March 7, 2007
FORT GORDON, Ga.---The commander of the Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon says their first inspection shows no major problems.
A task force from the US Surgeon General's office was in yesterday, and Brigadier General Donald Bradshaw says he expects more to come.
News 12's Stephanie Baker sat down with the general today.
General Bradshaw tells us Eisenhower works with a lot of other health facilities in this community, and he says he's always working to keep conditions in top shape for the men and women in uniform.
Specialist Michael Baldwin is one of about 140 soldiers living in the outpatient barracks at Eisenhower. There are three units there with living rooms and kitchens on each floor. Compare that to building 18 at Walter Reed.
"I was dumbfounded," Spc. Baldwin said. "The Army usually takes care of soldiers, regardless of where they are."
Hospitals like Eisenhower help roughly nine million worldwide. Brig. Gen. Bradshaw says top medical care and outpatient rehab should be a top priority across the board.
"Anything that injures that reputation because of its impact on soldiers and families...that deeply hurts me," he said.
Gen. Bradshaw says the conditions at Walter Reed prompted him to take a closer look at home. That means a few minor improvements to communication between the hospital, families, and soldiers.
"I've enjoyed every minute here," said Spc. Billy Kruhn of Eisenhower. "It's been good."
Feedback from wounded soldiers like Spc. Kruhn and agencies in Washington helps Eisenhower continue to work with the VA, MCG, and other hospitals in the area, continue to lead the Southeast Medical Command, and continue to rehabilitate patients with serious battle injuries so they can get back to work.
"Show me any other system that can do that. That's what we have. Army, Navy, Air Force working together. Yeah, I'm proud of us," Gen. Bradshaw said.
"The chain of command is outstanding," Spc. Baldwin said. "They take care of us."
Looking out for soldiers is the goal...that's why Gen. Bradshaw says their work is never finished.
Gen. Bradshaw says more inspections are likely on the way, but he doesn't know for sure.
We asked him if patients might be coming here from Walter Reed. He says he doesn't know at this time. Right now they can hold about 100 more.
Gen. Bradshaw says overall, the findings from yesterday's inspection are good. One thing to work on is communication. The full report has not been released at this time.