Let Camp Darby Keep Its Medical Liaison Team

This petition made change with 788 supporters!

To the Command Teams of Regional Health Command Europe and Vicenza MEDCOM,

We, the undersigned members of the Darby Military Community (DMC), friends and family members of the DMC, and supporters from around the world urgently request MEDCOM leadership to reconsider the dissolution of services by the TRICARE POC and the three Host Nation Patient Liaisons. Camp Darby is home to over 400 Active Duty Service Members command sponsored family members. Additionally, our community supports a small Retiree population as well as the DoD civilians and contractors that support the DMC missions. The community depends on the services provided by Michelle Cyr, the TRICARE POC, and the Patient Liaisons, Micaela Ballucchi, Ilaria Guerrini, and Barbara Lama for host nation care coordination, language and document translation and navigation of the various facilities and providers within our host nation healthcare network.

Camp Darby does have a small Medical Aid Station staffed by two Active Duty U.S. Air Force Independent Medical Technicians available to provide limited care but to Active Duty only. For the rest of our community we rely entirely on the Italian healthcare system for all our medical needs.

We understand the proposed solution for the elimination of the liaisons is for those enrolled and eligible for TRICARE Prime Remote to rely on International SOS for all referrals, authorizations, appointment scheduling, medical document translation and telephonic language assistance. Unfortunately, communication and language assistance is not always readily accessible. Most areas within the hospital have dead spots, limited or spotty cell service and exam rooms with landlines that cannot dial to 800 or foreign numbers. Therefore, given these obstacles, ISOS is not an acceptable solution.

Not having reliable, clear, and consistent communication to bridge the language barrier puts our Soldiers, Airmen and their families at risk for a potential medical crisis. Many of the host nation providers currently used regularly by DMC patients have already begun to voice concern about seeing us in the absence of the liaison staff referencing legal liability and safety concerns. Our host nation providers deliver quality care but that care is only as good as it is understood. If we do not have the valuable and dedicated liaisons present to assist with the delivery of this quality care, treatments, procedures, and medication information is not going to fully be understood and therefore undermines the quality of that care.

The size of the Camp Darby Military may be small, but that fact should not be used to take away the basic necessity which is access to quality medical care. While this action may support budget cuts, it could very well endanger the lives of Soldiers, Airmen, DOD civilians, and their families.

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