DoD-PHS Partnership for Psychological Health – Brooke Army Medical Center


bjbjz Corps_BAMC_MOA_Cut03 [music plays] Rick
Schobitz: The Department of Defense is facing a deficit in mental health providers, and
finding providers who are prepared to move around the country at the needs of the military,
who are prepared to work in a uniform setting, who understand the military culture and are
able to practice within that culture, that’s a challenge, but the United States Public
Health Service is a resource to meet that need. We’re the center of the Army Medical
universe, the home of the Army Medical Department, and now the home of DoD Medicine. The impact
that Public Health Service officers have had at Fort Sam Houston has been quite special.
We are fully integrated into the Brooke Army Medical Center Department of Behavioral Medicine.
My clinical focus here is the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. So I see clients
that have come back from deployment and I also serve as the director of training for
the psychology residency program. The psychology residency program here is pretty unique in
that it’s a combined program both for Army and Public Health Service psychologists. They’re
coming right out of school and they’re coming right into uniform, so it’s an exciting time
for them and for me. So my role is twofold. First, I’m here to teach them how to do clinical
work, and I also have a role where I’m teaching them how to be officers. We’re going to take
the lessons that they’ve learned at Brooke Army Medical Center, go to different duty
stations throughout our country, go where the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines
are and provide that critical care. Dennis Slate: I transitioned from civil service into
PHS. It’s different in it allows more flexibility in moving among various agencies. That’s why
I liked it. I’ve been in the Bureau of Prisons. I worked in Immigration and Customs Enforcement
and Homeland Security, and then I came back to DoD. You are placed in positions of responsibility
from the moment you come in. It’s a fast-paced environment. One of the real issues here at
the Army right now, there’s not enough providers. We help fill that gap. So we provide access
to care. We provide direct care, and we’re training a new generation of psychologists,
social workers, and psychiatrists. Jane Olien: This is my second career. For most people
it’s their first or they were prior active duty military. I was in the public sector
for 20 years, and kind of reached a point in my career where it was like, well, what
am I going to be doing? And heard about the DoD initiative and saw the advertisement for
social workers with the Public Health Service, and thought, that sounds like fun, I can do
this. I love working with service members and their families and absolutely wish I would’ve
done it sooner, and it’s just been a blessing. Aaron Simpson: Having put on this uniform
certainly makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger than just me; the camaraderie
of working together as a collective body, the idea of being able to deploy with a group
of people to a disaster area, to provide relief to those who might be suffering. To make a
difference in the lives of warriors and their families in a behavioral health way, you can
see it making an immediate impact on their lives. They serve us, and to support them
in their mission I don’t think that there’s any better thing than that. Rick Schobitz:
The Department of Defense Public Health Service partnership has provided me an opportunity
to have a great experience working with Army and Public Health Service trainees who are
going to be the future of mental health care and to also provide direct services to the
men and women that serve our country. If you’re interested in a lot of diversity, an opportunity
to make a difference and to be compensated for that difference — we get great benefits,
competitive salaries, and a chance for advancement — and if you enjoy the idea of serving your
country in uniform, then I think the Public Health Service is a great option for you.
[end of transcript] HHS: 091010 More Magazine Interview PAGE DATE @ “M/d/yy” 12/28/12 Booz
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