Hospital thanked for assistance during training
By Sean Roney
King City Rustler, June 2010
The employee luncheon at Mee Memorial Hospital had a large ceremony last Thursday, as Gen. James Cook came to the hospital to say thanks.
The recognition of employee of the month was pre-empted by a visit by Cook and other Army reserve support personnel, who came to represent the 91st Training Brigade and the Fort Hunter Liggett Garrison.
“We’re doing a presentation to thank the staff of Mee Memorial for all their services and supporting our exercises and our soldiers,” said Cook. “They are an extension of our medical aid for our soldiers in case anything happens during our exercises”
The 91st, conducting training exercises with about 3,500 reservists this past May and June, was part of a larger soldier population who was training right outside King City.
“During the exercises in May and June, we have an increased population of soldiers,” said Annette Hayes, director of Mee Memorial’s ER and ICU. She said overall, FHL brought about 6,600 soldiers to the area. “It really impacts our ER, so we work together with the soldiers to get them seen and taken care of.”
Cook presented the hospital with a plaque commemorating the 91st and FHL saying thanks.
“We really appreciate the relationship with the Fort,” said Mee Memorial Chief Financial Officer Susan Childers. “We appreciate the outreach from all of you and we thank you for the wonderful gift, and we’ll hang it with price.”
Janet Buttgereit accepted the plaque on behalf of the Mee Memorial Hospital board of directors. She said, “The board is more than delighted to take care of the soldiers at Fort Hunter Ligget for many reasons, because it’s our job and an honor.”
Cook explained as he addressed hospital staff, “We had several stations set up in the field, but ultimately if we can’t handle it because of the capabilities, we send them to you and you’ve done a really super job.”
Cook went on to say, “These soldiers that you’re supporting, a majority of them are reservists so they also have a civilian job unlike the active duty counterparts, when they go home they’re taking off their uniform and going back to their jobs. What you provide is a very key service in taking care of our soldiers.”
Addressing the issue of injury, Cook said, “Ultimately as a commander, you don’t ever want to see a soldier in the hospital. That’s why we train, so that we know that they have all the training and the best equipment that they need to survive. But, then there are circumstances that are not under their control that happen and that’s where you come in. You help not only physically to repair the damage, but also mentally to mend their spirit. When you’re taking care of soldiers, it’s like taking care of a loved one. That’s the way you look at it, too.”
Cook said the training will continue at FHL, and even begin to expand. “We’ll be training more soldiers and getting them ready to deploy,” he said. “The good news is, we’re growing. You’re going to see some other services come in here, like the Navy and the Marine Corps and the Air Force.”
The number of training exercises being conducted is also planned to go up, Cook said. With the increased potential need for medical attention comes an opportunity for more proximity. “It would be great to see you closer and providing your excellent care services,” said Cook as he explained the base clinic was about to finish remodeling.
Cook also handed out two coins to Cindy Wilson-Parker and Laurie Grasso. He described the coins as being awarded to people who perform their jobs above and beyond even a high level of service.
Normal staff recognitions took place, where Monica Trujillo was recognized as the April employee of the month, and Rosa Martinez was recognized as the June employee of the month. The May employee of the month, Daria Sanchez, was not present for the ceremony.