Saturday, November 23, 2013
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Clark, a 1984 ECU medical graduate, is commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Clark was promoted to brigadier general during the summer and assumed command of Walter Reed in September. While it boasts an Army and a Navy history, the facility in Bethesda has always been under Navy command. Clark is the first Army officer to lead the facility, known as “the president’s hospital.”
“We in military medicine care for the greatest patients in the world: service members and their families, our retirees and their families,” Clark said. “To be part of Walter Reed Bethesda, ‘the flagship of our military health system’ is a huge honor.”
Clark has spent 29 years in the Army. Born in La Grange, he got his start on a military career as a student at North Lenoir High School when he learned about, applied for and received an Army ROTC scholarship to attend Davidson College. After that, he attended medical school on an Army scholarship with a promise to serve seven years as a military physician.
His wife, Sue, is a 1980 ECU nursing graduate. They married in 1982 and have three children.
“Opportunities to live overseas are always wonderful, but it’s always good to be back home,” said Sue Clark, whose mother lives in Southern Pines.
Sue continued to work as a nurse after the couple married until their first child was born. Since then, she’s been a military spouse, mother and volunteer.
Clark credited his medical education at ECU with preparing him well for his family medicine residency at Silas B. Hays Army Community Hospital at Fort Ord, Calif. He later served as a family physician and flight surgeon in Korea and in numerous roles at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville.
Before taking over at Walter Reed, Clark commanded Europe Regional Medical Command, Heidelberg, Germany and prior to that commanded Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany. ERMC operates 17 military treatment facilities in Germany, Italy and Belgium.
He has served in Korea, Kosovo, Iraq and in New Orleans during relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina.
Clark has no military history in his family but did have medical influences growing up. His mother was a nurse, and his uncle was a missionary and general surgeon in Korea. Clark visited his uncle while he was a college student. His childhood family physician also inspired him.
“You could say I stumbled into my military career,” Clark said. “I wanted to be doctor since childhood. I am blessed to be able to do both.”
The trend in medicine is “patient-centered medical homes.” Military medicine is implementing PCMH for all its services members and families.
“That PCMH concept resonates with all patients, civilian or military,” Clark said. “We take much better care of our patients if the doctor, nurse, medic — all work as one patient-centered team. Add behavioral health, physical therapy and other disciplines to the team, and our patients receive the great care they deserve.”
In addition to his medical and bachelor’s degrees, Clark has degrees from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and Army War College. He has master’s degrees from the University of Washington in public health and the Army War College in strategic studies.
He is board-certified in family medicine.
Clark said he would recommend a military career to any health care professional. “It’s a privilege to be a medical professional and it’s a privilege to serve in the military — each a challenging and rewarding profession. Those of us who serve in uniform get to do both.”
Plan ensures 911 calls get answered
Most North Carolinians take for granted that dialing 911 – even on a cell phone — will bring them help.
However, differences in technology and operating procedures across the state and nation continue to create a host of problems, from a delay in 911 services to no help arriving at all in crisis situations. Ongoing research by faculty members James Holloway, Elaine Seeman and Jim Kleckley in the ECU College of Business is helping both state and federal entities learn how to fund 911 initiatives.
“Everyone thinks that 911 is everywhere, but unfortunately there are a lot of times when emergency messages don’t get through,” Holloway said.
“Dialing 911 was easy when people had landlines tied to an actual address. But how do you find the location of someone who texts from a cell phone or calls via Skype? That’s the big challenge.”
He explained one example involving the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, when emergency text messages from students never got through.
To ensure 911 messages are received via a variety of communication methods, public safety answer points (PSAPs) have to possess the right equipment and dispatchers must be trained on how to use the new technology. The funding model developed by ECU professors determines how collection of a surcharge applied to the bills of all mobile phone owners gets divided fairly across the state to pay for those resources. There are more than 100 PSAPs statewide.
“Over the last six years, my colleagues and I have devoted much of our effort to researching these 911 issues, along with the funding and public policy involved,” Holloway said.
“It’s exciting to see our work take root and begin to make a difference as developing one 911 standard is explored.”
Their formula has gained national attention, and is commonly called the “ECU Funding Model.”
Holloway, Seeman and Kleckley have shared their “e911” expertise with the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Emergency Number Association, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Earlier this year, they participated in a blue ribbon panel on funding 911 with experts from around the country.
- Tuesday: ECU will be featured as part of the nightly North Carolina NOW broadcast, 7:30 p.m. on UNC-TV.
The segment will focus on ECU’s service to the region, the state and beyond. More information: http://www.ecu.edu/news/UNCTV13.cfm.
via The Daily Reflector.