By Brandy Gill

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center public affairs

In May, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center opened two of three planned community-based medical homes in Harker Heights and Copperas Cove, and the third home, based in Killeen, was scheduled to open in early June.

However, due to unavoidable construction delays, the Killeen Medical Home grand opening was postponed.

It is now scheduled to open its doors to patients this fall, said Lawrence Stone, the Killeen Medical Home group practice manager.

About 2,000 family members have already enrolled for the Killeen Medical Home. However, families must continue to receive health care with their current providers until the new clinic opens.

"We apologize for this unavoidable delay in the opening of the Killeen Medical Home," Stone said. "Once the clinic opens, your primary care manager will automatically change to the Killeen Medical Home."

The Fort Hood medical homes are among 19 community-based care clinics that the Medical Command has opened, or will open, in 11 communities across the continental U.S. and Hawaii.

They are located in communities close to Army posts like Fort Hood so military beneficiaries have access to care closer to their homes instead of having to commute to on-post clinics for appointments.

Patients who receive their care at a medical home clinic are assigned to a team led by a physician who manages and tracks their health care. They will see the same team at every visit. This new concept improves the continuity of care for all patients.

The medical homes are designed to provide a full range of care and services. Each contains 18 exam rooms, a pharmacy and a lab. They are staffed with 35 civilian medical professionals, including physicians, lab techs, administrative personnel, pharmacists and nurses.

Medical homes throughout the Army Medical Command are based on the same model. So regardless of which medical home patients are assigned to, either at Fort Hood or at other military installations, they can expect a similar setting when receiving care.

Even though delays have set back the opening of the Killeen Medical Home, patients can still look forward to receiving the exceptional care they deserve, said Col. Patrick Sargent, Darnall commander.

"We certainly understand the frustration of our patients who have already signed up to receive their care at our Killeen Medical Home, and I want to personally apologize for the inconvenience. " he said.

"While the delay is unfortunate, it was necessary to ensure we meet the high standards expected at every Army medical home facility. I have full confidence that once this location is open our beneficiaries will be supremely happy with the comfortable environment and excellent care they receive."

For more information before the opening, call (254) 288-8888, and select option 6.

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