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Veteran, physician goes back to military service

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POSTED: February 26, 2010 9:31 a.m.
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Dr. Christopher Blasy stands next to a poster in Fort Stewart's Warrior Transition Battalion.

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A Hinesville doctor has traded his civilian white lab coat for a uniform.
Dr. Christopher Blasy, a family practice physician, closed his Hinesville practice Jan. 29. Blasy now treats wounded warriors at the Warrior Transition Battalion on Fort Stewart.
“This was an opportunity to give back,” Blasy said.
The physician, who opened his local practice in 2002, said his decision was not due to any dissatisfaction on his part. Rather, he had a desire to serve his community in a different way. And, being former military, he wanted to return to active duty service.
“As a solo practice physician, I could take advantage of my prior military service and apply that to my future, basically,” he said. “I can concentrate on providing medical care and not have to deal with those things that go along with running your own business.”
Scott Kroell, Liberty Regional Medical Center CEO, said he understood Blasy’s decision and wished him well.
Kroell said it is not uncommon for veterans to retain a desire to continue serving their country. And, he said, Blasy’s return to active duty will give the doctor credit toward his retirement benefits.
Returning to military duty will also give Blasy more time to spend with his family. He plans to coach his 11-year-old son, Evan, who plays baseball and football in their home community of Richmond Hill.
 “This was a move because of an opportunity,” Blasy said. “I think Hinesville has a solid group of doctors working in the community. Hopefully, things will continue in that direction.”
The 1989 graduate of the Air Force Academy spent six years on active duty as a mechanical engineer in the United States Air Force.
Blasy left the service to attend medical school at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He moved to Hinesville after completing his residency at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Blasy said although he was no longer active duty, living just outside of Fort Stewart kept him close to the military.
“I did not see any active duty soldiers,” he said of his civilian practice. “I did have a fair number of (military) dependents and a significant number of people who were employed on post as well as a significant number of retirees.”
At the WTB, Blasy will serve as the primary care manager for a subset of soldiers, coordinating and managing their care. His new position will expose him to “all levels of complexity” in regards to the soldiers’ injuries and other health issues.
“I’ll be seeing all degrees and types of injuries,” he said. These soldier patients’ injuries are not limited to wartime, Blasy added. 
“These are injuries that can also be related to their training or to their service,” he said.
Blasy admits he misses some aspects of his practice, including his former patients.
“People are disappointed,” he said. “It was a difficult decision. I had loyalty to my patients. And I have some patients who have said they will miss me.”
Blasy said his goal was to make a positive impact on their lives. Now he hopes to do the same for his patients in uniform.
“Hopefully I can make a difference here (at the WTB) and provide those services these guys need,” he said.
 

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