Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor
it is a Soldier going through the paperwork process prior to being
deployed overseas, or the Soldier is returning from in-theater to go
home to civilian life, the Fort McCoy Soldier Readiness Center (SRC)
Medical Section plays an integral role to ensure Soldiers successfully
complete their missions.
Capt. Ronald Diorio (left)
interviews Sgt. Gregg Bryson at the Fort McCoy Soldier Readiness
Center. Bryson of the 221st Ordnance Disposal Company was
demobilizing at Fort McCoy with his unit. (Photo
by Tom Michele)
Ronald Diorio, SRC Medical officer-in-charge, said, "The major
role of the primary providers (civilian and military doctors,
physician assistants and nurse practitioners) at the SRC is
documentation of a Soldier’s medical condition. The Soldier wants it
on paper. They want reassurance as to what to expect when they leave
here. We document a Soldier’s condition to help them receive proper
care and treatment at home."
was referring to the Pre-Deployment Health Assessment given to
Soldiers prior to deploying overseas, and the Post-Deployment Health
Assessment given to the same Soldiers when they return to the United
McCoy, as a mobilization training center, is one of the primary
stepping stones in both directions.
said Soldiers start the "pre" version of the assessment
while still at their home station as part of the Unit Medical
Readiness Report and have as many individual medical issues resolved
as possible before coming to McCoy.
the unit arrives at McCoy, the first two days on post usually are
reserved for the Soldier Readiness Processing function. The medical
section is one piece of this, along with others like finance,
personnel, dental, records and legal," Diorio said. "A major
aspect of the medical portion of the predeployment process is to
assess the physical readiness of the Soldier. Do they have injuries or
conditions that would render them non-deployable? If so, they are
released from active duty with the expectation that these issues will
be addressed by the home unit prior to a future mobilization."
post-deployment assessment is similar, but it is just given to
Soldiers returning from theater. "The Post-Deployment Health
Assessment is completed by Soldiers while in-theater and within 30
days prior to returning to the United States," Diorio said.
"That assessment includes documenting physical symptoms,
emotional symptoms, exposure concerns (such as from sand and dust,
smoke from burn pits), all that could affect the Soldier later."
explained the Soldier visits a health provider at the SRC, with the
provider going over the Soldier’s Post Deployment Health Assessment
and the issues listed there. "The provider then determines if the
Soldier needs further medical evaluation. If there are major medical
issues that would require treatment, such as surgery, the Soldier
would be retained on duty and sent to the Warrior Transition Unit at
Fort Knox, Ky. There, they would receive treatment and be allowed to
recover prior to being released from active duty and return to their
jobs and civilian life."
is another similar aspect to the Pre-and Post-Deployment Health
Assessment, and with the same intent and style. That is the
Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA).
PDHRA is completed by the Soldier three to six months after
redeployment and is a unit requirement. It is commonly conducted at
the Soldier and unit’s home station," Diorio said. The PDHRA
provides for a second health assessment. Reserve-component members are
reminded of their option of treatment using their TRICARE health
benefits or can obtain care through a Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
said, "The focus of the PDHRA is to identify Soldiers who may not
have recognized problems at the time of their return from deployment.
They may realize that what seemed like a minor concern becomes an
issue some time after their return home."
the reasons for the three-to-six-month period, Diorio explained,
"The Army found incidents of post traumatic stress syndrome
(PTSD) peaked three to six months after redeployment."
PDHRA is part of the safety net the Army provides Soldiers,"
Diorio said. "The evaluation looks at what the Soldier is going
through, including possible symptoms of anger, isolation,
hyper-vigilance, loss of sleep — things that become abnormal and
when it negatively affects their life. When a Soldier steps back into
civilian life, it is like the Soldier becomes a completely different
PDHRA will be offered to all servicemembers who have returned from
operational deployment, including all active-duty, National Guard and
Reserve servicemembers, as well as those who have separated or retired
since their return from deployment. The form asks questions about
behavioral health and traumatic brain injury. The form must be
completed in an electronic or Web-enabled form using the Army Medical
Protection System (MEDPROS).
said the form enables the Soldier to identify any physical or
emotional symptoms, as well as combat mission-related concerns, such
as concussions from improvised explosive devices (IED) blasts.
Problems related to traumatic brain injury have really been stressed,
and the PDHA/PDHRA is a chance to document them and identify those
needing further treatment, he said.
is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc.,
contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)