Military Connection: Army Restructures Transition Services: By Debbie Gregory
This past January, the Army announced that it was restructuring its community-based care for wounded soldiers. The change is a result of a shrinking population of incoming wounded caused by the drawing down of fighting in Afghanistan. As part of this restructuring, the Army plans to launch thirteen new Community Care Units (CCUs) spanning eleven Army installations. With the implementing of these CCUs, the Army intends to scrap the existing nine Warrior Transition Units that currently provide support for approximately 1,300 soldiers, primarily from National Guard and Reserve units.
The Warrior Transition Units were designed to provide remote management of care to soldiers who were deemed not severe enough to remain in the hospital, and were able to return to their family homes.
The CCUs on active duty installations are expected to replace the Warrior Transition Units that serviced soldiers in their communities. By bringing the CCUs on base, the Army intends to lower the cost of running the program.
In January, the Warrior Transition Command inactivated five Warrior Transition Units. In all of these units, no more than 36 soldiers were being provided for, and two of them treated less than ten servicemembers.
Army leadership says that soldiers who are already enrolled in the Warrior Transition should see no real changes in their care. No soldier will be forced to relocate in order to receive treatments and care plans will not be changed. The Army says that the CCUs will even send a team out to a wounded soldier’s home to alleviate them from the burdens of travel.
As a result of the restructuring, the ratio of nurses and case managers to wounded soldiers should change from 1:20 soldiers to 1:10 soldiers.
All of these changes should be implemented by September, 2014.
The Army’s Warrior Transition Command website has answers to many questions about the new restructuring.
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