Judy Strycek, RN, had no idea she would be spearheading an army training program when she joined the 395th combat support hospital as a major in 1976. “When I joined the unit, I soon learned that one of biggest concerns was how to provide medical training for these individuals that one day may have to treat patients in a combat zone. Basic skills like dressing a wound, taking vitals and how to interact with patients needed to be practiced and mastered.” Judy had been working as a House Supervisor at Methodist Hospitals since 1975. She approached the hospital administration about starting a relationship with the army and allowing the members of the 395th combat hospital unit to train at the hospital.
The hospital administration agreed to the program and appointed Judy the coordinator. The army also saw this as an opportunity to increase their positive public and community relations by working with individuals in the community. Members of the unit were assigned to report to Nursing Services once a month where they would then be assigned to a unit based on their skill sets. “It was a great program. In addition to the clinical training, members of the unit also had classroom training and tests they had to pass.” Stated Judy. She was also in charge of the classroom training.
The unit was based in Gary, IN and active until the mid 1980’s when it was finally deactivated. There are several members still in the area that actively stay in touch. Retired Sgt. Charles Alexander Sr., is head of the group and was overjoyed they were able to recognize Methodist Hospitals for its contribution, "This hospital gave so much to us and the community by agreeing to participate in this program. We could never fully thank them."
The members of the 395th combat support hospital presented Ian McFadden, CEO/President, Methodist Hospitals, with a plaque to commemorate the partnership. "I have been with Methodist for a little over a year now and I am amazed everyday at how many lives this hospital has touched. I have great respect for all of our members of the armed forces. It requires a special sense of commitment to country, community and family to join the military. I am proud that Methodist Hospitals was able to be a part of your training," stated Ian McFadden.
Photo Caption: Members of the 395th combat support hospital present Ian McFadden, CEO/President, Methodist Hospitals with a plaque to comemorate the partnership.
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