Skip to main content

Military Health System

Important Notice about Pharmacy Operations

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Impact on MHS Pharmacy Operations. Read the statement to learn more. 

Tips for Military Parents Planning PCS Moves with Children

Image of Moving can be hard on military families, especially on children. Moving to a new home, going to a new school, finding new friends – it can be unsettling for kids of any age. Yet there are things that service members can do to prepare for a permanent change of station move that can make for a smoother transition for the children. A child at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni blows bubbles during a recent Month of the Military Child celebration. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Gabriela Garcia-Herrera)

Moving can be hard on military families, especially on children. Moving to a new home, going to a new school, finding new friends – it can be unsettling for kids of any age.

Yet there are things that service members can do to prepare for a permanent change of station move that can make for a smoother transition for the children.

Army Maj. (Dr.) Dominique Holley, a child psychiatrist and deputy chief at Fort Campbell's Department of Behavioral Health, shared some important tips for military families to help in the PCS process for kids.

How far in advance should parents start connecting with the community they will be moving to?

"Short answer is as soon as possible," Holley said. Sharing information with children about the new location where they will live can be very helpful in helping kids adjust to the idea of living in a new place.

"It will be important to start looking into the known interests of the kids or family such as local parks, scout troops or local churches for activities," she said.

"Moving can be stressful and there typically are mixed emotions surrounding moving from the whole family."

Nevertheless, she said: "Kids generally adapt well overall, forming connections early on to a new place."

What are some suggestions for finding a new doctor?

"Enrollment in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EMFP) ensures that any military family member with chronic medical concerns, physical disabilities, mental health disorders or required intensive follow-up support are stationed where services are available for that family member," she said.

Beneficiaries can search for doctors in a new location on the TRICARE website. Providers in most circumstances reach out to receiving installations to provide warm hand-offs to receiving clinics.

Additional PCS recommendations regarding medical records:

When transferring from installation to installation there is typically no need to transfer medical records as long as there is consistency from one electronic health record (EMR) to the next, Holley explained.

While the MHS GENESIS electronic health record is being implemented at military hospitals and clinics across the Military Health System, that transition is not yet complete. Beneficiaries may have to request their medical records from your hospital or clinic medical record department or patient administration division, if the installation you are transferring from or to is not yet using MHS GENESIS.

"Once MTFs migrate to MHS GENESIS from the Armed Forces Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) EHR, then they will no longer need to transport paper medical records from one MTF to another," Holley stated.

The process of requesting medical records takes about one or two weeks and requires the approval of behavioral health care providers. "This request should be made about a month prior to PCS to ensure time to obtain records when needed," Holley said.

When traveling to the new location, Holley suggested these activities to keep children engaged while en route:

"Ensure easy access to the most commonly used games and activities and toys while traveling," Holley said.

Also, audio books or tablet computers, depending on the age of the child, can be engaging as well.

Should parents try to keep kids involved in the same type of activities at the new location?

"There are no correct activities necessarily to involve kids in. It largely depends on interests or passions of the kids," Holley said. "If they love certain sports or hobbies, then it makes sense to ensure to make efforts to continue those."

She also suggested that the move might also be an opportunity to try new things and introduce kids to new interest that may be unique to the new school or area.

Are there ways to make goodbyes less difficult for the kids?

"Focus on all the positives of a new place," Holley suggested. "Parents should highlight unique features of the new environment with activities that kids would enjoy."

Planning enjoyable activities in the new city or state ahead of the move can help make the move something to look forward to. Another thing to consider is to plan a return visit to see close friends or family. "Leaving certain people is particularly difficult for kids as well as adults," Holley said.

Any tips for helping kids get organized and prepare for the move?

Make sure to keep commonly used games and toys away from movers so that they are easily accessible for kids during the move. The same applies for their favorite items of clothing, shoes, etc.

Help kids pack a personal bag of their most beloved items to give them a sense of responsibility or control over those things.

"Often times, kids don't have a lot of control over what's happening," Holley said. "Giving them options and helping them to feel empowered with small decisions can be helpful."

Additionally, consider assigning specific tasks during the move for children to focus on. For example, they may oversee ensuring the family pet is fed or has supplies stored away for easy access.

For more information about support programs for military children, visit Military Kids Connect.

You also may be interested in...

Report
Jun 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 6 - June 2023

.PDF | 1.55 MB

This annual issue quantifies the impacts of various illnesses and injuries in 2022 among members of the active component of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as the U.S. Coast Guard; health care burden metrics include the total number of medical encounters, including hospitalizations and ambulatory services, as well as numbers and types of individuals ...

Report
Feb 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 2 - February 2023

.PDF | 965.54 KB

This issue of the peer-reviewed monthly journal published by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD) features the articles: Changing of the Guard: MSMR’s Second Editor-in-Chief Retires; Brief Report: Hospitalizations Among Active Duty Members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Fiscal Year 2021; Historical Perspective: The Critical Role of Disease ...

Report
Jan 1, 2023

MSMR Vol. 30 No. 1 - January 2023

.PDF | 1.22 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Incidence and management of chronic insomnia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2012 to 2021; Changes in the prevalence of overweight and obesity and in the incidence of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes ...

Report
Dec 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 12 - December 2022

.PDF | 2.22 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance trends for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens among U.S. Military Health System Beneficiaries, Sept. 27, 2020 – Oct. 2,2021; Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance within the ...

Report
Nov 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 11 - November 2022

.PDF | 1.30 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance trends for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens among U.S. Military Health System Beneficiaries, Sept. 27, 2020 – Oct. 2,2021; Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance within the ...

Report
Oct 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 10 - October 2022

.PDF | 1.41 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance trends for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens among U.S. Military Health System Beneficiaries, Sept. 27, 2020 – Oct. 2,2021; Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance within the ...

Report
Sep 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 09 - September 2022

.PDF | 2.12 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance trends for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens among U.S. Military Health System Beneficiaries, Sept. 27, 2020 – Oct. 2,2021; Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance within the ...

Report
Jul 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 07 - July 2022

.PDF | 1.67 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Surveillance trends for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens among U.S. Military Health System Beneficiaries, Sept. 27, 2020 – Oct. 2,2021; Establishment of SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance within the ...

Report
Jun 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 06 - June 2022

.PDF | 3.07 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021; Hospitalizations, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021; Ambulatory ...

Report
May 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 05 - May 2022

.PDF | 1.25 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Sexually transmitted infections, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2021; Evaluation of ICD-10-CM-based case definitions of ambulatory encounters for COVID-19 among Department of Defense health ...

Report
Apr 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 04 - April 2022

.PDF | 1.51 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Exertional heat illness at Fort Benning, GA: Unique insights from the Army Heat Center; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U ...

Report
Mar 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 03 - March 2022

.PDF | 1.52 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Malaria, U.S. Armed Forces, 2021; Obesity prevalence among active component service members prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, January 2018–July 2021; Brief report: Refractive surgery trends ...

Report
Feb 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 02 - February 2022

.PDF | 1.10 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Diagnosis of hepatitis C infection and cascade of care in the active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; A new approach to categorization of ocular injury among U.S. Armed Forces; Surveillance snapshot: ...

Report
Jan 1, 2022

MSMR Vol. 29 No. 01 - January 2022

.PDF | 1.23 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Description of a COVID-19 Beta variant outbreak, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, February–March 2021; COVID-19 and depressive symptoms among active component U.S. service members, January 2019–July 2021; ...

Report
Dec 1, 2021

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 012 - December 2021

.PDF | 1.62 MB

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Update: Osteoarthritis and spondylosis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020; Incident COVID-19 infections, active and reserve components, 1 January 2020–31 August 2021; Surveillance snapshot: ...

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