Col. John Lamoureux firmly gripped the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center flag and, in his first order of business Friday, pledged to “continue the long legacy of excellence” established by his predecessors during the Fort Gordon hospital’s 60-year history.
After he let go, Lamoureux assumed control of the 300-bed facility from the hospital’s outgoing administrator, Col. Chris Castle, promoted by the Department of Defense to be a liaison to Eric Shinseki, the U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“To all the members of the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center, I have but one directive,” the hospital’s 18th commander told a crowd of more than 100 people at a ceremony at the Army post. “Do not work for me but with me, and together we will set the standard for providing the best medical care for all those who live and work here in the Central Savannah River Area.”
As former chief of the 502nd Mission Support Group at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Lamoureux joined Eisenhower at a time when the hospital aims to expand its care.
Home to the only military substance abuse program in the U.S., the hospital entered into a cooperative agreement last week with the Charlie Norwood and Carl Vinson Veterans Affairs medical centers to provide retired and active-duty members of the military with improved access to health care.
According to the details of the two-year, $2.9 million partnership, orthopedic patients referred from the Carl Vinson hospital in Dublin, Ga., will have surgery at Eisenhower and undergo rehabilitation on the nearby campus of the Norwood VA medical center.
The collaborative project – a major initiative of Castle’s – is expected to increase the prestige of the regional referral center by broadening the scope of the hospital’s specialties, which are cardiology, wound care and sleep disorders.
The hospital has 3,700 employees, 41,988 eligible beneficiaries and a daily average workload of 69 consultations, 2,473 outpatient visits, 2,899 prescription requests and 2,093 laboratory procedures.
The hospital also has mutual-enhancement agreements with several state educational institutions, including Georgia Regents University and Doctors Hospital, to train nurses and doctors in anesthesia, orthopedic foot and ankle treatment, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and drug and alcohol abuse.
“Col. Lamoureux is a phenomenal leader,” said Maj. Gen. Jimmie Keenan, the head of the Army Nurse Corps’ Southern Regional Medical Command. “The Eisenhower Army Medical Center is one of our largest medical centers in the Department of Defense, and our mission and partnerships with the surrounding university and (Veterans) Affairs campuses are very important in our efforts to continue to provide a high level of care. I am confident Col. Lamoureux will lead this program towards new growth.”
A decorated officer with a master’s degree in information systems management from Webster University, Lamoureux praised the work of his predecessor.
Lamoureux, a native of West Hartford, Conn., said he was destined to come to Fort Gordon. He and his wife, Laura, got married in the same chapel at Fort Sam Houston in which President Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, were wed.
“Today’s transition marks the beginning of what I hope will be a very cooperative and collaborative effort to serve our heroes and their families,” Lamoureux said.