September 02, 2011

Daniel Rainey Recalls Instigating Army Ombuds Program at Walter Reed

The closure of the Walter Reed medical center prompted Daniel Rainey to remember how conditions at the aging hospital lead to the Army MEDCOM Ombudsman Office. In 2007, Rainey (now the Chief of Staff for the National Mediation Board) and a few colleagues finagled a meeting with the new Deputy Commander at Walter Reed. They were able to convince General Michael S. Tucker that an Ombuds program, "would help the Army address more than broken air conditioners and peeling paint."

Rainey goes on:
To his credit, he immediately saw the utility in creating an Ombudsman Office that would serve all of Army MEDCOM, not just Walter Reed. Also to his credit, he brought in Colonel Becky Baker, who headed the team that created the Army MEDCOM Ombudsman Office, which now has offices around the world at Army medical facilities, and which is offering dispute resolution and management services to literally thousands of wounded soldiers, families, and medical professionals every year. Not coincidentally, given the work Ethan and I have done in online dispute resolution, there is an ODR component to the Ombudsman Office, too.

The ghost of Walter Reed Army Medical Center hovers over all of the Ombudsman Offices.

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