Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Taking Care of Those Who Take Care of Us

I have a good news story I’d like to share with you. During my recent visit to RCC Southwest I was able to visit the resilient men and women recovering from injuries at our Medical Hold (MEDHOLD) unit at Naval Base San Diego. There were 24 Sailors assigned to the unit, 19 who had been mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  The remaining five Sailors incurred injuries while on Active Duty for Training orders.
These Sailors were an inspired group of individuals, each working diligently to bounce back from their injuries. They were also benefitting from several recent program changes that are having a positive impact on their lives. These included increasing the geographical boundaries for liberty, allowing portions of their convalescent leave to be spent at their homes of record and increased advocacy throughout the pay and personnel process which can be very daunting for a Selected Reserve Sailor.
Most importantly, however, has been the drastic reduction in patient’s average length of stay. Through diligent efforts of MEDHOLD OIC CDR William “Java” Coffey and staff, the average stay is down from more than 300 days to just over 200, an approximately 40 percent reduction. The MEDHOLD staff was able to reach these reductions by streamlining the medical board process that makes the ultimate determination on the status of these Sailors, effective case management and creating an environment conducive to wellness.
It’s these examples of determination and innovation that speak to the character of our Navy Reserve force. I’d like to hear about any similar examples you may have of your organization achieving extraordinary results.


  1. We need some oversight in the med hold department. A contracted psych doc I had never seen before destroyed my career as a result of a 30 minute predeployment screening. Multiple subsequent documentations still could not clear my record, was MNN till the continuation board forced me to retire--since I wasn't theoretically deployable!

  2. BUC,
    Thank you for writing and letting us know about your situation. Due to HIPAA and PII concerns, I'm unable to comment on your specific medical history.

    However, please contact my staff medical representative, Mr. Tim Kellner, at 757-322-5644 if you'd like for us to investigate further.

    Thank you again for your feedback.