SMART Soldiers

Fourth Class of Operation Hackensack S.M.A.R.T. Soldiers Graduate

Innovative partnership provides high-quality, individualized specialty medical training to the uniformed services including U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center recently graduated its fourth class of soldiers who participated in Operation Hackensack S.M.A.R.T. (Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training).

The program, a partnership with all of the uniformed services, focuses on high-quality, individualized specialty medical training for service members to improve their knowledge, skillsets and increase soldier readiness.  The program, which began in June of 2017 at Hackensack University Medical Center, the first health care facility in the nation to implement this training, started as an initiative with the U.S. Army Reserve and has since expanded to provide high-quality training to all of the armed services and their reserve components.

“We are honored and privileged to support our military by providing high-quality, one-on-one medical training to our soldiers, ensuring they have the critical skillsets they need to maintain readiness,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive of Hackensack University Medical Center and vice president, Population Health, Hackensack Meridian Health. “The feedback from both our team members and physicians has been phenomenal.  They appreciated the soldiers’ enthusiasm, talent, skill and the opportunity to network and bridge their experience in the medical center with military medicine. I want to thank our team at Hackensack University Medical Center for providing this training and their dedication to such an important initiative.”

Operation Hackensack S.M.A.R.T. integrates realistic hands-on training specific to the jobs soldiers perform in their military capacity. The soldiers partnered with their civilian counterparts at Hackensack University Medical Center for 14 days of immersion training utilizing cutting-edge technology, at no cost to the government.  During the recent session, 12 U.S. Army soldiers from across the country received training in the laboratory, operating room, labor and delivery, Department of Orthopedics, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Department of Behavioral Health.

“I cannot thank Hackensack University Medical Center enough for hosting our military members,” said Brigadier General Carl Reese, M.D., M.Sc., assistant surgeon general of Mobilization, Readiness and National Guard Affairs, Office of the Surgeon General.  “The opportunity to participate in the S.M.A.R.T. program will greatly improve the soldiers’ medical skillsets. In addition, Hackensack University Medical Center maintains an Honor Guard, which also demonstrates its commitment to supporting our troops.”

The focus of the S.M.A.R.T. program is to provide critical knowledge sharing between military and civilian medical professionals about best practices, techniques and procedures to ensure military service members are trained to use the most current technology in today’s rapidly changing health care landscape.

“For a fourth time, this unique partnership enabled us to support our servicemen and women, giving them the skills and training they need to effectively fulfill their duty when they are called to serve,” said Michael Horton, FACHE, administrative director of Clinical Services at Hackensack University Medical Center. “We look forward to welcoming other soldiers for upcoming training sessions at Hackensack University Medical Center for this extraordinary program.”

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