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Home : News : News
NEWS | April 2, 2020

SAMHS consolidates emergency services to BAMC, WHASC continues to offer urgent care

By 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs

To best support Brooke Army Medical Center emergency operations, the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center Family Emergency Center will scale down its services and temporarily serve as an Urgent Care Center beginning 6 a.m. April 3.

The UCC will continue to deliver 24/7 urgent care for Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland active duty members, the base housing community, as well as basic and technical training students. UCC providers are trained in emergency medicine, family medicine and internal medicine and provide the same level of care available in a primary care clinic. This means the UCC staff is trained and equipped to care for patients with acute minor medical problems.

“This consolidation of resources will allow us to better streamline care for our emergent patients,” said Maj. Gen. John J. DeGoes, 59th Medical Wing commander and San Antonio Military Health System director. “This is a temporary adjustment that will allow us to continue providing high-reliability care to our beneficiaries while maximizing our staff and equipment to optimally support increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients as this pandemic progresses.”

For patients needing a higher level of care or in the case of an emergency, patients should proceed to their closest emergency room or call 9-1-1.

For those who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call the Nurse Advice Line, or NAL, at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273) or a Primary Care Manager before seeking care.

The NAL for TRICARE beneficiaries is a team of registered nurses who are available 24/7 to answer a variety of urgent healthcare questions. Visit for a web or video chat, or dial 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1. They can help you decide whether self-care is the best option, or if it is better to see a healthcare provider.

Our beneficiaries also can schedule an appointment with their PCM by calling the Consult Appointment Management Office (CAMO) at 210-916-9900.  Additionally, for non-urgent issues, you can send your primary care team a secure message via TRICARE Online (

There are several actions the CDC recommends to prevent infection:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Close contact is defined as within 6 feet for 10 minutes.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Notify supervisors and stay home if sick.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are healthy wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

For more information about virus prevention, visit For more information on COVID-19, visit

In addition, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has opened a COVID-19 hotline for residents to ask questions about the virus. The hotline is available in English and Spanish. For COVID-19 questions call (210) 207-5779, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.