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Over the past months, together we have done amazing things as we have completed the physical transition and integration of patients, staff, and equipment from Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) to the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) and we have formed the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Bethesda, Maryland. In this week's article, I'd like to discuss what is still to come.

The physical integration and transition is certainly over, but we have work to do as we develop the best practices and policies in our jointly staffed environment. As RADM Nathan says " ... We have the opportunity to develop the greatest hits album" for the way of the future that best serves our patients, their families, and our staff. You are the innovators who will forge these processes and practices. It is a big responsibility, but more importantly, it is a huge opportunity.

With the completion of the total renovation of Buildings 3 and 5, located in the Heroes Zone, staff will be relocated from temporary locations, and these moves are just around the corner. Later this month, Graduate Professional Education classrooms, Health Professions Education, Staff Education and Training, and the Simulation Center will relocate to the third and fourth floors of the Heroes Zone. In October, Biomedical Repair, Equipment Management, Outpatient Medical Records, Personal Property and Visual Information (Naval Medical Support Command) will relocate to the first and second floors of the Heroes Zone. Following the relocation of Staff and Faculty Development (previously known as Staff Education and Training Department), the President Zone's Building 1, 5th floor will begin a phased renovation scheduled for completion in 2013. The renovation will modify the Command Suite area to include offices for all Deputy Commanders and Assistant Chiefs of Staff, as well as a Commander's Conference Room.

With the completion of the America Zone early this year, the Heroes Zone is not only an important connection to the remainder of the Medical Center, but is a main entrance to the facility from the America Garage. Buildings 3 and 5 have essentially maintained their original design, but were completely gutted internally in order to facilitate the necessary facility upgrades and better utilize the prime central location. Both buildings also received replacement of outdated utilities as a part of the over $15 million renovation.

Late last year, the Command Suite relocated from the Eagle Zone, Building 10, 2nd floor, to the President's Zone, Building 1, and 5th Floor, in order to make room for additional required clinical functions. Currently scheduled to begin next month, Assisted Reproductive Care, Stem Cell lab and Inpatient Clinical Nutrition will relocate to those newly renovated areas in the Eagle Zone.

Next month, following an extensive renovation and expansion of their previously existing space, Executive Medicine will relocate back to the Liberty Zone, Building 7, 1st floor. For the past year, Executive Medicine has been temporarily residing in Building 57A, the Medical Swing Space. Once vacated, following the permanent moves into Buildings 3, 5, and 7, Building 57A will be removed in order to make way for the continued construction and expansion of the new Navy Exchange and associated parking structure.

Psychiatry Continuity Service, presently temporarily located in building 10A, the former Pediatric Swing Space, will relocate to the Liberty Zone, Building 8, 4th floor, sometime before the end of the year. This renovation was completed to better accommodate the necessary flow and function of this Service in order to better serve our patients. Once vacated, Building 10A will be removed, and the original layout of Building 10 east side, 1st floor, and the associated green space will be restored to its original appearance.

With so much having been accomplished over the past few months, I ask all staff to please seek out information about what is ahead. Always remember, above all else, safe quality patient and family centered care comes first. Your good ideas and experience are one of our greatest assets and resources, so please get involved in assisting your respective area prepare for and execute their mission, today and in the future. Share the excitement with your fellow staff and visitors, and invite those working alongside you to link arms with us as we move ahead. The uniting of the WRAMC and NNMC powerhouse institutions provides us the foundation on which to build. Our work will continue together to set the course for the way ahead for the Military Health System (MHS).

Please address any correspondence to

Chief of Staff for Integration and Transition sends