Story and photo by John Brooks
GLWACH Marketing and Public Affairs Officer
The Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Raymond Dingle, visited Fort Leonard Wood and General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital Feb. 19 to meet staff and get a first-hand look at the GLWACH mission.
This was the first visit to Fort Leonard Wood for Dingle as the 45th Surgeon General of the Army and the U.S. Army Medical Command’s commanding general.
Dingle — along with his battle buddy, Army Medical Command, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg — spoke to hospital staff about teamwork and the importance for decision makers in Washington D.C. to have first-hand knowledge of a unit’s mission.
“It’s often easy for us in the Pentagon to make decisions, but it’s not until you set foot on the ground that you realize, ‘okay, I need to rethink what we’re doing,’” Dingle said.
Dingle and Gragg met with GLWACH Commander Col. Kimberlie Biever to discuss local healthcare challenges.
“I’ve been here a few times and I’ve always been awed by the amount of teamwork that exists on Fort Leonard Wood,” Gragg said.
The visitors observed GLWACH department activities and met with staff members at the Mother Baby Unit, pharmacy, Leonard Wood Medical Home, Soldier Readiness Program office, and emergency room, then handed out coins to several staff members in GLWACH’s foyer.
“The unsung heroes’ value is not often known to the world,” Dingle said, “but it’s priceless to the lives they touch every day.”
“The most impressive thing about Army medicine are the people,” Gragg added. “Thank you for opening our eyes to the challenges that you have that we need to help try to mitigate.”
Col. Biever said her meeting with Dingle was productive.
“The (Surgeon General) and his team expressed an uncanny understanding of our unique GLWACH mission and the challenges we face here,” Biever said. “Being here on the ground and seeing our operation first hand will serve to help ensure we receive the support needed as we move forward.”