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JBLM wounded warrior program failed soldiers, report says

Jul. 2, 2013 - 04:20PM   |  
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A Defense Department report found cadre at the wounded warrior unit at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., lacked consistent training, and soldiers had trouble getting access to specialty care at Madigan Army Medical Center.

The problems for the Warrior Transition Battalion also included staff turnover, and underuse of a planning tool meant to guide soldiers’ goals and expectations, according to the DoD Inspector General’s report. The recently released report also said DoD policies that prohibit soldiers from participating in non-federal internship programs were a challenge.

At the hospital, soldiers exceeded the 100-day standard for time spent in the Medical Evaluation Board phase of the disability evaluation system. Soldiers also had difficulty in obtaining timely appointments for some specialty medical care needs, such as orthopedics, pain management, behavioral health and forensic psychiatry.

The report also found initiatives at the Warrior Transition Battalion and Madigan Army Medical Center to be “noteworthy practices for supporting the comprehensive care, healing, and transition of soldiers.” Among them, the WTB in-processes soldiers through its Soldier and Family Assistance Center to ensure their orientation is comprehensive and that they learn about the services available to them and their families.

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