After only several weeks in command, it’s hard to sum up all that I have witnessed here at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
The themes I have discovered during this short time on the ground is the staff’s unity in “purpose” – service to our nation during this time of war, “pride” – working with the utmost dedication and professionalism in a joint environment, and “passion” – to provide the very best of care to those ill and wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians.
Nurturing and growing these themes will form a significant part of my vision for the facility. It is an honor for me to serve at LRMC at this time in history. I look forward to the challenge of commanding the largest American medical facility located outside of the United States.
I came here from the Pentagon, where I worked in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. This position worked with the military and civilian leadership on a wide variety of medical issues, policies, retention, recruiting and directions for our Army at war.
These were then passed on to the field for implementation or action, or up to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for their consideration. Professionally, besides being a Soldier, I am a plastic surgeon. I look forward to lending my skills to the reconstructive surgery needs of our patients and our community.
During my short time here, I have tried to get my feet on the ground and find the battle rhythm of this institution. I’ve walked around and tried to meet as many people as possible.
It’s important to see how they do business in caring for our ill and wounded. I’m interested to see how they manage with the high operational tempo and in times of high stress. I want to find areas or ways to help them by improving resources that are available to care for our patients and to prepare my staff for their possible deployment downrange.
Even though we are at war, it’s important for us to do what we can to prepare for the transformation of the Army.
I don’t know what exact changes the transformation will bring, but we have to anticipate, plan and execute our mission to stay in sync with the warfighter; on par and able to react quickly to the needs of the nation. This environment presents us with some real opportunities to set the standard for health care practice in our nation at large.
My leadership philosophy is simple – empower, nurture and mentor. I want to give the people in this organization the tools they need to do their jobs well and succeed.
What I need from my staff are their honest thoughts, viewpoints and insight. They are the subject matter experts of their areas.
I do not view myself as a micro-manager. I think it stifles creativity and innovation. As a surgeon, however, the devil is in the details.
Needing the information to drive forward allows the ability to blend and organize the dynamics that make Landstuhl what it is to the nation and servicemembers it serves learn and improve. This is a learning organization.
It really is a great time to be here at LRMC. This is the cutting edge of military medicine. This place lives on change. It thrives on change. It is a great tribute to all the great Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians who serve and are served within these walls. You can see their dedicated professionalism on the wards and through the hallways. That’s an exciting place to be, and I’m very fortunate to be part of the team.