The Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and the Overarching Integration Project Team support the concept. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. S. Ward Casscells and Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Installations and Environment Philip Grone co-chair the Overarching Integration Project Team, which also consists of top officials from the four services, the three Surgeons General and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciencesí president.
The new commander will direct Base Realignment and Closure implementation, medical integration, health-care delivery and military medical readiness requirements in the National Capital Region and will report directly to the deputy Defense secretary.
Critical responsibilities include oversight of medical merger activities and the initial command of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethes-da.
The commander will control the National Capital Regionís health care funding and assets distribution. Responsibilities also include approving the tri-service manning plan for the Joint Task Force Headquarters, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the new community hospital at Fort Belvoir and other medical treatment facilities in the region.
Tactical control, local direction and control of movement will be provided to assigned and attached personnel to accomplish the regional health care mission.
In addition, interagency and private partnerships will be developed to further optimize the health care of our service members and beneficiaries.
Current hospital and clinic commanders will continue to report to the service regional medical commanders and flag officers, who in turn will receive their ratings from the Joint Task Force commander. Individual services will maintain operational and administrative control through their Surgeon General. The selection and congressional approval of the officer should be made in the soon. The appointment of a single regional leader will facilitate the complex decision making process and advance efforts towards the development of an Integrated Military Health Delivery System that addresses the clinical and readiness concerns of the services.
(A National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Medical Center release)