Maj. Nephi Redd, pediatrician, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, gives newborn Gianna, daughter to first-time father, Spc. Bryan Zepeda, military policeman with 212th Military Police Company, a quick listen to her heartbeat during a routine checkup on his night shift, July 10, in the Maternal Child/Labor and Delivery floor of the hospital. | Photo by Amabilia Payen
At U.S. military installations across the globe, the moving season has arrived where military families arrive at a new duty station for their next assignment.
The WBAMC active duty medical personnel who provide care to Fort Bliss and El Paso, Texas beneficiaries are no different.
The permanent change of station (PCS) season affects military treatment facilities every year and access to care decreases a little bit as leaders and staff wait for replacements to arrive or new hires to be orientated.
WBAMC’s Women’s Health and Pediatric services have come up with an approach to provide the same access to high-quality care in the labor and delivery department, one of the most active departments for the hospital.
Dr. Stacey Frazier, chief of inpatient pediatrics, has reinforced her service with family practice physicians to improve coverage of the newborn nursery and neonatal service.
Over time, newborn data in the department has shown that the summer season is the busiest time of the year for births at WBAMC. Adding the family physicians to the neonatal care team will ensure the continuation of care for parents and their newborn(s).
“It’s a traditional family medicine practice that is done in smaller communities,” said Frazier. “Our family practice physicians are fully qualified and have gone through neonatal resuscitation certification.”
As of right now, WBAMC has three pediatricians who will be working with five family medicine doctors that will cover night shifts. This new model began early in the month of June, 2019 and Frazier hopes that by the fall, when PCS season slows down, there will be even more pediatricians and family physicians available to cover every shift.
“It’s a win-win because not only are we continuing care, the family physician doctors are refreshing their family practice skills by applying them in the inpatient setting,” said Frazier. “They will be able to continue these skills which are critical for them throughout their Army career.”
Ultimately, patients should not notice a difference in the level of care. WBAMC will continue to provide patient-friendly access to high-quality care.