Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Flu shots, housing concerns and winter weather procedures were just some of the topics addressed by a panel of subject-matter experts during the Fort Leavenworth Garrison Town Hall Nov. 14 at the Frontier Conference Center.
“‘The best hometown in the Army’ is not just a slogan,” said Garrison Commander Col. Harry Hung. “We’re always trying to strive to maintain what it means to be the best hometown, and it is continually defining how to improve.”
Hung said he created the Garrison Commander’s Community Safety Action Group to allow Garrison representatives and post residents to address different safety concerns around the installation, including crosswalks, visibility at night and speeding issues.
“We formulated this based upon initial feedback from the (village) mayors,” Hung said. “We created this so we could get more consistent feedback not just from mayors but from other players.
“Be active participants,” he said. “If there are safety-related issues please join in this particular safety action group.”
Col. Scott Mower, Munson Army Health Center commander, briefed attendees about the Flu Vaccine Campaign #Knowflu, TRICARE open enrollment season and other updates.
The next flu clinics are 1-5 p.m. Nov. 22 for a drive-through clinic in the Post Theater parking lot; 7-11 a.m. Nov. 26 on the second floor of MAHC; and 1-3 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Post Exchange.
“I’d like to apologize up front. We’ve been getting the vaccine shipments in dribbles,” Mower said. “I’m happy to report, yesterday, we got the rest from all the doses that we ordered, so we’re going to be moving forward with scheduled events.”
Check the MAHC Facebook page for more flu immunization clinics.
TRICARE open season is now through Dec. 10. There may be increases in copays with the pharmacy home-care delivery service, Mower said.
“(MAHC) fills pharmacy prescriptions at no cost if you are a beneficiary at Munson,” he said.
As of Oct. 1, MAHC and other military medical treatment facilities are part of the Defense Health Agency. However, the change will not affect services.
“It is more or less a headquarters command and control change,” Mower said. “Over time, we do expect there will be some benefits from this because we’re going to take the best of how Navy, Air Force and Army do medicine and try to standardize that across the board.”
As the holidays approach, MAHC will have changes in holiday hours, Mower said.
MAHC will be open until noon Nov. 29. MAHC will be closed Dec. 13 for an Organization Day. MAHC will follow Fort Leavenworth for weather closures and delays, so check the Fort Leavenworth Facebook page for updates.
Along with on-post updates, Mower also told attendees about changes coming to St. Luke’s Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth.
“They have not closed,” Mower said. “They have downsized in some of the services they are offering.”
There are no labor and delivery services in the Leavenworth area. The closest hospital with labor and delivery is Providence Medical Center, 8929 Parallel Parkway in Kansas City, Kan.
“It is about an extra 20-minute drive,” Mower said.
Finally, in response to identity theft concerns, Mower assured attendees that MAHC follows and adheres to the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
“We put safeguards in place to restrict access to patient-sensitive information,” Mower said. “If we do find that there has been an unauthorized breach or people have inappropriately accessed or shared patient information, we have processes in place to make sure that those things are reported. It is taken very seriously in our organization.”
Joe Gandara, Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities community director, briefed attendees about winter weather preparedness.
Snow removal on residential streets will only take place if there are more than two inches of snow on the ground. The snow removal team will also clear sidewalks next to the road, but not necessarily the sidewalks leading up to the front door of a residence, with the exception of deployed family members, Gandara said.
Gandara also addressed road repairs, playground repairs and other housing-related repairs.
“We have a process that we have to go through for funding,” Gandara said. “We have a project that has already been approved locally to do some road repairs, but it has to go through an approval process above the Garrison.
“We know that there is work that we need to do,” he said. “As soon as we get that approval, we will start that work when it makes sense (with weather conditions).”
Gandara also addressed the radon concern in homes. For more information about radon concerns and testing, visit https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/featured/2019/09/26/experts-discuss-radon-threat-mitigation-in-homes/ to read the Sept. 26, 2019, article published in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.
Finally, Gandara encouraged housing residents to complete the Department of the Army Residential Community Initiative Survey, which is open through Dec. 12.
For more information about the survey, visit https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/uncategorized/2019/11/14/residents-opinions-needed-for-survey/ to read the housing update in the Nov. 14, 2019, in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.
Residents should contact these organizations with housing concerns:
• Frontier Heritage Communities, call (913) 651-3838.
• Frontier Heritage Community Management Office, call (913) 682-6300.
• U.S. Army Garrison Housing Oversight Office, call (913) 684-4021 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The resident’s military chain of command.
• Garrison Commander’s Office, call (913) 684-2993 or the Commander’s Housing Concern Hotline at (913) 684-3858.
Residents can also contact Rick Field, Fort Leavenworth Residential Community Initiative asset and housing manager, at (913) 684-5684.
John Hughes, force protection officer for the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, briefed attendees about Fort Leavenworth’s delays and closure procedures due to winter weather.
For more information, visit https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/featured/2019/02/21/weather-decisions-based-on-risks-other-factors/ to read the Feb. 21, 2019, article published in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.
Following the briefing, attendees voiced their concerns about the issues addressed and other issues including wildlife on post.
Neil Bass, Directorate of Public Works natural resources specialist, and Dr. Darrin Olson, Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, addressed the concerns.
For more information about raccoons, foxes and other wildlife concerns, visit https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/news/2019/10/24/wildlife-common-in-forts-environment/ to read the Oct. 24, 2019, article in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp.
The next Town Hall is at 5 p.m. Feb. 20, 2020, live via the Fort Leavenworth Facebook page.