Fort Stewart soldiers have a new health care facility on post with the June 20 opening of the combined North Troop Medical Clinic and Dental Clinic Six.
The 39,338-square-foot facility provides medical and dental services to approximately 7,900 active-duty soldiers, primarily members of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
During the ceremony, Col. Ronald J. Place, commander of the Army Medical Department Activity Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, reminded the audience about the first health care mission assigned to Fort Stewart during World War II.
“Despite how much has changed since those doors first opened,” he said, “it’s interesting to see just how much has stayed the same: Doctors and nurses, dentists and medics, pharmacists, therapists and technicians all coming together in a complicated, but essential process to both treat illness and work to maintain wellness. Ironically, that original cantonment hospital, located on ground now covered by the PX and its parking lot, didn’t have the medical capability that this relatively small clinic possesses, and yet the total square footage, very similar.”
In addition to primary outpatient care and dental services, the combined clinic also includes behavioral health care, optometry, physical therapy, a pharmacy, a laboratory and radiological services. It follows the same patient-centered model as the Winn Army Community Hospital Family Practice Clinic, but since its providers only see active-duty soldiers, Place described it as a soldier-centered model.
“It enables us to provide all sorts of care with the soldier in mind,” Place said. “It’s one stop for soldiers to get their health care because we bring all of the specialties to them instead of them going to the specialties.”
One of those specialties is physical therapy, and as he toured the facility Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams said he was impressed with that section, which is comparable in size to Winn’s main PT section.
“Most people associate physical therapy with follow-on care after an injury,” Abrams said. “Really, it’s about readiness. When soldiers inadvertently get hurt we have to get them back to fully mission capable. Now we have the exact right facility with the right people.”
Place said the new clinic is one of many health care changes under way at Stewart and Hunter Army.
“With an on-going expansion to Winn Army Community Hospital, renovations of our Hawks and Tuttle clinics, embedded behavioral health and physical therapy, expansion and streamlining of our disability evaluation system, state-of-the-art computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, and a host of other capabilities, this ribbon-cutting signifies just one more step in the Army Medical Department’s commitment to soldier care,” he said.