JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
Each Soldier within the Warrior Transition Battalion, or WTB, has a “Triad of Care” and they are at the center of this symbolic triangle. This triangle is set in place the minute a Soldier enters the WTB to provide them a complete system of support during their recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
The Triad of Care consists of their squad leader, a nurse case manager and primary care manager.
In honor of Warrior Care Month Army Lt. Col. Kimberly Salazar, BAMC WTB battalion surgeon, explained the importance of Triad of Care during the battalion’s monthly town hall meeting Nov. 14.
“The triad of care is a unique concept that just exists within the Warrior Transition Battalions in the Army,” Salazar said. “These three folks support you during your time at the WTB. That helps us be successful and that helps you to be successful in healing.”
The squad leader is the first-line supervisor for each Soldier in Transition. The ratio of squad leader to Soldier is small at 10 to one.
“Squad leaders have one of the hardest jobs in this organization,” Salazar said. “They are there for you for pretty much everything.”
Squad leaders provide a critical link to the Soldier’s chain of command. They coach, mentor and counsel their Soldiers and ensure they attend necessary medical and administrative appointments. Squad leaders also keep leadership informed of all issues that impact their Soldiers’ healing process.
“Your squad leader is like Superman,” Salazar said.
Nurse Case Manager
The nurse case manager is a registered nurse, either civilian or military, who works with the Soldier throughout their Comprehensive Transition Plan or CTP. The CTP is a dynamic, living plan of action that focuses on the Soldier’s future.
The CTP uses six domains: career, physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual to establish goals that map a Soldier’s transition plan. Soldiers are empowered to take charge of their own transition and is accountable for developing and achieving their goals while complying with all their medical and military responsibilities.
There is one nurse case manager for every 20 Soldiers within the WTB. They serve as the primary coordinator between the medical team and the command team.
Nurse case managers
meet with each Soldier weekly to plan, implement, coordinate and monitor services to meet the Soldier’s health needs, working closing with the Soldier’s primary care provider. They also meet with the Soldier’s squad leader daily.
“Nurse case managers are that critical link … your guardian angel,” Salazar said. “They are powerful advocates for you. You may not even understand how much they advocate for you to get you what you need.”
Primary Care Manager
The primary care manager may be a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, either military or civilian. They provide the primary health care for the Soldier while they are in the WTB.
Soldiers must see their PCM every 30 days to make sure their care is consistent. The PCM communicates with specialty and ancillary providers and advises the company commander on all health-related issues for the Soldiers in Transition.
The ratio for a PCM is one to every 200 Soldiers. This is a relatively low ratio in comparison to the PCM in an Army Medical Home.
“Our PCM ratios are actually lower than that,” Salazar said. “That allows them to focus more, spend more time with you, and see you more frequently.”
“The Triad of Care is a team – they work together to assist each of you in your primary mission, which is healing and transitioning,” she said. “This is the show of strength that is helping you to leave here healthier and that’s our goal.”