ALEXANDRIA, LA — U.S. Sen. David Vitter today followed up on a meeting he had with General Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, and spoke with Lieutenant General Patricia D. Horoho, Army Surgeon General, and Commander, U.S. Army Medical Command regarding Bayne Jones Hospital at Fort Polk.
The Army was considering downgrading the hospital to a clinic, but General Horoho told Vitter they are putting the decision on hold and Bayne Jones would remain open as a hospital. Vitter also pressed this issue with General Raymond Odierno, the Chief of Staff of the Army, in a meeting and at a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week.
“This is a positive announcement for Fort Polk,” Vitter said. “The Army leadership is committed to keeping close communication with the community and our Congressional delegation to ensure the right health care solutions are in place for each base. No matter how much effort it takes, I’ll continue explaining to the Army how vital Fort Polk is to our national defense.”
Currently the Army Medical Command is reviewing potential plans to downgrade a number of Army hospitals to clinics that they say can be supported by the surrounding community. Bayne Jones Hospital at Fort Polk is on that list.
During Sen. Vitter’s meeting with General Odierno last week, General Odierno said he was “very concerned about this issue” and “because of his visit with Senator Vitter,” he would have his office was review the new information provided. General Odierno offered Army Surgeon General Horoho to follow up. Additionally, General Odierno said that he believes it is important to maintain the hospital capability at places like West Point and Fort Polk.