CARLISLE BARRACKS, Pa. -- First nurse and first woman to command the Dunham U.S. Army Health Clinic, Col. Stephanie Wilcher was honored by the military community here today as she passed to the incoming commander a healthcare campus that has achieved more access to care, more types of healthcare and wellness programs, and more efficiency.
Col. Rebecca Porter
Col. Rebecca Porter formally assumed command of the Dunham healthcare-and-wellnessmission and a staff of 182 from Col. Stephanie Wilcher June 14 in Reynolds Theater, in a ceremony officiated by Col. Danny Jaghab, who commands the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Commander at Fort George G. Meade, Md.
As the commander of Dunham, Wilcher managed and provided effective leadership, strategic vision and a discipline focus across four geographically dispersed clinics and an Army Wellness Center, according to Jaghab.
Wilcher, an Army War College graduate, served as a strategic leadership through unprecedented fiscal and transformational challenges, said Jaghab. She led the transition of Dunham Clinic from a healthcare system to a “system of health” operating in four locations: Carlisle Barracks, Fort Indiantown Gap, Letterkenny Army Depot, and New Cumberland Defense Depot.
Wilcher planned and managed the introduction of the Army Wellness Center at Carlisle Barracks. She made Dunham Clinic a role model for the command as a first and successful adopter of the patient-centered Medical Home program and the Anderson Model of team care. Her initiatives and management paid off with improved scores, increased capacity and access to care, and higher patient satisfaction scores, said the MEDDAC commander.
Wilcher credited the Dunham staff the credit for the clinic’s achievements on behalf of military patients and beneficiaries – noting especially her deputy for clinical services Col. George Patterson, deputy commander for nursing Maj. Vanessa Worsham, deputy commander for nursing nurse who led the nursing team to practice at the top of their license; and clinic administrator Joe Vancosky, who leads the administrative staff.
“You guys did all that,” said Wilcher, giving all credit to the doctors, nurses, and staff of the Dunham system of health – at Carlisle Barracks. “We have transformed the way healthcare is delivered.
“Your incredible dedication and work ethic I have not seen across the Army before. It is people working together as a team, she said, to incorporate ‘wellness’ into “wellest community in the Army – and we are well on our way.”
I don’t think there’s another team that could have done so much in such a short time,” she said. “I know that Col. Porter will take it to the next level.”
“While a change of command represents a symbolic transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability to a new leader, it is important to remember that the heart of the organization – the people – remain steady. Dunham Clinic will continue to provide the same excellent care, delivered with the utmost kindness and respect to its patients.
“The organization will continue to be a trusted neighbor and we will remain reliable teammates with our fellow organizations at Carlisle Barracks,” said Porter. “I look forward to working with this outstanding Dunham team and am grateful for this opportunity.”
An extensive education and multitude of leadership experiences at all levels have prepared Porter for command of this unique Army health clinic, noted Jaghab. Porter is a board-certified Clinical Health Psychologist and served most recently as director of Psychological Health for the Army and the Chief of the Behavioral Health Division at the Office of the Surgeon General. She completed the doctoral program at Fielding Graduate University, and is a graduate of Tripler's Postdoctoral Health Psychology Fellowship.
Previously, she was assigned to the National Capital Region Medical Task Force, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the United States Military Academy, the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Office of the Chief of Legislative.
Commissioned as an Army military police officer from the University of Washington in 1983, Porter’s early career in the MP Corps gave way to education and experience in counseling psychology while an Army Reserve officer. She transferred to the Medical Service Corps and returned to active duty to complete the Clinical Psychology Internship Program at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii. She since served at William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, Texas; the Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison; Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army; United States Military Academy; Walter Reed Army Medical Center; and the Joint Task Force of the National Capital Region Medical Command.
Wilcher will next serve as the Associate Dean for Academics for the Military Education Training Center at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.
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