Skip to main content

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Elective surgeries resume within the San Antonio Military Health System

Image of Two surgeons in an operating room. Surgeons perform a procedure at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. U.S. Army photo

With safety at the forefront, elective surgeries are set to resume at the end of August across the San Antonio Military Health System.

“We have a military population whose non-urgent procedures were delayed in some cases for safety purposes and in order to preserve resources and capacity,” said Army Brig. Gen. Shan Bagby, commanding general for the Brooke Army Medical Center aboard Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. “We are eager to resume these important medical services.”

SAMHS had resumed ambulatory elective surgeries at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center earlier this month, already doubling the number of procedures performed in July. Meanwhile, BAMC has focused on providing urgent and emergent inpatient surgical care. Next week, BAMC will increase surgical capacity by 50% for more complex elective surgeries, said Air Force Col. Patrick Osborn, San Antonio Military Health System surgeon-in-chief.

Patients whose procedures were delayed will be contacted by their surgical team or clinic, and new cases will be scheduled based on patient acuity and available capacity, said Osborn, adding that evaluation of patients’ surgical needs has been ongoing, often through virtual technology.

“Elective procedures are an important aspect of a person’s overall health care and, while they may not be urgent in nature, they should not be put off indefinitely,” Osborn said. “After careful assessment, we are confident in our ability to resume these procedures safely.”

SAMHS will monitor the pandemic situation daily and expand or scale back procedures as needed, said Air Force Maj. Gen. John DeGoes, SAMHS market manager and commander, 59th Medical Wing.

“Our highest priority is safeguarding the health and wellness of our patients and staff,” DeGoes said. “We will continue CDC-recommended safety precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most valuable asset – our people.”

SAMHS had paused elective procedures July 1 due to the surge in COVID-19 and in line with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order. The intent was for hospitals to reserve capacity for COVID-19 patients from the community.

Despite a resumption of elective surgical services, everyone should continue to social distance, wear a face covering, and wash hands thoroughly and often, Osborn said.

“We all have a continuing role in stopping the spread of this virus,” he said.

You also may be interested in...

Article
Feb 13, 2024

Defense Public Health Hosts Webinar for Red Hill Community

Defense Public Health Hosts Webinar for Red Hill Community

Public health officials from Defense Health Agency Public Health recently hosted a public webinar for members of the community affected by the Red Hill fuel release in 2021. During the event, held on Jan. 9, 2024, U.S. Air Force Col. John Oh, chief of the occupational and environmental health division at the DHA Public Health, gave an update on ...

Topic
Jan 9, 2024

Public Health

Public Health supports the move from a health care system to a system of health by focusing on the prevention of disease, disability, and death in garrison and while deployed.

Topic
Nov 2, 2023

COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus discovered in 2019. The virus spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets and small particles produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

Article Around MHS
Oct 4, 2023

Stemming the Tide: Navy Medicine and the Egyptian Cholera Epidemic of 1947

Over three months, cholera spread across 2,270 towns and villages in Egypt killing over half of its victims. According to one estimate over 20,000 Egyptians died of cholera. (Graphic by Andre Sobocinski)

On September 21, 1947, a man was admitted to the Al-Qurayn (El Korein) Hospital in Egypt vomiting profusely and suffering severe diarrhea. Within hours, he was dead. The attending physician on duty first suspected food poisoning before 11 additional patients were admitted with identical symptoms. Their diagnosis was cholera, a deadly bacterial disease ...

Article Around MHS
Sep 29, 2023

Real Life Falls Are Not a Laughing Matter: Protect your Body, Ego

Each year thousands of military personnel injure themselves because of falls from vehicles and equipment, tripping over objects, and slipping on hazardous surfaces like ice, snow, or water. Injuries include lacerations requiring stitches, concussions or head injury, sprained ankles, wrists or hands, and broken bones. These often require ER visits and can result in temporary disability and lost duty time for many days or even months. (Defense Centers for Public Health-Aberdeen graphic illustration by Joyce Kopatch)

Cartoons typically portray slips or falls as comical accidents. But falls are no laughing matter. Falls often cause injuries that require emergency room visits for injuries such as lacerations requiring stitches, concussions or head injury, sprained ankles, wrists or hands, or broken bones. Learn how to prevent fall-related injuries.

Article
Aug 1, 2023

Case Report: Complicated Urinary Tract Infection Due to an Extensively Resistant Escherichia coli in a Returning Traveler

This article presents the medical case report of a 76-year-old man who returned to the U.S. following overseas travel and was admitted at Hawai'i's Tri­pler Army Medical Center with a complicated urinary tract infection due to an extensively resistant strain of E. coli.

Article Around MHS
Jul 25, 2023

Defense Public Health Experts Investigate If Minority Group Service Members are More Likely to Experience Behavioral Health Problems

A recent Department of Defense study found American Indian and Alaska Native U.S. Army Soldiers had higher rates of suicidal ideation than white soldiers. The DOD is investigating behavioral health disparities among minority groups in the military to see how they might mirror similar disparities in the civilian population. (Graphic illustration: Steven Basso, Defense Centers for Public Health-Aberdeen)

U.S. public health agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health have recognized that certain minority groups appear to experience greater risk for certain behavioral health disorders. The higher rates of adverse health problems in minority groups are often referred to as “disparities.”

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery