Dingle leads Army’s largest regional health command
By Craig Coleman, Regional Health Command-Atlantic Public Affairs
FORT BELVOIR, Virginia— Brig. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the new commanding general of the Army’s Regional Health Command-Atlantic (RHC-A) , told his assembled treatment facility commanders and headquarters staff here March 8 that the region will continue to build upon its successes in improving medical readiness while improving the health of the Army Family. Dingle made the remarks during a change of command ceremony after assuming command of the region from Brig. Gen. Ronald J. Place.
Regional Health Command-Atlantic provides health care to more than 500,000 beneficiaries on installations in 26 states. The command’s primary missions are maintaining a fighting force that is medically ready to deploy, training a health care force that is ready to deploy with those Soldiers, and protecting the health of the entire Army Family.
Dingle told Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, Army surgeon general and the ceremony’s presiding officer, he would continue to make readiness paramount. “We will establish a region-wide culture of excellence built upon your priorities and vision, he said.”
West highlighted the accomplishments of the region under Place, noting that, due to a reorganization of the Army Medical Command, RHC-A doubled in size. The scope of the regional mission also grew.
“During his tenure as commander [RHC-A] brought new focus on supporting our Army’s mission by integrating medical, dental, public health, veterinary and warrior transition capabilities in the region,” West said.
The Surgeon General also praised the region for its embrace of technological advances in health care. Virtual health, the provision of specialty health care to Soldiers in remote areas, has been a particular focus of RHC-A, allowing Army health care providers the ability to help beneficiaries far from their treatment facilities. Using virtual health, beneficiaries may need to travel less to receive specialty care.
“[Brig. Gen. Place’s] team has set the standard in using virtual health technology,” West said.
West also praised the region’s addition of new graduate education programs. Health care providers use the programs to further develop their skills, which enables them to provide top-quality care to Soldiers and Family members.
West singled out Place as a superb leader, who combines first-rate skills as a physician, academic, administrator and executive with empathy.
“He is decisive, but weighs his decisions very carefully. Not just doing the right thing, but ensuring it is done right in the most compassionate way possible. He cares.”
In his farewell to the region, Place said that upon arriving at Fort Belvoir in December of 2015, he was initially impressed with by the expertise and diligence within the command. “And now, after seeing with my own eyes the near-miracles you perform on a daily basis, I am in awe,” he said.”
Some notable successes include: Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Ga. was, for the second consecutive year, recognized for safety and quality by the American College of Surgeons (one of only 60 hospitals selected nationwide); Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point, N.Y. is collaborating with the U.S. Military Academy, the Department of Defense and the National Collegiate Athletic Associate in the largest study of concussion ever; Guthrie Ambulatory Care Center at Fort Drum, N.Y. is the highest rated facility in the entire Defense Health Agency for electronic pharmacy prescriptions.
“This command provides spectacular support to Soldiers and their Families; past, present and future, Place said.”
Dingle comes to RHC-A from the Office of the Surgeon General and Army Medical Command, where he was deputy chief of staff for operations. Place will serve as a special assistant to the surgeon general.
Editor’s Note: Brigadier General R. Scott Dingle is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Washington Annual Conference of the 2nd Episcopal District.