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Civilians, military join foces to form health care alliance
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A civilian-military health care alliance recommended by a 2012 Fort Stewart Growth Management Partnership study is taking shape, despite not having funding.
Members met Tuesday at the Liberty County Courthouse Annex to discuss area health-care issues and trends as well as the future of the alliance, which has been dubbed the Coastal Healthcare Alliance.
“Everything now is going to the regional concept, and while we may not have been a normal consortium, Liberty, Long, Bryan and Tattnall … our challenge is how we work together as a group to whatever level we can work,” said Donald Lovette, Liberty County Commission chairman and Liberty Regional Medical Center employee.
Lovette has been tapped to lead the alliance. Glennville Mayor Chris Roessler suggested this because there was no quorum to elect officers.
Deputy commander for clinical services Lt. Col. Richard Malish spoke on behalf of Winn Army Community Hospital.
He said Commander Col. Ron Place will depart from Winn in early July, so the hospital is preparing for a leadership transition and facing challenges with patient numbers.
Contrary to enrollment predictions, Winn has seen a decrease in enrolled patients, Malish said. They predicted 62,000 but currently are at 59,000.
“We’ve lost 1,000 active-duty service members as well as 1,000 family members,” he said. “We would like to recapture, as much as possible, our beneficiaries to our system … we’re under quite a bit of scrutiny to increase our patient capacity.”
He estimated there are about 10,000 soldiers deployed. The entire division should be back by October, he said.
As for behavioral health, he said the hospital seems to be doing well and has done some hiring, created behavioral-health teams and can use tele-health options if necessary.

Read more in the April 27 edition of the News.

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