Readiness and health are intimately intertwined. Being medically ready is critical for deployable Soldiers who need to be ready to fight and win today’s wars. Fort Belvoir Community Hospital’s Joint Medical Readiness Center is an integrated system of readiness and health that provides centralized multiple appointments, medical assessments, and healthcare services for optimum readiness, according to Maj. Kelly Green, Joint Medical Readiness Center department chief.
Numerous assessments, one center
JMRC, which opened in the fall 2018, is ready to conduct periodic health assessments; pre- and post-deployment assessments; exams for schools; suitability checks for Army or Navy PCS; and needed lab work. Personnel, there, also coordinate hearing and vision checks.
“It was created to put more visibility on medical readiness, and make sure that Service members are ready to deploy or transition out of the military,” Green said. “It’s imperative the units are continually having their Soldiers get the exams they need. This is all we do. We specialize in physical exams, so we get them in, and help them check all the boxes at once.”
Virtual health assessments
Green said another of the team’s initiatives is virtual health. “We’re going to try to start virtual health assessments face-to-face on the computer or your phone, as soon as January. We’ll likely start with healthier populations that don’t need additional care,” he said.
Service members are grouped into one of four Medical Readiness Categories. MRCs 1 and 2 are for healthy, generally deployable people. MRC 3 is the category for those not medically ready or who need more than 30 days of care. Green said MRC 4 is for anyone without a PHA or dental exam on file for the last 15 months, which puts them in indeterminate status.
“If you have a unit of 200 and, of that, 40 are Medical Readiness Classification 4, then those 40 default to being deployable, but you don’t really know if they are, or not,” said Green. “It’s a false representation of what your unit medical readiness status is.”
“Unit commanders can access a portal that simplifies tracking and reporting of unit medical readiness. This application provides a fully automated, medical readiness picture to the commander, enhancing the ability to make an informed deployability determination on his/her Soldiers,” said Green.
The portal also facilitates communication between commanders and providers through a messaging application, and allows commanders to address the unit’s medical readiness in a timely manner.
Maj. Duane Thomas, chief nurse officer in charge, said Service members can call 571-231-7334 to reach central scheduling. There, they can explain the type of exam they need, and which National Capital Region clinic they want to use.
“The only thing the Service member has to do is to complete the online survey, ideally, before calling for the appointment. This is needed because support staff are required to complete a record review prior to your appointment and cannot access it without the online assessment,” he said.
Call JMRC at 571-231-7334 (REDI) for assistance
Online Health Self-Assessment: https://www.mods.army.mil