New Women’s Center in the works

Spc. Todd Goodman
LRMC Public Affairs

Only one man is allowed in the Women’s Care Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where officials broke ground Dec. 11.

With a projected cost of $750,000 and completion date in the summer of 2007, the center will be a female-friendly place that will handle gynecological “well” visits and serve as a family practice for women.

It will be capable of handling everything from Pap smears and breast exams to cholesterol and glucose checks, said Maj. Elizabeth Decker, chief of the Women’s Care Center.

“The idea is to consolidate services and give women a place where nearly all of their needs can be met,” she said. “Aesthetically speaking, the clinic will be geared to make women more comfortable by having heated exam tables and a woman’s decorating touch. Except for our noncommissioned officer in charge, it will be an all-female staff.”

Being the only man in an all-woman environment doesn’t seem to bother Sgt. 1st Class Richard Ortiz, NCOIC, who said he’s happy to be a part of something new.

“I get teased about it, but enjoy it,” he said. “I have always been a people person, so I’m excited. It’s great to help build it up from the ground floor.”

The reason for the new center is to consolidate services, allow for a staff increase and make more appointments available to women in the KMC, said Sergeant Ortiz. There will be one place for them to go, instead of traipsing around to different clinics. When necessary, specialists will come to the center to see the women instead of them having to go to the specialist. A sexual assault suite within the center will be available to women 24 hours a day. And to maximize space, doctors will share a common office, with each provider having at least two exam rooms.

The clinic even will offer more hours of availability to help serve women who often are too busy to make “normal” time appointments.

“We are looking at doing evening clinics, Saturday morning clinics and staying open during lunch,” she said. “We also will remain open during sergeant’s time training and many training holidays.”