JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Brooke Army Medical Center and Joint Base San Antonio hosted the second annual Military Retiree Appreciation Day at the BAMC Medical Mall at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Oct 14.
More than 2,500 military retirees and their families participated to receive health and retiree information, medical checkups, and in some cases, made specialty care follow-up appointments at the event.
BAMC hosted more than 70 specialty care clinics and 40 informational tables from community organizations and agencies which serve veterans and retirees.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, BAMC commander, opened the event by sharing the importance of the day and the new enrollment initiative for beneficiaries 65 years and older.
“From a Brooke Army Medical Center perspective, really what we want to do today is give you the opportunity to try to find areas where you can improve your health,” he said. “Most of the specialty care clinics are open and I have asked my staff to be here so we can help you to influence your health. That is what all is about.”
Johnson also announced the new enrollment initiative for beneficiaries over 65 years old at the Capt. Jennifer Moreno Clinic at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and the Westover Medical Home on the northwest side of San Antonio.
“We are now accepting individuals over 65 to enroll them in primary care either here on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at the Capt. Jennifer Moreno Clinic or at Westover Medical Home. Those are the two places we have room right now, but we will probably have room in Schertz in December and on,” the general said. “This will not only help you get back to a military health system but also gives back to us. Taking care of our retirees also generates our readiness in order to deploy and to fulfill the requirements of our nation. Thank you all for being here, for your service and for what you have done for our country.”
A recent military retiree, Sheila Hamilton and a first time customer expressed her experience as very informational and enlightening.
“This is my first time coming to this event,” she said as she was scheduling her follow-up appointment in specialty care. “I received great information on the benefits I didn’t know existed until I came here. This is great.”
Maria Guerrero, customer experience chief and the RAD coordinator, summarized the event as a “walk-in service.”
“This event is very important to our retirees and their family members because many of them don’t know their health care benefits or they don’t know they are eligible to receive care in the medical facility,” she said. “Many who are here today are so grateful of the information they received and excited they were able to set up specialty care right on the spot. I had patients tell me they are in heaven because they were able to get their healthcare updated all in one day.”
Joe Silva, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Retirement Service officer, said relocating the event from Army Medical Department Center & School has afforded all attendees a venue that is easily accessible and most importantly provides same day services.
“Relocating the RAD to BAMC has allowed all attendees a venue that is easily accessible. Most importantly, it allowed for BAMC staff and clinics to provide same-day services, i.e. checkups, on-the-spot care, scheduling and reenrollments to the BAMC clinics,” Silva said. “In the previous years, we only averaged about 900 attendees and now we have more than 2,500 in attendance.”
“The importance is very clear,” said Pedro Lucero, deputy commander for medical services. “Our The dermatology clinic saw 62 retirees and performed 19 biopsies from RAD. And from the biopsies they diagnosed five skin cancers. Wow!”
Alan Schroeder and his wife, Arlene, were all smiles as they journeyed through the halls of the medical center to partake in most of the healthcare services offered at the event.
“I am thrilled to be here,” she said. “I went to walk-in mammograms, got my flu shot, stopped at the bone marrow transplant booth, had a dermatology biopsy done and now I’m going to optometry booth. Thank you BAMC for putting this on.”
The event was free and open to military retirees of all branches, whether active duty Guard or Reserve; their family members; widows or widowers; and surviving family members.