Marine Corps Base Quantico --
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Clark, director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, visited Naval Health Clinic Quantico Friday. The general came to show his support for the enhanced, multi-service market concept of military healthcare. A multi-service market is a geographic area where medical facilities from two or more branches of the military have overlapping areas of service.
Clark came to NHCQ to tour the facility and find out how Walter Reed can support the patients and staff here aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. In addition to Clark and members of his staff, personnel from the hospital at Fort Belvoir were also in attendance. “If we work together, we can take better care of our troops,” Clark said.
Though today he is the director of a national military hospital, Clark said he started out as a family physician. He estimated that 90-95 percent of medical care is performed by primary care physicians and spoke with Navy Captain Gordon Smith, commanding officer of NHCQ, about ways to assist the primary care team at the clinic. Clark spoke specifically about the possibility of bringing mammography technology to NHCQ, along with more frequent visits from specialists such as dermatologists, orthopedists, and obstetricians and gynecologists.
Smith appreciated the outreach effort and said, “As an integrated health care system, this will optimize services to our patients by positioning the specialty physician where the patients are located instead of having the patients travel to them.”
Clark also feels that the military is moving too slowly with tele-health treatment options for behavioral health patients and would like to see the capability expanded at Quantico. Tele-health treatment places a patient in a private room with state-of-the-art television and video camera equipment that allows him or her to have a video conference with a healthcare provider who is outside of reasonable commuting distance for the patient. Clinic and hospital staff will work together to explore ways to expand this capability at Quantico.