By Mason W. Canales
Fort Hood Herald
Three Army Medical Homes facilities are under construction that will provide clinic-based medical care for soldiers and their families in the greater Killeen-Fort Hood area.
Presently, it doesn't matter where soldiers live; they have to come onto post to receive medical care. These facilities will offer soldiers and their families a closer alternative to access health services, said Maj. Sean Lankford, chief of business operations at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.
"This initiative is about offering the same quality of what has become the standard in the civilian market and what we are compared against," Lankford said.
One facility will be in the Town Square Shopping Mall on West U.S. Highway 190 in Copperas Cove. A second facility will be at Market Heights in Harker Heights, and a Killeen facility is under construction near the corner of Elms Road and Stan Schlueter Loop.
The Copperas Cove and Harker Heights Medical Homes are scheduled to open in May. The Killeen Medical Home is scheduled to open in June, but construction timelines are always shifting, Lankford said.
The greater Killeen-Fort Hood area was chosen to have three facilities because Medical Command identified that there are about 16,000 people who will benefit from them.
When the facilities are fully operational, they should be able to see about 8,000 patients.
Each facility will be staffed with 35 personnel, which includes six medical providers, such as doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, said Noel Webster, the Harker Heights Medical Home group practice manager.
"We definitely want to improve the continuity of care, and we want to improve the access," said Rick Montelongo, the Copperas Cove Medical Home group practice manager. "If you think you should be seen, you will be seen."
The design of each clinic will have three exam rooms for each provider, a pharmacy, physiologist and a lab with extensive capabilities, Webster said.
Radiology service, however, will not be provided at these facilities.
"In some cases, patients would have to go to Darnall to get some of the radiology care," he said.
Those who use the clinic will also see a seamless marriage between these facilities and Darnall, Lankford said.
"We will be ... a department of Darnall hospital," Webster said.
The care won't just stop at Fort Hood. Seventeen Medical Homes are being constructed in communities surrounding Army installations nationwide.
These facilities will act like a franchises and will provide the same standardization at each facility, Webster said. That way, when a family who uses a facility in Harker Heights gets transferred to Fort Bragg, N.C., the clinics there will offer the same services.
"Our staff, as well as Darnall's staff, is very excited about having these clinics start up," Webster said. "We are looking forward to being a part of the communities as well as taking an active role with the communities."
Contact Mason W. Canales at email@example.com or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.