Joint Chiefs Panel Evaluates Wounded Warrior Care
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 1, 2008 An advisory panel recently established by the military’s top uniformed officer will evaluate all medical programs for wounded warriors and their families, a senior U.S. officer said here yesterday.
The panel, known as the Wounded Warrior Integration Team, was created by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.
The panel’s purpose is “to take a look at all programs across all agencies that impact on the wounded warriors and their families,” Sattler, the Joint Staff’s director for strategic plans and policy, explained to reporters.
The panel held its first meeting April 28, Sattler said, noting that he chairs the group.
“We will look at all the practices, everything that’s being done,” Sattler told reporters. “We will look for best practices. And we will report back to the chairman biweekly and to the service chiefs as the chairman directs as to what this integration team finds.”
The military’s health care system partners with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide several specialized health care centers for wounded warriors. They include:
-- Walter Reed Army Medical Center Amputee Care Center and Gait Laboratory, in Washington, D.C.;
-- National Naval Medical Center’s Traumatic Stress and Brain Injury Program, in Bethesda, Md.;
-- Center for the Intrepid state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility and Brooke Army Medical Center, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas;
-- Naval Medical Center San Diego Comprehensive Combat Casualty Care Center; and
-- Multi-site Defense Department/Veterans Affairs-operated brain injury centers for patient care, education and clinical research.
Sattler saluted continuing efforts performed “by a lot of great people across the spectrum” on behalf of wounded warriors and their families.
The panel, among other things, is tasked to evaluate the medical care system that attends to wounded warriors to determine if there are duplications of effort that may cause an unnecessary expenditure of resources, Sattler said.
The group also will look for possible customer-service glitches contained within the wounded warrior medical care system, the general said.
“And, if there may be unintentional gaps and seams, we can overcome those,” Sattler said.