Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

BAMC adapts to support greater San Antonio community during COVID-19 pandemic

Doctor checking soldier's heartbeat U.S. Army Col. April Critelli, physician’s assistant, screens a patient for COVID-19 at the McWethy Troop Medical Clinic, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, May 13, 2019. Critelli is the first medical Soldier to return to active duty from retirement during the COVID-19 crisis. (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus

As COVID-19 surges across the nation, and specifically Texas, Brooke Army Medical Center has continued to provide care for local beneficiaries, and provide aid to the greater San Antonio community.

“Over the past few months, BAMC and the San Antonio Military Health System as a whole have agilely adapted to continue to provide service to our 250,000 active duty and military beneficiaries in a COVID-19 environment while sustaining our Level I trauma support of our region,” said Army Brig. Gen. Shan Bagby, BAMC commanding general.

From easing the city’s testing demand to taking on additional critically ill patients, BAMC’s response to this ongoing crisis has been “nothing short of amazing,” Bagby noted.

BAMC is the only Level I Trauma Center within the Department of Defense and one of two within San Antonio. Alongside University Health System, BAMC administers lifesaving care to more than 4,500 trauma patients each year, including 750 burn patients, from an area that stretches across 22 counties in Southwest Texas and encompasses 2.2 million people.

Of the over 4,500 trauma patients admitted each year, about 85 percent are community members without military affiliation. The Secretary of the Army Designee, or SECDES, program enables BAMC to receive civilian trauma patients in a military treatment facility.

Working alongside Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), which coordinates the region’s trauma and disaster relief response, and University Health System (UHS), BAMC is fully integrated within the local trauma network, said Air Force Col. Patrick Osborn, BAMC’s deputy commander for surgical services.

With local hospitals nearing capacity, BAMC has been taking additional trauma patients through STRAC to ensure the region’s trauma response remains unaffected by the pandemic.

BAMC also provides community support through its drive-thru screening and testing operation. Operational since the earliest days of the COVID response, BAMC has eased the burden on the city’s overtaxed testing sites, screening over 9,100 patients and testing over 7,500 personnel as of July 7. Additional screening and testing is provided by the 59th Medical Wing on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

For testing, BAMC uses the CDC-recommended COVID-19 test called a nasopharyngeal swab, which involves using a swab to take a sample from inside the nose. As of July 7, BAMC has processed more than 25,000 COVID-19 tests.

Additionally, technicians from Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center and the Department of Defense Food Analysis and Diagnostics Laboratory have volunteered their time and resources to assist the ongoing COVID-19 mission at BAMC, added Army Lt. Col. Robert Cybulski, Jr., director of microbiology, Department of Pathology and Area Laboratory Services (DPALS).

The Pharmacy Department has also stepped to the forefront to assist COVID response efforts. To ensure staff and patient safety and reduce the footprint within the hospital, BAMC implemented a curbside pharmacy service across the organization starting in late March. Over the course of just over two months, BAMC serviced over 89,500 vehicles and dispensed over 162,000 prescriptions. Since June 1, BAMC has processed over 97,500 prescriptions through its drop-off and pick-up in-house services.

BAMC also has been leveraging every virtual asset to its fullest extent in recent months in an effort to keep patients safe at home.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virtual Medical Center at BAMC increased virtual health appointments from 16 percent of overall appointments in January 2020 to 52 percent in May 2020, said Army Lt. Col. Sean Hipp, director of the Virtual Medical Center, noting that Primary Care and Behavioral Health have been active users of virtual services. 

Virtual appointments can be used for medication refill requests, lab and radiology results, cold and allergy symptoms, urinary tract infections and routine follow-up appointments in which a physical exam isn’t required.  

The Virtual Medical Center is also exploring the expansion of tele-critical care support (TCC), Hipp said. This involves a network of providers and other specialists monitoring smaller wards, providing over watch and support for patients in intensive care units. With COVID-19, there’s a feasible tele-critical application at BAMC, he noted.

“On the readiness side, we already have a robust readiness clinic and the ability to see patients all over the world rapidly. Now, we are gaining a better understanding of what can be done over the phone or on video, which will lead to better access to care throughout the San Antonio Military Health System,” he said.

“BAMC will continue to assess and explore ways to support our beneficiaries and community during this ongoing national emergency,” the commanding general said.

“We are honored to serve our active duty, retirees, their family members and this tremendous community,” he said, “and we are proud to serve our nation as a premier readiness platform for our military medical personnel.”

You also may be interested in...

Do You Have COVID-19? Influenza? Or is it RSV? Here’s What to Look For

Military personnel preparing a COVID-19 test sample for processing

Knowing the symptoms of COVID-19/RSV/Flu will help your medical treatment

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Medical Leaders Address COVID-19 Concerns During Family Forum

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jemuel Macabali, from San Diego, Calif., gives the COVID-19 vaccine to staff at Camp Lemonnier, in Djibouti, Aug. 13, 2021.

Top health leaders talk about the recent spike in COVID-19 infections and the impact on the military community.

Recommended Content:


Navy Hospital Corpsman steps into the breach in the war on COVID-19

Article Around MHS
Hospitalman Hector Conde standing in front of a immunization office's refrigeration

First responders and those fighting on the medical battleground have earned well-deserved recognition for their efforts.

Recommended Content:


Critically ill COVID Patient Delivers Baby While on Heart-Lung Bypass

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hernandez and his wife, Ashley, take a family portrait with their six children. Ashley is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Hernandez, a Marine Corps spouse and mother of five, is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Coronavirus

Got Your 6 - Jan. 3, 2022

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to Find your local military provider at, or go to and schedule yours today!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

This is my Why

Article Around MHS
Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock poses for a photo after receiving his COVID-19 vaccination

Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock stated his reason for getting the vaccine was to help his mother and son be able to have a play date again.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Development of WRAIR’s Pan-Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promise

A vial of spike ferritin nanoparticle WRAIR's COVID-19 vaccine

Series of preclinical studies supports the Army’s pan-coronavirus vaccine development strategy

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Immunization Experts are Central to COVID-19 Vaccine Program

Medical director at Fort Riley, Kansas receives a COVID-19 vaccination In his left arm from a tech in personal protective equipment.

Immunization Health Division at forefront of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Military Health System Marks 1-Year Anniversary for COVID Vaccinations

FEmale Marine gets COVID 19 vaccination in left  arm at Camp LeJeune in December 2020

More than 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered a year after first shots within MHS.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

So others may breathe - Navy Medicine Respiratory Therapist cares for COVID casualties

Article Around MHS
Military Health personnel posing for a picture

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Tessa Hazard, a respiratory therapist, recently deployed to Alabama as a member of a COVID-19 response team.

Recommended Content:


Army Public Health Center provides update on Long COVID risks

Article Around MHS
COVID19 Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Recommended Content:


JTF Coyote begins pediatric COVID-19 clinics as adult booster vaccination numbers increase

Article Around MHS
Military health personnel giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The Vermont National Guard now supports the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic with vaccinations for youth in the 5 to 11 age group and booster clinics for the general adult population.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

MHS Reaches 6 Million Doses of Vaccine Against COVID

Airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, receive COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021. The 139th Medical Group oversees the operation. .

Military passes 6 million mark for COVID-19 shots administered across the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

COVID 19 Vaccine Is Now Available for Children 5 to 11

5-year-old girl in mask reads a book by herself

COVID-19 vaccines for 5-11 year olds are ready now through MHS

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

DHA-Policy Memorandum 21-004: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Attestation, Screening Testing, and Vaccination Verification


This memorandum provides guidance on the implementation of vaccination, attestation, and testing requirements in accordance with the References listed in Attachment 1 to reduce the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 36

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.