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Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Facility transitioning to Defense Health Agency

Since the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center was opened in 1965, it has operated under the Military Health System. The Defense Health Agency is expected to take complete control of its operations in October.

FORT HOOD, Texas — Change is on the horizon for the Carl R. Darnall Medical Facility at Fort Hood, which first opened on post in 1965. 

Since its inception, the Darnall Medical Facility has operated under the Military Health System, an enterprise within the Department of Defense, providing health care to active duty and retired U.S. military personnel and their families.

Later this year, that's changing.

"I think this is a great opportunity for the Military Health System to raise our collective performance," Vice Admiral Raquel Bono, the Defense Health Agency's director, said. "We are one of the largest health care systems and what we learned on the battlefield is our best outcomes for our patients are when we work together."

On an average day, the hospital writes nearly 4,200 prescriptions, conducts more than 5,000 X-Rays and delivers 8 babies.

Bono admits there will be challenges to go with the successes, but at the end of the day, all of this is patient-focused.

"We want to try and design this so that our patients are not caught in some of those challenges," she said. "What I would be interested in learning though from our patients, what are some of the challenges that they would like us to address."

Bono said that the ongoing war has seen the lowest fatality rates ever. The historically low rate is attributed to the new system being implemented.

She said the new system, which is expected to be in place by Oct. 1, is going to be designed to make scheduling appointments, record keeping and accessibility easier for patients and health care providers. The process eliminates the middle man, and will also be in place at all Veterans Affairs Hospitals across the nation.

The medical center sent the following statement to KCEN Channel 6:

"Col. Gibson CRDAMC is committed to executing the requirements outlined in the National Defense Authorization Acts. Throughout this transformation process, we will remain committed to the highest quality of care for all our beneficiaries.  We will continue to ensure medical readiness, support wartime requirements, and enhance the quality of care for Soldiers and their Families."

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