doctors we are doing just that.”

 

Behavioral health summer camp keeps children on track

For most people the term “summer camp” conjures up many images from a multitude of outdoor activities, to arts and crafts, to fun with new friends. The children who attended the Evans Army Community Hospital Behavioral Health Summer Camps July 11 to 22 they not only got to experience all that, but also had the opportunity to work on the skills they had learned during the previous school year.

“The summer camp helps us stay in touch with the children that we work with during the school year,” said U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Dale Thompson, a clinical social worker and the director of Evans’ School Behavioral Health Program. “Over the summer, just like children can experience a loss of ability in their math or reading skills when school starts again, the same is true with behavioral health concerns. If the kids are practicing poor coping skills over the summer with siblings and parents, then when they get back to school we are not actually beginning the year were we left off the previous year, but having to back up and bring them back to where they should be.“

 

Evans Army Community Hospital lactation team promotes breastfeeding, seeks Baby Friendly Hospital designation

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month. The health benefits of breastfeeding are well recognized and apply to mothers and children in developed nations including the United States, as well as those in developing countries.

Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant's nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children. For example, breast milk helps keep babies healthy by protecting against allergies, ear infections, obesity, diabetes and cancer. It is easily digested so babies have less constipation, diarrhea or upset stomachs. Breastfed babies also have healthier weights as they grow and may even score higher on IQ tests.

 

Team effort helps alleviate joint pain, earns Army Medicine Award

For more than 74 years the Army and Air Force have called Colorado Springs home. Through the years the two services have partnered together on many projects.

Last year medical staff from Fort Carson and the U. S. Air Force Academy began a joint effort to help patients alleviate their joint pain.

 

MEDDAC installs CSL-designated Troop Commander at change of command ceremony

Fort Carson’s Medical Department Activity ceremoniously installed its first full-time and authorized Troop Commander on July 8.  Lt. Col. James A. Morrison now leads the battalion-level unit that includes most of the MEDDAC’s military personnel who work in Evans Army Community Hospital and its clinics.

The change of command ceremony with outgoing Troop Commander Maj. Susan (Andi) M. Tallman was held on the west lawn of Evans hospital.  It recognized the formal change in leadership and also highlighted the value Army Medicine places on its command positions.

 

Evans recognized for going green

Evans Army Community Hospital has been awarded the Greenhealth Emerald Award by Practice Greenhealth for the second straight year.

The Greenhealth Emerald Award recognizes health care facilities that have achieved improvements in their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs.

 

Construction to improve air quality at Evans

Evans Army Community Hospital begins construction next month to improve air quality in the hospital’s critical care areas and to be ready for future requirements. Two 30-year old air handlers are being replaced with four new ones that will service the hospital’s Operating Rooms, the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (recovery room), Intensive Care Unit and the Mountain Post Birthing Center’s two C-section operating rooms and nursery.

“All of our air handlers are building originals and have been in operation since Evans opened its doors 30 years ago,” said Aaron Hicks, a facilities engineer at the hospital who is overseeing this construction. “The fact that these air handlers are 30 years old is not what is forcing us to change them. I can still buy parts for them and they are working. “

 

JOES wants to know about your medical experience

The Military Health System will begin mailing its patients Joint Outpatient Experience Surveys on June 20.

JOES, which will replace the Army Provider Level Satisfaction Survey, is a single survey for all military treatment facilities across the services. It will combine and standardize methods used to learn about beneficiary health care experiences with the goal of making them better.

 

TRICARE Urgent Care Pilot Program

The Urgent Care Pilot is a three-year program which allows non-Active Duty TRICARE Prime beneficiaries to obtain two urgent care visits each fiscal year (Oct. 1–Sept. 30) to U.S.-based TRICARE network urgent care clinics, without a referral or prior authorization. The Urgent Care Pilot begins May 23, 2016.

To maximize your Urgent Care allowances, first seek nurse advice via the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line (NAL) by locally calling 719-524-CARE (524-2273) and choosing option 3 or nationally at 1-800-TRICARE option 1. The NAL lets you talk with a registered nurse who will help you determine the best level of care for your acute medical problem. If the nurse confirms that your condition requires urgent care, and the NAL helps coordinate a referral to a TRICARE network provider, your urgent care visit won’t count against the two-visit limit!

 

Army Medicine works to increase unit readiness

As the active-duty Army cuts 40,000 troops from its ranks over the next couple of years, Army Medicine is working to increase the number of Soldiers that are medically available to deploy.

The active-duty Army currently has 490,000 Soldiers, but military records show that 16 percent of that force is nondeployable – that means only 347,900 Soldiers are ready to accomplish their war-time mission.

 

Evans brings the gift of sound to kids and adults

For many of us tuning out noises around us would be welcomed. But for the hearing impaired being able to hear the smallest of sounds is something to smile at.

Nine-year-old Christian Winkler’s smile was bigger than it had ever been in his life after getting Bone Anchored Hearing Aids, or BAHA, implanted in his skull at the beginning of the year at Evans Army Community Hospital.

 

2nd FST trains with real, simulated patients

The 10th Combat Support Hospital’s 2nd Forward Surgical Team conducted a training exercise named “Operation EACH Shield” to train and validate the team’s roles and processes. The two-day exercise ended April 1 and was a collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Fort Carson (which operates Evans Army Community Hospital) and the Company C, 2 General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade. 

The 2nd FST’s Commander Maj. Bradley A. Rittenhouse said the goal was to better prepare his Soldiers in the event the team is activated for a reactionary force mission and to exercise resuscitative and surgical capabilities while integrating with civilian medical facilities. 

 

Green Star protects patients, staff

Surgery can be a scary, life changing event. But for some patients the danger is not over when they leave the operating room. For some patients waking up after surgery in a strange, unfamiliar place can result in intense agitation that can result in restlessness, confusion and combativeness.

The medical term for this is Emergence Delirium, or ED, and can be dangerous to the patient and the recovery room staff. Two years ago, Evans Army Community Hospital started the Green Star program which has helped to reduce ED encounters.

A no-show affects all

It may not seem like a big deal to miss an appointment at a military hospital. After all isn’t “free” healthcare a benefit of being in the military, or married to someone in the military?
“Medical care is a part of your military benefit,” said Maj. Jason Anderson, the officer in charge of Evans Army Community Hospital’s Clinical Services Department. “But, getting to your scheduled appointment is the one point where our patients play a huge part in our access to care system.”

 

Marijuana is legal, but not healthy for moms, babies

The recent national trend toward marijuana legalization has led to an increase in recreational marijuana use.  Like alcohol, the recreational use of marijuana includes several inherent risks, particularly for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is imperative that women understand and are aware of the negative effects of marijuana use during pregnancy and the potential legal ramifications that coincide with it.

Marijuana is a plant that can be inhaled, ingested, or applied topically. It is composed of two main ingredients: Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and contains over 600 other chemicals. THC is the ingredient that is responsible for many of the known side effects of marijuana use. In the last 30 years, the content and potency of THC has been steadily increasing.  In 1983 THC levels were at 4%, currently levels have been advertised to be as high as 29%. The increase in the level of THC is leading to an increase in many of the risks associated with marijuana use.

 

After hours and weekend healthcare: Do you know where to go and what to do?

The ideal place to receive health care is your Patient Centered Medical Home with your primary care manager or PCM, but we all know, people do not just get ill or injured Monday through Friday during normal, medical clinic hours. At Evans Army Community Hospital we understand this and try to meet your needs.

Your PCM should be the person you seek health care from, as they can focus on your long-term health and are able to assess and treat your total health needs. They can treat the symptoms you are experiencing now, as well as monitor chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, to help you live life fully.

 
 

 

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This Web site provides an overview of the U.S. Army Medical Department - Fort Carson and Evans Army Community Hospital.
It is intended for interested members of the public, news media and U.S. military beneficiaries.
Last Modified 16 June, 2017