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RHC-P is in good hands with new regional deputy

Regional Health Command-Pacific

Published: 01:29PM January 18th, 2018
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Courtesy photo

Lt. Gen. Nadja West, commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Command and U.S. Army Surgeon General, administers the oath of office to Brig. Gen. George Appenzeller, deputy commanding general, Regional Health Command-Pacific, and market manager, Puget Sound Military Health System, during his promotion ceremony Nov. 22 at Fort Stewart, Ga.

Since 2016, as result of a reorganization of the U.S. Army Medical Department, Regional Health Command-Pacific has been operating as one command in two locations.

The region’s main headquarters is located in Honolulu, Hawaii, where I reside. Our second location is at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and is led by a one-star general officer — our newest member of the team.

Brigadier General George Appenzeller is RHC-P’s deputy commanding general. As the DCG, Appenzeller, and a staff of about 120 military and civilian personnel are responsible for ensuring our regional military treatment facilities are equipped to successfully execute their health care mission.

As one command united across the Pacific Ocean, Appenzeller plays a strategic role in maintaining fiscal management and oversight of the region’s facilities, primarily Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state, California Medical Detachment and Bassett Army Community Hospital in Alaska, and ensuring those facilities have what they need to deliver safe, quality and timely care.

By doing so, Appenzeller and the staff he oversees ensure our region’s mission of providing combatant commanders with medically-ready forces and ready medical forces throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Also, unique to our region is we oversee two joint-service military health systems of the Defense Health Agency — the Hawaii Military Health System and the Puget Sound MHS, with me and Appenzeller leading each respectively. We are able to share knowledge and best practices as we collaborate with each other and key partners to provide care to Army, Navy and Air Force beneficiaries.

We are very fortunate to have a capable military leader and skilled physician like Appenzeller at the region and at JBLM. He was recently promoted to the rank of brigadier general in November at a ceremony at Fort Stewart, Ga., presided by the Army Surgeon General, Lt. Gen. Nadja West.

Appenzeller is a board-certified emergency medicine physician who has held a variety of military medical positions to include chief of Emergency Medicine at Winn, division surgeon at 3rd Infantry Division, deputy commander for clinical services at Winn, commander at Medical Department Activity-Alaska and at Medical Department Activity-Fort Campbell and Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, and most recently, command surgeon, U.S. Army Africa Command.

He is also a combat veteran, having deployed to Iraq and Kosovo and participated in humanitarian missions in Cuba and Haiti.

His vast experience, coupled with his professional demeanor, make me confident as a commander in his ability to serve as the region’s deputy and to be my second in command when I am not available due to other mission requirements. Above all, Appenzeller is a genuine man with a true passion for the mission at hand, the readiness of our forces and the the care of our beneficiaries.