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.