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NEWS | Nov. 22, 2023

Soldiers caring for Soldiers: Operation Reserve Care Clinic

By Sgt. Nicholas Vidro Army Reserve Medical Command

Medical Soldiers with the 7458th Medical Operational Readiness Unit, Army Reserve Medical Command ran a weekend clinic as a part of the ongoing Operation Reserve Care Clinic (ORC) on Fort Liberty, North Carolina from November 3-5, 2023.

The goal of ORC is to aid Soldiers in staying medically ready to deploy at a moment's notice. By hosting a Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) like event on the weekends, the providers of the 7458th MORU are meeting Soldiers around Fort Liberty and beyond to provide critical medical readiness functions. This saves time for the Soldiers, who may not have the ability or time to complete these assessments outside of the Army. Maj. Latasha Brown, the officer in charge of the ORC mission from the 7458th MORU, explained how this mission is critical to maintaining Soldier readiness.

“A lot of Soldiers have had really great Reserve Care experiences and it starts mainly with the staff,” she said. “They like the way the staff are in depth and really positive in their approach to the Soldiers. They actually really care and they are in depth with the Soldiers patient care, not just pushing them through the system. It is one stop, but they really take the time to sit with the Soldier and work with them through whatever challenges they may have while bringing their medical readiness to the green state. Coming to ORC, they were able to get good patient care where our providers care about their status while updating their health information and they were able to leave here with a positive outlook on their future. If they had problems that were just outlined, they were able to work through it and then they left with answers on how to correct those issues they had in the system.”

The ORC mission has been ongoing for seven years. It was initially implemented to relieve the military health contractors and ensure Soldiers were in compliance with Army medical health standards. Since then, it has served Soldiers conducting battle assembly weekend in the area, ensuring that they maintain medical readiness. The operation has had medical Soldiers from other regions look into performing their own versions of Operation Reserve Care clinics, although there have been resource issues in getting these programs off the ground. Sgt. Tarynn Gardner, the mission's non-commissioned officer in charge from the 7458th MORU, recalled all of the moving pieces unique to keep this mission moving.

“It's a lot easier to keep a ball rolling when it's already started,” Gardner said. “So what is hindering a lot of organizations from starting their own programs is getting that ball rolling. There are a lot of pieces. We're fortunate we have a facility and haven't always been in this facility. We've been in various facilities since it started. We eventually found ourselves here, which has been great because everything that we need is pretty close. So facilities, supplies, you need somebody like a point of contact that works like a liaison between the actual hospital and the reserve unit. So we have a person that's kind of coordinating. Then we have our own leadership, which you've been talking to, to lend unit support. In this particular situation, we've definitely had different leaders, but for the most part, the unit has supported us and the willingness of all these individuals who volunteered. There are obviously a lot of different roles that go into the whole process. So all of these individuals, had to go through MHS Genesis training. They all had to get approval for the MEDPROS update to be able to update patient information.”

Soldiers can expect a multitude of medical services, such as preliminary health assessments, vision screening, audio screening, dental services, and more.

The clinic's providers are Reserve Soldiers coming from the 7458th MORU. ORC allows them to be able to practice their medical skills in a realistic setting. While perfecting these skills, they are able to understand different common afflictions Soldiers are experiencing. The Officer in Charge of the Clark Clinic, Capt. Shanelle Warren of the 7458 MORU, explained the advantage of having a clinic run by Soldiers

“We are driven and ran by Soldiers,” Warren said. “ If there is something going on with the Soldiers, like for instance, when they do their PHA, it is definitely very important to answer all the questions correctly. If something's going on, our providers see and notice those things. They give that additional care. Something most people don't know, lot of Soldiers don't have care outside of here. So if there's something going on and we find, for instance, if a soldier has diabetes. We see that in their records, we do get them the referrals to help them get their medications. We don't just see Soldiers as numbers. We see them as our peers because all of us are Soldiers. It's driven through Soldiers to give them care.”