Fort Sam Houston-Joint Base San Antonio, TX –
The San Antonio Military Medical Center Joint Base San
Antonio-Fort Sam Houston remains the Department of Defense’s highest-rated
facility for maternal-child satisfaction, according to TRICARE Inpatient Satisfaction
This means new moms are continually giving high marks to
SAMMC for their labor, delivery and post-partum care, explained Army Col. Scott
Kambiss, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology chief.
“We provide compassionate, state-of-the-art care every step
of the way,” he said. “We feel like we have the best to offer our active duty,
retirees and veterans.”
Kambiss credits the standout survey results to a highly
qualified staff and top-notch amenities and services.
“Our staff is one of the most diverse groups of OB/GYNs I’ve
seen,” he said. “We have a mix of seasoned veterans who bring education and a
vast amount of knowledge to the table, as well as recent graduates who bring
with them the most modern approaches in the field.”
Additionally, as a teaching hospital, SAMMC hosts Army and
Air Force residents and medical students on clinical rotations, he added.
The robust team also includes obstetricians and certified
midwives. This mix of specialties enables expectant moms to customize their
birthing plan, whether they’re set on natural childbirth or open to pain relief
interventions, noted Army Col. Elizabeth Murray, Maternal-Child Nursing chief.
“We are very involved in collaborating with patients regarding
their birth plans and supporting them as much as possible,” she said.
The labor and delivery environment is an extension of that
support, Murray said. With glossy wood floors and inviting colors, the unit has
a home-like feel from the moment a family enters the double doors.
Expectant moms and their families stay in large, private
rooms from labor throughout the postpartum experience.
“We really try to provide a family centered experience in an
environment that reminds them of home,” Murray said.
The unit is collocated with pediatrics’ neonatal intensive
care unit, which ensures state-of-the-art care for babies with health issues or
born on the earliest side of maturity.
“We work hand in hand with the Department of Pediatrics,”
Kambiss said. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without their great
Throughout the department, lactation consultants are on hand
to encourage and facilitate breastfeeding for new moms, Murray added, noting
SAMMC’s commitment to breastfeeding initiatives. SAMMC is the Defense
Department’s first designated Texas Ten Step facility, meaning it has shown an
exemplary effort to promote and educate patients on breastfeeding.
Both pre- and post-partum, patients have access to one of
the city’s only women’s health physical therapists.
Patricia Rodriguez treats pelvic floor dysfunctions, such as
urinary incontinence, chronic pelvic pain and a host of other women’s issues.
“One of my main goals is to teach patients how to take care
of themselves,” Rodriguez said. “The more you understand about your body, the
more effective you can be in taking care of it at every stage of life.”
Air Force Col. Brian York, Department of OB/GYN assistant
chief, calls it a “true honor” to work at SAMMC.
“We have the privilege of helping our patients bring a new
life into their family,” York said. “It’s quite an honor to be a part of that.”
Air Force Capt. Tiffany Prochaska, Emergency Department
assistant team lead, also has high praise for SAMMC’s childbirth services. She
has the distinction of delivering the hospital’s first baby of 2016: 9-pound, 2-ounce Evelyn Rose.
“Everyone was wonderful; very compassionate,” she said. “I
knew a lot of the people taking care of me which took a lot of the anxiety
away. I’m thrilled to work and receive care here.”
Obstetric services are open to all TRICARE beneficiaries.
Additionally, thanks to a new Veterans Affairs sharing
agreement, VA beneficiaries are now welcome to give birth at SAMMC.
“We have a long-standing agreement with the VA to take care
of veterans with gynecological issues,” Kambiss said. “This new agreement in
obstetrics will enable us to offer more services to our female veterans. We are
excited to care for this deserving population.”
Murray said she’s proud to work at a facility that always
puts the patients first. “When I ask the
staff what they enjoy most about working here, I hear nearly the same answer
across the board,” she said. “It’s the emphasis on safety and quality care that
draws them to the organization. And if our staff is happy, our patients are