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Army endorses once-suspended Madigan leader with extended command assignment

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Feb. 28, 2013 at 11:11 am with No Comments »
February 28, 2013 11:11 am
The Army extended Col. Dallas Homas' assignment as commander of Madigan Army Medical Center. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christopher M. Gaylord
The Army extended Col. Dallas Homas’ assignment as commander of Madigan Army Medical Center. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christopher M. Gaylord

The Army is giving Col. Dallas Homas an extra five months to command Madigan Army Medical Center, extending an assignment that was interrupted last year by an investigation into misdiagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder at the hospital.

Homas will remain at the hospital through the end of the summer, the Army announced this week. He took command in March 2011 and assignments leading the hospital typically last two years.

“This is wonderful news for Madigan Army Medical Center and all its beneficiaries,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Thomas, Homas’ commander at the Army’s Western Regional Medical Command. “Col. Homas is a fine commander.  He represents superbly the Army, the Army Medical Department and our region.”

Homas, a West Point graduate who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, has received recognition from Army leaders for his management of the hospital’s budget and for a project he championed called the Soldier Centered Medical Home. It steers medical specialists who normally work at the hospital to instead spend several days a week inside Army units where they are more easily accessible for active-duty soldiers.

“It’s definitely a privilege to continue to command here,” he said. “I am excited by what the future holds for Madigan.”

The Army in February 2012 placed Homas on restricted duties during its investigation into patient complaints about behavioral health diagnoses. It reinstated him in August, finding that Homas did not use his command to influence the diagnoses. The Army has not released its investigations into Madigan except for a two-page summary of its report on Homas’ command.

The complaints centered on Madigan’s forensic psychiatry program. It consisted of a team of doctors who had the final say on behavioral health diagnoses for soldiers receiving medical retirements. The Army once considered the program to be an example of “best practices” for behavioral health.  Since the Madigan complaints, the Army restricted the use of forensic psychiatrists, finding that the extra scrutiny they embodied was not a good fit for the military.

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