Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

BAMC adapts to support greater San Antonio community during COVID-19 pandemic

Doctor checking soldier's heartbeat U.S. Army Col. April Critelli, physician’s assistant, screens a patient for COVID-19 at the McWethy Troop Medical Clinic, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, May 13, 2019. Critelli is the first medical Soldier to return to active duty from retirement during the COVID-19 crisis. (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask

As COVID-19 surges across the nation, and specifically Texas, Brooke Army Medical Center has continued to provide care for local beneficiaries, and provide aid to the greater San Antonio community.

“Over the past few months, BAMC and the San Antonio Military Health System as a whole have agilely adapted to continue to provide service to our 250,000 active duty and military beneficiaries in a COVID-19 environment while sustaining our Level I trauma support of our region,” said Army Brig. Gen. Shan Bagby, BAMC commanding general.

From easing the city’s testing demand to taking on additional critically ill patients, BAMC’s response to this ongoing crisis has been “nothing short of amazing,” Bagby noted.

BAMC is the only Level I Trauma Center within the Department of Defense and one of two within San Antonio. Alongside University Health System, BAMC administers lifesaving care to more than 4,500 trauma patients each year, including 750 burn patients, from an area that stretches across 22 counties in Southwest Texas and encompasses 2.2 million people.

Of the over 4,500 trauma patients admitted each year, about 85 percent are community members without military affiliation. The Secretary of the Army Designee, or SECDES, program enables BAMC to receive civilian trauma patients in a military treatment facility.

Working alongside Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), which coordinates the region’s trauma and disaster relief response, and University Health System (UHS), BAMC is fully integrated within the local trauma network, said Air Force Col. Patrick Osborn, BAMC’s deputy commander for surgical services.

With local hospitals nearing capacity, BAMC has been taking additional trauma patients through STRAC to ensure the region’s trauma response remains unaffected by the pandemic.

BAMC also provides community support through its drive-thru screening and testing operation. Operational since the earliest days of the COVID response, BAMC has eased the burden on the city’s overtaxed testing sites, screening over 9,100 patients and testing over 7,500 personnel as of July 7. Additional screening and testing is provided by the 59th Medical Wing on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

For testing, BAMC uses the CDC-recommended COVID-19 test called a nasopharyngeal swab, which involves using a swab to take a sample from inside the nose. As of July 7, BAMC has processed more than 25,000 COVID-19 tests.

Additionally, technicians from Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center and the Department of Defense Food Analysis and Diagnostics Laboratory have volunteered their time and resources to assist the ongoing COVID-19 mission at BAMC, added Army Lt. Col. Robert Cybulski, Jr., director of microbiology, Department of Pathology and Area Laboratory Services (DPALS).

The Pharmacy Department has also stepped to the forefront to assist COVID response efforts. To ensure staff and patient safety and reduce the footprint within the hospital, BAMC implemented a curbside pharmacy service across the organization starting in late March. Over the course of just over two months, BAMC serviced over 89,500 vehicles and dispensed over 162,000 prescriptions. Since June 1, BAMC has processed over 97,500 prescriptions through its drop-off and pick-up in-house services.

BAMC also has been leveraging every virtual asset to its fullest extent in recent months in an effort to keep patients safe at home.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virtual Medical Center at BAMC increased virtual health appointments from 16 percent of overall appointments in January 2020 to 52 percent in May 2020, said Army Lt. Col. Sean Hipp, director of the Virtual Medical Center, noting that Primary Care and Behavioral Health have been active users of virtual services. 

Virtual appointments can be used for medication refill requests, lab and radiology results, cold and allergy symptoms, urinary tract infections and routine follow-up appointments in which a physical exam isn’t required.  

The Virtual Medical Center is also exploring the expansion of tele-critical care support (TCC), Hipp said. This involves a network of providers and other specialists monitoring smaller wards, providing over watch and support for patients in intensive care units. With COVID-19, there’s a feasible tele-critical application at BAMC, he noted.

“On the readiness side, we already have a robust readiness clinic and the ability to see patients all over the world rapidly. Now, we are gaining a better understanding of what can be done over the phone or on video, which will lead to better access to care throughout the San Antonio Military Health System,” he said.

“BAMC will continue to assess and explore ways to support our beneficiaries and community during this ongoing national emergency,” the commanding general said.

“We are honored to serve our active duty, retirees, their family members and this tremendous community,” he said, “and we are proud to serve our nation as a premier readiness platform for our military medical personnel.”

You also may be interested in...

Addressing emotional responses to threat of Coronavirus

Article
3/20/2020
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kathleen A. Myhre, 446th Airman and Family Readiness Center noncommissioned officer in charge, meditates outside the 446th Airlift Wing Headquarters building on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Feb. 12, 2020. Myhre traveled to India in 2016 to study to become an internationally-certified yoga instructor. She now shares her holistic training with Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 446th AW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary A. Andom)

Even if you’re feeling healthy, medical professionals recommend staying home and limiting social contact as much as possible

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Physical Fitness | Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Place addresses DHA COVID-19 response

Article
3/19/2020
Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, and Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy, discuss plans for additional COVID-19 response efforts with the Pentagon Press Corps.

Crisis Action Team part of broad-based effort

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Life Support Training Extension

Publication
3/19/2020

The purpose of this memorandum is to set policy guidance within the Military Health System for American Red Cross life support training (First Aid/cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)/automated external defibrillator (AED), Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DoD ready to help with Coronavirus, but capability limited

Article
3/17/2020
Misook Choe, a laboratory manager with the Emerging Infectious Disease branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md., runs a test during research into a solution for the new coronavirus, COVID-19, March 3, 2020. The Emerging Infectious Diseases branch, established in 2018, has the explicit mission to survey, anticipate and counter the mounting threat of emerging infectious diseases of key importance to U.S. forces in the homeland and abroad. (U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Walters)

The DoD has only about 2% to 3% of the number of hospital beds that the private sector has

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry User Guide for Service Members

Publication
3/17/2020

The following guide is designed to help service members navigate the complete registry process. It describes the registry requirements; provides an in-depth, step-by-step guide for accessing, registering, and completing the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry questionnaire; and provides instructions for scheduling the optional, in-person medical exam.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry | Environmental Exposures

How DHA monitors the spread of health outbreaks

Article
3/13/2020
The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) is the central epidemiologic resource for the U.S. Armed Forces, conducting medical surveillance to protect those who serve our nation in uniform and allies who are critical to our national security interests. AFHSB provides timely, relevant, actionable and comprehensive health surveillance information to promote, maintain, and enhance the health of military and military-associated populations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)

The Defense Health Agency works as a combat support agency to the military services and Military Health System

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD issues flexible instructions on response to Coronavirus

Article
3/13/2020
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (CDC Illustration)

The memo covers aspects from before the outbreak through all levels of infection

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Terry M. Rauch, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Force Health Protection and Readiness Regarding U.S. Biodefense and Response to the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak [Testified] Before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

Congressional Testimony
3/11/2020

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

COVID-19: Know what the terms mean

Article
3/10/2020
Soldiers stationed on U.S. Army Garrison Casey conduct pre-screening processes on individuals awaiting entry to the base, USAG-Casey, Dongducheon, Republic of Korea, Feb. 26, 2020. Additional screening measures of a verbal questionnaire and temperature check are in response to the heighted awareness of Coronavirus (COVID-19) following a surge in cases throughout the Republic of Korea and are meant to help control the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the force. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Learning the language can help you stay safe

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Coronavirus

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Article
3/6/2020
A Guardsmen with the 341st Military Intelligence Battalion conducts translation work on a safety message regarding the best practices for avoiding the novel coronavirus for the Washington Department of Health on Feb. 9, 2020 at the Information Operations Readiness Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (Courtesy Photo)

Although news stories and images contain many reports of people wearing surgical masks to ward off the virus, that's not recommended

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD makes plans to combat Coronavirus

Article
3/4/2020
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speak to reporters at the Pentagon, March 2, 2020. (DoD photo Lisa Ferdinando)

The number one priority remains to protect our forces and their families

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Coronavirus

MHS prepared to support interagency coronavirus response

Article
2/6/2020
Airmen assist one another in donning their personal protective equipment, while on-board an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during transportation isolation system training at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Engineered and implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014, the TIS is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with diseases like novel coronavirus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller)

From R&D to force health protection, MHS protects DoD personnel and families

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD releases guidance to protect forces from novel coronavirus

Article
1/31/2020
The novel coronavirus is a variant of other coronaviruses, such as this colorized transmission electron micrograph of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus particles (blue) found near the periphery of an infected VERO E6 cell (yellow). Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Photo by NIAID)

Basic infection controls offer best defense against illness

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Coronavirus: What providers, patients should know

Article
1/24/2020
Many forms of coronavirus exist among both humans and animals, but this new strain’s has caused alarm. (CDC graphic)

What to do now that virus has appeared in U.S.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Coronavirus
<< < ... 31 32 33 > >> 
Showing results 481 - 494 Page 33 of 33

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.