On Wednesday, I had the privilege to visit Ft. Sam Houston, Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) and the Intrepid National Armed Forces Rehabilitation Center. I was hosted by LTC Stacia Spridgen, PharmD, Director, Dept. of Defense Pharmacoeconomic Center. I met with a number of pharmacists, including LTC Robert "Chris" Conrad, PharmD, Assistant Director, Pharmacy and CPT Todd Reeder, Pharmacy Officer at BAMC.
Hosting me for a Command Briefing at BAMC was COL Thirsa Martinez, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy and Deputy Commander for Allied Health. To quote one of her staff, this lady is exactly the right person to lead this team at BAMC.
Colonel T, as she likes to be called, briefed me on overall operations, and then we toured the hospital where injured or ill troops are taken care of. Warriors whose homes are west of the Mississippi generally find their way to BAMC. I spoke with several young men, each of whom has an inspirational story to tell. As a country, we are truly blessed to have these VOLUNTEERS in service to us all.
I also had the opportunity to visit the Intrepid rehab center, named for the fearless approach these warriors have toward their challenges and the lives they rebuild while patients there. I met a truly unique pharmacist, Julie Liss, PharmD, who serves the Ortho and Rehab Department at Intrepid. She works with Warriors on their medication regimens, which are often complex and challenging, to ensure that these men and women get their best shot at managing their meds within the context of the lives before them.
In short, I was blown away with the level of commitment and excellent pharmacy services being provided to troops and families from all military and VA families in San Antonio, but also to troops in theater throughout the world. The level of coordination provided by LTC Spridgen's group to assure our troops in theater have their medications when and where they are needed, with a level of complexity well beyond typical pharmacy operations, was remarkable!
It was clear that the pharmacists in our country's service in San Antonio are meeting their mission of Dedication, Duty, and Service. Thanks from all of us civilian pharmacists, and prayers to all of our troops in harm's way.