New clinics bringing health care closer to Marines, Sailors

17 June 2022

From Riley Eversull

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Active duty service members aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune will soon have closer options for their health care needs. Since 2013, the Defense Health Agency has worked closely with Navy and Marine Corps counterparts to visualize and build Marine Centered Medical Homes (MCMH). These state-of-the-art clinics are scheduled
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Active duty service members aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune will soon have closer options for their health care needs. Since 2013, the Defense Health Agency has worked closely with Navy and Marine Corps counterparts to visualize and build Marine Centered Medical Homes (MCMH). These state-of-the-art clinics are scheduled to open throughout the next few years.

Navy Lieutenant Matthew Miles serves as the Defense Health Agency’s Project Officer for several MCMH construction projects aboard Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River.

“Up until now, delivering care in outlying clinics has been somewhat challenging as it has been dispersed throughout the base in aged and outdated clinics,” said Miles. “The MCMH represents an opportunity to consolidate and enhance access to care in close proximity to our Marines and Sailors in their operational units.”

MCMH Hadnot Point will serve approximately 7,000 active duty with 2nd Marine Division. The clinic will officially receive patients in July; staff will be prepping equipment, training, and moving employees into their spaces over the next few weeks. Another new clinic site, MCMH Wallace Creek, will open its doors later this year to another 6,000 Marine and Sailors.

“These clinics will include ambulatory services and sports medicine to incorporate a one-stop-shop for care,” said Navy Commander Heather Kirk. “MCMHs increase quality of care by providing the team concept of care to ensure patients are seen even when their usual medical provider may be unavailable.”

Kirk, who serves as the Director of Branch Clinics for Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune, explains that ambulatory services will include primary care, radiology, pharmacy, audiology, physical therapy, mental health, and dental. Active duty who had to drive to NMCCL or rely on others for transportation may now only be a short walk to their new MCMH.

“The MCMH models essentially replace what was formerly basic aid stations and regimental aid stations,” Kirk said. “The MCMH clinics will be staffed with operational medical providers for care of their Marine units. NMCCL will provide the necessary additional support.”

According to Kirk, the $139-million MCMH project is not limited to the Hadnot Point and Wallace Creek locations.

“The French Creek Branch Clinic will be upgraded as well as a new MCMH being built on Marine Corps Air Station New River. A new sports medicine complex is also in the works on Camp Geiger.”

Construction on MCMH Hadnot Point and MCMH Wallace Creek began in October of 2019; development for both sites has not come without delays. Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River are still rebuilding after Hurricane Florence devastated the area in 2018. In less than two years, construction hit another hurdle.

“Constructing clinics during a pandemic has been quite the challenge with supply chains being stressed and project staffing hampered by COVID protocols,” said Miles. “Despite the delays, I’m proud overall of our ability to deliver these projects within a reasonable time and without detriment to our patients and staff.”

In January 2022, Army Lieutenant General Ronald J. Place, director of the DHA, toured the Hadnot Point and Wallace Creek facilities mid-construction. Place received updates from the Project Officer, Lt. Miles, and visited with MCMH workers.

“The most important thing is our service members and their readiness. The closer you are to health care delivery makes your team a more important part of this organization,” said Place.

In bringing care closer to active duty, Marines and Sailors have a greater ability to be more engaged with their health care.

“This is very important as it reaffirms our Marine Corps partners of just how dedicated the DHA and Navy Medicine are to their well-being”, said Miles.

A ceremonial ribbon-cutting for MCMH Hadnot Point will take place June 24; the opening date for MCMH Wallace Creek is tentatively slated for late August 2022.
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CLINICS CLARIFIED:
Marine Centered Medical Home (MCMH)- Focuses solely on active duty operational care.

Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) - Focuses on active duty (non-operational care), retiree, and beneficiary care.

Current Branch Clinics:
• Building 15 (Mainside Medical)
• Camp Geiger
• Camp Johnson
• HM3 Wayne Caron*
• MCAS New River*
* Dual service as PCMH and MCMH

MCMHs:
• HM3 Wayne Caron MCMH
• MCMH French Creek (2024)
• MCMH Hadnot Point (June 2022)
• MCMH New River (2023)
• MCMH Wallace Creek (August 2022)
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