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News | June 25, 2024

Change of Command at Irwin Army Community Hospital

By Jorge Gomez

Irwin Army Community Hospital held a change of command ceremony June 17, 2024, where Col. Anthony D. Gray relinquished command to Col. Laudino Castillo.

Medical Readiness Command, West, Commanding General Brig. Gen. Yolonda “YR” Summons presided over the ceremony before an audience of Soldiers, family members, the Fort Riley community, and local healthcare partners.

Summons praised Gray’s leadership during a challenging period marked by personnel shortages, budget constraints, and modernization efforts. She highlighted his achievements in increasing medical readiness, appointment availability, and operating room utilization, which made IACH the preferred hospital for beneficiaries in the community.

“Col. Gray, thank you for your leadership and expertise,” said Summons. “Your relentless drive for excellence leaves a remarkable legacy here at Fort Riley.”

She then welcomed Castillo, recognizing his extensive experience and the values instilled by his family. She noted his previous role as Command Surgeon for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Germany and expressed confidence in his ability to lead IACH through future challenges.

“Col. Castillo, you inherit a team of dedicated professionals,” Summons said. “I know you will prove to be an exceptional steward of this notable legacy.”

Gray, the outgoing commander, began his farewell remarks by highlighting the IACH purpose statement and vision that guided his leadership: “we believe in teamwork and selfless service, which is why we enable readiness, as well as high-quality equitable care, so we can make a positive difference.”

This vision, developed by the hospital team, helped him make difficult decisions and held him accountable throughout his command.

He acknowledged the invaluable support from CSM George Foster, his deputy commanders, and the entire IACH staff. He praised their expertise and dedication, particularly during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to the Defense Health Agency (DHA).

Gray emphasized the importance of partnerships, thanking the 1st Infantry Division command team, Medical Readiness Command-West, and the Fort Riley community. He expressed confidence in Castillo’s leadership, highlighting his extensive experience and commitment to enhancing IACH’s performance and readiness.

“Dino and I have had the honor and privilege of serving together at Brooke Army Medical Center,” Gray said. “I can tell you his infectious smile and energy is not an act; it is authentic. It is who he is.”

Taking the podium, Castillo, the incoming commander, expressed his honor and gratitude for the opportunity to lead IACH. He thanked Gray for his warm welcome and smooth transition to the Fort Riley community.

Castillo emphasized his commitment to the IACH mission and the importance of teamwork. “I will always place people first,” he declared, committing to maintain the high standards set by his predecessor. He expressed excitement about continuing the strong partnership with the Big Red One and other network partners to ensure combat-ready medical forces and high-quality patient-centered care.

Prior to his arrival to Fort Riley, Castillo served as the command surgeon for 21st Theater Sustainment Command at Panzer Kaserne, Germany, from 2022 – 2024. A Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, he served as the chief of Department of Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center 2020 – 2022.

With Castillo at the helm, IACH can expect continued improvement in medical care. He’ll work towards achieving high reliability organization status, with the upcoming Joint Commission triannual accreditation as a key step. Additionally, his experience with the U.S. European Command will be invaluable in maintaining the 1st Infantry Division’s medical readiness.

Gray moves on to serve with the U.S. Medical Command G-4, where he’ll be providing medical logistics support to medical treatment facilities across the globe.

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, Farrelly, Custer Hill, Novosel Aviation, and Caldwell Public Health Clinics.
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