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Team Dunham praised by outgoing health clinic commander

CARLISLE, Pa. (June 21, 2017) -- Change of command for the Dunham U.S. Army Health Clinic was a salute to Army Medicine’s concept of the Patient-Centered Medical Home, a philosophy that a team-based model builds on a strong primary care foundation for the best possible patient care.  Outgoing and incoming commanders alike singled out the expertise and contributions of ‘Team Dunham.’

Lt. Col. Elizabeth H. Duque accepted the unit colors and associated responsibilities from outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Michael F. Belenky.  The parade field event for the Dunham workforce and Carlisle Barracks Community celebrated the leadership at Dunham Army Health Clinic, within the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity which was represented by Fort Meade MEDDAC commander Col. Daniel G. Bonnichsen.

Lt. Col. Elizabeth Duque, new commander, shares a humorous moment with the officiating party of the Dunham Army Health Clinic change of command, June 20.

Belenky shared his admiration for Dunham’s “ultimate team of teams.” They contribute to impressive statistics and remarkable patient feedback, and yet, Dunham team interactions with patients are the real game changer, he said, noting an ability to maintain standards or care while flexing for the unique nature of this clinic’s mission.

“Every year, we bid farewell to and welcome a new War College Resident Class and their families, when we centrally in-process them and provide school and sports physicals to make sure their children can become part of this community as quickly as possible,” said Belenky. “We teach [them] how to dynamically stretch before softball practice so that their 22-year-old minds can adapt to their 42-year-old bodies.

“We team up with the best garrison command in IMCOM to support a Retiree Appreciation Day that is unmatched in its dedication to our retired warriors.

“We hold classes on mindfulness training, tobacco cessation, and lifting to empower, while helping educate our community to make healthier food choices in our commissary. All of this is done while we see patients and receive compliments,” said Belenky, who referred to moving testimonials about “professionalism” and “obvious care.”

Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Romero, Lt. Col. Mike Belenky, and Col. Daniel Bonnichsen respond to Lt. Col. Duque’s remarks, following the formal passing of the unit colors during the Dunham Army Health Clinic change of command ceremony.

 “It’s been the honor of my career to be a member of your team and to be your commander for these two years,” said Belenky to Team Dunham. 

 “The people here are a steady, awesome crew, from what I hear,” said Duque, after the formal ceremony, and that makes her excited to be here at Dunham.

Duque comes from a larger patient base of about 63 thousand patients at Fort Bliss, where she ran the six outlying clinics.  “I was chief of primary care … and got to focus just on patient care, she said, drawing a contrast with the broader scope of responsibilities that will be hers at Dunham.

Team Dunham operates health clinics at Carlisle Barracks, Fort Indiantown Gap, New Cumberland Defense Distribution Center, and Letterkenny Army Depot & Munitions Center. It manages, as well, the Army Wellness Center at Carlisle Barracks which is introducing the new Senior Leader Resiliency program for the senior officers enrolled in Army War College and General Officer education here. SLS is being rolled out this week for the Distance Education student-leaders here at Carlisle for their mid-point resident phase.

“The interesting part of the job will be of a strategic nature,” she said, anticipating changes that will shape military medical care in the future.

The Annapolis native earned her Medical Doctorate from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in 2003. She completed residency training in Family Medicine at Fort Hood, Texas, and a Geriatrics fellowship in 2010. She holds a master’s in Business Administration with a healthcare concentration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Duque’s command team partner, Staff Sgt. Wayne J. Kaufman will pick up the baton from outgoing Senior Enlisted Advisor Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Romero, who will retire to northeast Pennsylvania.

Army Lt. Col. Belenky’s next port of call is the USAWC’s sister service college, the Naval War College.

Below, Army War College Commandant Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp thanks Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Romero for years of contributions to the Army and to the Carlisle Community. The ceremony marked the change of unit leadership from Belenky-Romero to the Duque-Kaufman command team.