26 October 2007

Landstuhl outpatients move into new facility

Spc. Shawn English, 22, from the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, surfs the net in his room located in the new Medical Transient Detachment barracks Tuesday at Landstuhl. English, an Austin, Texas, native, was deployed to northern Iraq. Photo: Ben Bloker / S&S.

Last weekend the outpatients at Landstuhl moved into their new facility, located directly next to the hospital on Landstuhl Post. Now they are within walking distance of their Liaisons, doctors, and case managers.

Before that, they were located almost 20 minutes away in nearby Kaiserslautern.

“That back-and-forth, back-and-forth is eliminated as far as appointments,” said Army Capt. Katrina Gawlik, detachment commander.

Being closer to the hospital is not the only improvement. Over $2.9 million was spent renovating the two buildings where the outpatients are now housed.

Like prior facility, the new buildings offer video game, TV, telephone, and craft rooms, as well as free wireless internet acces. But the sleeping quarters are very different.

Instead of rooms that sleep 10 people, the wounded — at the most — will share a room with one other person. Each room in the two, four-story medical transient detachment buildings has a phone, cable TV, DVD player, microwave, refrigerator and a computer, equipped with a webcam and free Internet access. Also, the buildings house laundry facilities and kitchens.

“Everybody who’s walked through has said, ‘This is better than my house,’” Gawlik said. ...

The facilities can house 230 outpatients, and there are 32 extra beds available if needed.

Airman 1st Class Robert Pelotte, a weapons loader from the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, shoots pool in the recreation area at Landstuhl’s new Medical Transient Detachment barracks Tuesday. Playing with Pelotte was Airman 1st Class Josh Vierra, also with the 455th. Photo: Ben Bloker / S&S.

Soldiers' Angels continues to provide comfort items to the outpatients in the form of gifts from our donors, including extra clothing, personal hygiene items, and hand made blankets from home. I'm also looking forward to getting some use out of the kitchens, including trying my hand the yummy soup Mrs. G used to bring over and a couple of recipes Laughing Wolf has promised to share ;-)

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