FORT RILEY, Kan. –
FORT RILEY, Kansas — Irwin Army Community Hospital conducted a combined ceremony Tuesday, June 14, where Col. Edgar G. Arroyo relinquished command of the hospital to Col. Anthony D. Gray; and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Dills II transferred responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. George L. Foster Jr.
Regional Health Command-Central Commanding General Brig. Gen. Shan K. Bagby presided over the ceremony.
During his 24 months of command at IACH, Arroyo led a team that achieved notable milestones such as the transition to an electronic health record system, accreditation of the hospital by The Joint Commission, standing up the Kansas Small Market for the Defense Health Agency, executing the first Soldier-only hospital field training exercise, launching the first Delayed Evacuation Medical Course, creating opportunities to support medical mobilization of National Guard and Reserves units, all while resuming operations back to pre-pandemic conditions for patient care.
“Leadership is about people, it’s not about organizations, plans or strategies. It’s about people motivating people to get the job done,” Arroyo said. “You have to be people-centered said Colin Powell and I would add you have to be patient-centered. And that we were, and that we are, and that we will be. Two years ago I stood in this very ceremony full of nervous energy knowing that we were about to do something important, but not realizing where this adventure would take us.”
Arroyo now prepares for his next assignment with the U.S. Army Regional Health Command – Pacific.
Bagby recognized the outgoing command team’s combined achievements.
“Col. Arroyo and Command Sgt. Maj. Dills took charge of this facility during the early days of the COVID-19 response, which nothing can really prepare you for that kind of adversity,” Bagby said. “It’s easy to execute when the sun is shining but much more difficult with an unseen or unknown enemy. I could not have asked for a better command team.”
Turning his attention to the incoming commander and command sergeant major, Bagby welcomed them both to the Regional Health Command – Central.
“Col. Gray, we both worked in the past so I know what you’re made of. I know you possess the knowledge, leadership and strategic vision necessary to ensure this team can maintain its status as a premier medical platform.”
Prior to his arrival to Fort Riley, Gray was director of logistics for Brooke Army Medical Center and Regional Health Command – Central G4, Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Throughout his Army career he has served in various medical service leadership positions, such as commander for the 168th Medical Battalion (Area Support) and brigade executive officer, 65th Medical Brigade, Republic of South Korea; and he commanded the U.S. Army Medical Material Center in Southwest Asia, Qatar.
“Team IACH, I do not take lightly the opportunity to steward this great organization,” said Gray. “I am humbled to serve and work with you. This is not only an impressive facility, with phenomenal people as its life blood; it has a proud history as well. We will maintain ‘The Fighting Doctor’ spirit of our namesake, Brigadier General Bernard J.D. Irwin.”
As Gray takes the reins of leadership, he will continue to oversee the maturation of transition to the Defense Health Agency, major upgrades to the electronic health record system, optimization of pharmacy operations, and heighten the readiness activities of medical forces so they are prepared to respond to a range of contingencies in Europe.
IACH is a 47-bed hospital on Fort Riley that opened in October 2016 with the mission of supporting medical readiness for the units assigned to Fort Riley, especially the 1st Infantry Division. It also provides care to Army families and military retirees. The hospital oversees four outlying clinics, namely, Farrelly, Custer Hill, Novosel Aviation, and Caldwell Public Health Clinics.