Under the new plan, each of the clinics is equipped with standardized medical equipment and has adequately sized exam and ancillary spaces.
By standardizing the clinics, the traveling specialists will find the same treatment layout no matter which facility they are working in.
Bamberg, Schweinfurt, Illesheim, Würzburg, Katterbach, Hohenfels and Vilseck are the first clinics to move toward the clinic-centric concept, with the regional medical hub located at Grafenwöhr.
Multi-phased construction projects will more than double the size of the current Grafenwöhr facility.
Next year, the consolidated health and dental clinic will have a total of thirty-one dental chairs (currently 10), and will include new optometry services and physical therapy.
Hawley-Bowland said, to make the concept work, some of the older clinics will require upgrades.\
The Europe Regional Medical Command spent a combined $4 million on the Katterbach, Hohenfels, and Vilseck Health and Dental Clinics in order to provide additional space for the staff and beneficiaries in these communities.
Optometry services were added at Hohenfels with the construction of a new eye lane. The Illesheim Health Clinic will also receive upgrades in the near future.
Increased patient load requires more care providers. Health care providers will be reassigned accordingly to support the clinic-centric model.
The Europe Regional Medical Command personnel officials say reassignments are primarily made based on individual duty transfer dates and end of military service contracts.
"We have an opportunity in military health care to take an innovative approach," said Col. Neil Maher, deputy commander of the Europe Regional Medical Command.
"Past constraints on personnel and equipment expenditures prevented implementation of some good ideas," he noted. "It just makes good sense at this time to adjust our thinking and implement some best practices from the civilian health care world."