HQ USMEPCOM, North Chicago, Ill. –
After a four-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the USMEPCOM Medical Leadership Training Symposium (MLTS) returned, bringing the top command doctors and leadership together for three days of activities and presentations.
“A lot of change and rotation has happened since 2019,” said Col. Megan Stallings, USMEPCOM commander. “A year and a half ago we couldn’t do anything virtually, now we can. There are no new major system changes coming but there is a lot left untapped with USMIRS and MHS GENESIS. What we do now is finish building those products out.”
The theme of this year’s MLTS was “The Standardization of Modernization: Effectively Manning the Fighting Force.” Sessions included in-depth presentations on topics like writing prescreens and how service authorities approach waivers, but medical standardization remained a key focus throughout the symposium.
“Modernization amplifies the need for more coordination,” said Stallings. “It’s important that we provide readiness for our armed forces in a timely fashion by asking for what medical documents we need exactly and nothing more.”
Dr. Filomena Myers, Raleigh MEPS CMO, hasn’t missed a MLTS in 33 years and was grateful to return to this year’s event.
“My first MLTS was in 1990,” said Myers. “There are a lot of new CMOs this year, but all of us are still learning processes within MHS GENESIS. I can learn from them as much as they can from me. Sometimes it feels like we are alone as sole CMOs at our MEPS. This event helps bring that community together.”
Stakeholders in attendance were not only able to learn from presenters but give their perspective and insights in effectively manning the fighting force.
“We are one of the biggest consumers of CMO products,” said Army Lt. Col. Kathleen Ryan, U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) command surgeon. “Those of us in waiver authority do need to understand the CMO world. Sometimes, they need facetime with us as well. To be here and let them know how we are impacted is essential in this recruiting environment.”
As the first MLTS since the launch of MHS GENESIS, CMOs were able to provide leadership with substantial feedback in-person on the new technology. The new electronic health record was a huge launch for the command and is still being refined almost daily, thanks to feedback and guidance from the actual users. Stallings said that the command is committed to continually learning and listening to feedback from the field.
“Please continue to feed those recommendations up,” said Stallings. “The end goal is to make processing easier for all involved.”