Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
March 19, 2020
U.S. Transportation Command to host annual Global Patient Movement Joint Advisory Board via video teleconferencing
By Michael P. Kleiman, USTRANSCOM Public Affairs
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – As a result of implementing COVID-19 force-protection measures, U.S. Transportation Command will host the annual Global Patient Movement Joint Advisory Board via video teleconference, March 31 to April 3, 2020.
It is estimated more than 200 participants will convene through video teleconferencing to discuss and develop DOD, federal, state, and coalition recommendations for the USTRANSCOM commander concerning policy guidance, processes and procedures, equipment standardization, and enabling support such as information management systems.
As the Department of Defense’s single manager for GPM, USTRANSCOM performs this lifesaving mission through the U.S. Air Force’s aeromedical evacuation system. In 2019, USTRANSCOM conducted approximately 6,609 GPMs, providing in-transit aid for America’s wounded warriors from the point of injury or illness to medical facilities with the level of care required to properly treat their health conditions.
“The GPMJAB brings all the GPM stakeholders together to compile a global requirements plan so as to understand the current gaps and vulnerabilities, as well as what we need to do to meet the requirements, which were initiated by the 2018 National Defense Strategy,” said U.S. Air Force Col. John Andrus, USTRANSCOM’s command surgeon. “Although the 15-20 core board members meet by virtual means quarterly, this annual event enables us to personally interact, collaborate, and network with each other and our interagency partners – the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Departments of Health and Human Services, State, and Veterans Affairs – to enhance GPM operations.”
To enhance mission assurance, three key initiatives comprise the GPMJAB’s agenda. These include transitioning from the legacy USTRANSCOM Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System, DOD’s automated, electronic information tool to validate patients, to the next generation GPM information management hardware by 2026. The TRAC2ES’ replacement is being developed by the Defense Health Agency and the Joint Office of Medical Information Systems.
In addition, implementation of the Resilient and Agile Patient Distribution Concept of Operations, will enable the mitigation of capacity gaps by doing more with the on-hand resources in a contingency environment. Incorporating crisis standards of care, this CONOPS will assist combat medics in executing their responsibilities in less than ideal circumstances.
And the in-development Contiguous United States Patient Distribution Plan will refine the capability to receive in the CONUS large numbers of injured from a conflict. For example, during the past two annual Ultimate Caduceus patient movement exercises, USTRANSCOM’s ability to conduct GPM in a contingency in tandem with interagency-managed Federal Coordinating Center operations, employing the hub and spoke system in CONUS-reception locations, was tested. This year’s Ultimate Caduceus exercise, occurring at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, June 22-26, will challenge the host installation’s ability as the FCC hub, which distributes patients to spoke medical treatment facilities located in nine nearby metropolitan areas.
“In keeping with the 2020 GPMJAB’s theme, Global Integration of the Defense GPM System, we’re finalizing, in tandem with USTRANSCOM’s Joint Distribution Process Analysis Center, the TRANSCOM Patient Movement Analysis, which will combine data with the 2017 USTRANSCOM-published Aeromedical Evacuation Requirement Analysis to identify even larger gaps in patient movement requirements versus capacity,” stated U.S. Navy CAPT. Garland Andrews, deputy command surgeon, USTRANSCOM. “For the past three years, the Air Force has been engaged in closing those gaps identified in the initial study. The new analysis should be published in the May 2020 timeframe.”
Representatives from the Joint Staff, six geographic combatant commands, the services, Defense Heath Agency, FEMA, HHS, VA, are scheduled to participate in this year’s GPMJAB. USTRANSCOM Commander U.S. Army General Stephen Lyons will provide opening and closing remarks.
“I’m excited and energized about the 2020 GMPJAB, especially the event’s emphasis on globally-integrated GPM and on our Defense Support to Civil Authorities mission in a contingency,” Andrus said. “Ultimately, the GPMJAB’s focus is – and always will be – on our patients.”
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