from Dr. Byington
June 2017: Darnall Partnership
This week marked an important step forward for our institution as we formalized an expanded partnership with Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) through the signing of an affiliation agreement.
Given the College of Medicine’s roots as one of five medical schools created by the Teague-Cranston Act to meet the needs of the medically underserved areas of the country—namely veterans and rural community members—and Texas A&M University’s strong military tradition, it’s a particularly fitting partnership.
As I’ve alluded to previously, I am dedicated to recommitting to our charter, while simultaneously refocusing other key areas of impact to capitalize on three pillars of success:
serving rural and underserved populations
innovation and technology
A re-emphasis on military medicine brings our focus back to our foundation and benefits our students, service members and their families.
While both the College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy have had a presence at CRDAMC for quite some time, we are expanding upon this agreement to allow for a minimum of 60 medical students to rotate through CRDAMC per year—a number we expect to grow, and diversify across the health professions, in the coming years.
Specialty rotations will begin this fall with CRDAMC’s staff serving as adjunct faculty, as well as those that assist in leadership roles serving as clinical faculty. Annual rotation opportunities will include core rotations in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry and surgery. As the partnership grows, more rotations in other areas are expected. These experiences will be second to none for our students and will allow them to work with some of the best physicians in the state at an exceptional training facility.
I am also happy to announce that the College of Medicine’s own Colonel James Lucas, deputy commander for surgical services at CRDAMC, will serve as the campus dean for Fort Hood. Lucas completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M and graduated from the Texas A&M College of Medicine in 1997.
It is important to note that the college has made it a point to welcome students like Col. Lucas who are veterans, or who will be commissioned as physician officers, upon graduation. We anticipate this partnership will interest more physicians in a military medicine career or a career serving veterans and their families.
I truly believe that medical and military service are two of the most meaningful ways an American can serve their fellow citizens. Ultimately, the partnership will provide our medical students with an experience we can’t offer at any other civilian medical center—the chance to serve their country. It’s the epitome of the Aggie core value of Selfless Service.
Through partnerships like this, my hope is that Texas A&M will emerge as a premier training center known for its commitment, leadership and service to veterans and military health and I look forward to sharing important advancements in this important focus area in the coming months.
You can read more about the event in the news coverage links below:
Bryan-College Station Eagle
Killeen Daily Herald
Fort Hood Sentinel
Stars and Stripes
With warmest wishes,
Carrie L. Byington, MD