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News | Jan. 5, 2024

CRDAMC health and wellness 2023 year in review

By Rodney Jackson, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center

FORT CAVAZSO, Texas – The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center welcomed Millie Ellen Austin, weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces and measuring 19 inches at 4:07 a.m., as the first baby of the New Year to begin 2023, and the long awaited return of the hospital’s Baby Expo and Centering Pregnancy programs highlighted the early part of the year.
The expo was the first since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It offered over 20 education tables with information on birth experiences, birth and breastfeeding support, health and fitness, nutrition, postpartum care, car seat safety, and there was also a daddy boot camp and new parent support table geared towards new fathers.
Fourteen expectant mothers joined the hospitals Women’s Health Center staff for the first Centering Pregnancy session since 2020.
Centering pregnancy started at CRDAMC in 2008 but was officially initiated by Army Medicine in 2017.
Designed by the Centering Healthcare Institute, a non-profit organization that provides more effective prenatal care training to hospitals such as CRDAMC, Centering Pregnancy is group prenatal care bringing women out of examination rooms and into a more comfortable group setting.
Training, education, hiring and getting health information to beneficiaries remained top goals for CRDAMC as its Best Medic Competiton kicked-off early in the year, it offered 45 Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets insight into medical careers and its clinical education departments.
It resumed a partnership with the Killeen and Copperas Cove local high school districts’ healthcare programs by finalizing an affiliation agreement that allows practicum students to participate in clinical internships and shadow staff at the main hospital departments and outlying clinics. The agreement gives students experience needed to for entry level certifications offered within the health care industry to include certified nursing aides, clinical medical assistants, pharmacy, patient care, phlebotomy and EKG technicians.
The hospital’s Graduate Medical Education program held its 11th annual Research Day for residents, physicians, physician assistant residents, dental residents and other medical professionals in the spring and graduated 15 residents, fellows and students from the program in a ceremony during the summer.
The annual Joint Emergency Medical Exercise, training over 2,000 services members from 71 units, including multi-national medical personnel, and representing over 60 medical specialties, took center stage in the summer months.
CRDAMC also played a major role in the post wide Full-Scale Exercise. During the exercise, the hospital activated its command center, its manpower labor pool, which allows civilian and military personnel to help in the hospital where needed, as its emergency department received role playing patients and treated them or transferred them to local community partner hospitals Seton and Advent.

Throughout the year the hospital hosted and participated in mutiple health and information fairs for beneficiaries, like the suicide prevention month resource fair and peer training, the Federal internships and employment fair, the summer safety fair, an open house that connected area high schools, universities and professional medical organizations with the hospital, and helped them understand job opportunities, and culminated the year with its annual health fair for veterans and beneficiaries, a flu vaccination event, and a holiday fair brought resources and information to help staff and beneficiaries cope with stress during the season.
The 48th annual retiree health fair offered a one-stop resource center for information on tobacco cessation, nutrition, complementary and alternative medicines, diabetes, asthma, women’s health, pharmacy, physical therapy, substance abuse and behavioral health, provided vaccines, including the newest COVID-19 shot and the annual influenza event provided 285 TRICARE eligible beneficiaries their flu shot.
A couple of unplanned events unfold as the hospital partnered with the Fort Cavazos Women, Infant and Children’s clinic to celebrate National Breastfeeding Month with the grand opening of the Fort Cavazos Milk Depot and while on a cruise stopover in Mexico, Cene Cleaton, staff nurse, inpatient behavioral health, helped administered lifesaving CPR to 84-year-old Frank McAndrew. McAndrew suffered a cardiac arrest and as a result of Cleaton’s and fellow travelers Debra Davis and Garrett Brunson’s first actions, he survived.
The depot is working in conjunction with the Milk Bank of Austin that since October 2022 — when it started counting — has collected more than 19,000 ounces and that amount has helped feed more than 6,000 at-risk and sick infants in the Fort Cavazos area and across the United States.

There are many more events that can be listed. Moving into the new year and looking forward to serving the beneficiaries and the surrounding community for the new year, CRDAMC would like to wish all a Healthy and Happy New Year!


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