FORT MEADE, Md. -- Col. Danny B.N. Jaghab, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity and Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center, is working hard to meet the medical needs of Soldiers on post.
Jaghab, who also serves as the installation's director of health services, leads Fort Meade's new Installation Medical Council. The council was established in March in response to a directive sent last December from the Northern Regional Medical Command.
The council serves "as a collaborative forum for medical coordination," according to an Army memorandum. Jaghab is charged with consulting with the garrison's senior commanders "on matters regarding the delivery of health care and public health services," the memorandum states.
"The purpose is to bring together the medical assets of the community and commanders of the units to ensure that we're meeting their needs. We are strictly here to serve senior commanders on the installation," Jaghab said.
The council, according to the memorandum, works to "ensure compliance with the installation-specific, medical services plan to address ongoing challenges and new medical issues as they arise."
Participants include Col. Beverly Maliner, Fort Meade's Public Health Emergency Officer; Col. Michael Zapor, deputy commander, Clinical Services at Kimbrough; Col. Michael Bell, commander, Public Health Command North; Col. James Howell III, commander, U.S. Army Dental Activity; James Getz, Emergency Medical Services; Jeffrey McClendon, installation emergency management officer, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; and Martin Pate, chief of Plans, Training, Mobilization, Security and Education for Kimbrough.
The council meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the main conference room on the third floor at Kimbrough. Unit commanders are invited to attend the meeting.
The directive charges participants to "address ongoing challenges while recommending changes in existing and new medical issues as necessary, using existing measures and metrics where possible and develop additional ones as needed ... [and] help identify both redundancies and gaps in the delivery of high-quality health care, dental and environmental services by evaluating population needs and assessing existing programs," according to the Army memorandum.
In the months since the council was established, Jaghab and Joanie Rainey, action officer for the council, have been visiting unit commanders to discuss what Jaghab said are the two most pressing health concerns for Soldiers - the no-show rate to appointments at Kimbrough and their medical readiness status.
Jaghab said the number Soldiers who do not show up for their scheduled medical appointments is "pretty excessive."
"This decreases access to care for the rest of the community," he said, noting that one Soldier missed 10 appointments in one month.
During his visit, Jaghab provides unit commanders with the medical-readiness status reports of Soldiers who need support.
"Oftentimes, there's a correlation between missed appointments and their readiness medical status," Jaghab said.
Rainey said mission readiness is always a top priority.
"Readiness still is paramount to everything we need to do," said Rainey. "... We can't help improve your health if you don't show up."
Jaghab and Rainey have met with senior leaders from 704th Military Intelligence Brigade and U.S. Cyber Command.
"So far, everyone we've met with has been very receptive," Rainey said.
Jaghab said the council is an extension of Fort Meade's ongoing resiliency and wellness efforts.
"We're trying to make sure we can get our arms around our units and let them know what avenues to use to access care to improve their readiness and their health overall," he said.
Lisa R. Rhodes, staff Writer