The Bayonet

Tuesday, May. 13, 2014

14th CSH thrives on versatility, partnerships

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Whether domestically or internationally, Soldiers of the 14th Combat Support Hospital are trained to provide health care services for a wide range of needs.

Col. Paula Lodi, commander of 14th CSH, said the unit's impact goes beyond the Army to offer civilian aid when disaster strikes.

"We are a hospital with the capability of a regular hospital, and we have a mission to prepare for response to severe weather throughout the continental United States," Lodi said.

Lodi said the unit has a full range of services, including an emergency room, operating room, radiology, blood support, dentistry, X-ray, pharmacy, laboratory, preventive medicine, veterinary and combat stress detachments. In 2005, 14th CSH was instrumental in providing relief to New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina.

"It's very important that the Army has this capability in a deployable configuration to respond to contingencies, both for civilian support, but it is very important to support Soldiers in continuance operations (also)," Lodi said.

As deployments to Afghanistan decline, the unit is shifting to a commitment for contingency operations such as rapid weather response and civil support, as needed.

The 14th CSH most recently deployed a mobile operating room to Fort Stewart, Georgia, working in conjunction with Winn Army Community Hospital to alleviate medical assistance and continue the highest standard of care for the patients, Lodi said.

"It's an absolute model for how deployable equipment can augment a fixed facility in a garrison setting and demonstrate that level of care can be present regardless of the equipment being used," she said. "Deployments and operations like this and the flexibility helps give Soldiers the confidence that we could go anywhere and do our jobs in any situation. This hospital equipment has its own capabilities and limitations, and it is important that each Soldier is familiar with each so we can provide a high level of support."

In addition to medical care, the unit works with public health command to provide inspections and audits of factories that are contracted with the government. Lodi said 14th CSH could not remain versatile without Soldiers who are committed to the training and care of others.

"I am incredibly impressed with the level of knowledge and expertise that even our most junior Soldiers have," Lodi said. "They have an extraordinary amount of pride in what they do and you can see the pride when you put these Soldiers out in an environment like the field with expeditionary equipment. They really start to understand they are a part of something very important for our Army and our country."

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