JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
The U.S. Army Regional Health Command-Central at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston welcomed Brig. Gen. Shan Bagby as their new commanding general and said farewell to Brig. Gen. Wendy L. Harter during a change of command ceremony May 5 at the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum amphitheater.
During her 10 months as commander, Harter served during what she called, “one of the most challenging years in Army Medicine’s recent years.”
The RHC-C spent nearly 2.2 million working hours in testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients. That includes the administration of more than 260,000 COVID-19 vaccines and more than 600,000 tests processed in labs across the region. The RHC-C also deployed 425 Soldiers as urban and vaccine augmentees to help support the whole-of-nation response to combat the pandemic.
“It has truly been the efforts of these command teams in the field who are responsible for this Region’s tremendous success and our RHC-C staff’s unwavering mission execution,” Harter said. “It has been amazing to watch strategic vision and innovation in the making as we ensured Army medical readiness and ready medical forces for the Army, the senior commanders from TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command), FORSCOM (Forces Command), Army Futures Command, Army Material Command, ARNORTH (U.S. Army North) and ARSOUTH (U.S. Army South) while simultaneously caring for our beneficiaries and sustaining the COVID-19 fight.”
During his remarks, Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General and commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Command, praised Harter for her leadership and selfless service.
“You’ve led the command with professional leadership excellence. You’ve built synergistic teams that have served as combat multipliers to readiness,” Dingle said.
“She’s a humble servant, a tremendous leader that does not seek the limelight. She just wants to serve and lead and give that credit to her soldiers,” he added. “Wendy, you set historical standards as this region’s commanding general. I thank you for your servant leadership and what you have done and what you mean to Army Medicine.”
Dingle then welcomed Bagby as the new leader and shared confidence in his ability to lead the region.
“He is ready to lead this command. He knows how to build partnerships between various commands and Army senior leaders. The Army Medicine enterprise would not be or have its success without your talents and your leadership,” Dingle said.
“I charge you to build upon the Regional Health Command-Central’s azimuth of success,” he said. “I challenge you to continue to lead with professional leadership excellence. Build the synergistic teams like you always have, and I know that you always will. You’re going from one crown jewel to a bigger crown jewel as you lead this region."
Bagby, who comes to the region after serving as the commander of Brooke Army Medical Center, thanked Harter for her efforts as the RHC-C commander.
“I want to thank you for paving a remarkable road to ensure the success of this region,” Bagby said. “And I pledge to you I will build upon the success that you have started at Regional Health Command-Central and that we will continue to lead the way in Army Medicine in support of the Army and the joint warfighter mission.”
He also accepted the challenges presented by Dingle.
“This year, just like last year, is going to continue to bring us unprecedented challenges as we battle through COVID-19, but I know with this group of leaders we are going to make the extraordinary possible and the difficult things look easy. As we continue to conquer through and battle through the COVID-19 environment, we’ll ensure the success of the mission, the enduring mission to sustain the fighting strength.
“We are poised and ready to execute as a ready, reformed, reorganized, responsive and relevant team in support of Army Medicine, and I couldn’t be more proud to be here at this time to help lead this team through this mission,” Bagby said.