Col (Ret) Donald Taylor- US and in Combat Zones Healthcare- Leading the Team, Caring for High Profile Casualties, and Managing Limited Resources

WarDocs - The Military Medicine Podcast

03-03-2023 • 1 hora

In this episode, you will hear about how Col. Don Taylor began his Air Force career as an architect and then progressed into a career in hospital administration. On 9/11, he worked for General Carlton in an office overlooking the Pentagon, and he describes watching the attack on the Pentagon. As a military healthcare administrator, he explains how he interacted as an advocate for the delivery of healthcare and balanced the need for resource utilization and delivering high-quality healthcare. Hear about the insights into hospital administration and the Tricare contract standards and development of standardization in healthcare and development of a healthcare plan and his briefings from the Pentagon to Congress in the Tricare for Life Program. He explains the role of the Medical Service Officer in supporting the various missions of Military Medicine and his leadership positions from Air Force hospital to combat theater trauma hospital.  He shares his insights and lessons learned as a Hospital Commander in the United States and Commander of a large, deployed Air Force Theatre Combat Hospital and medical evacuation hub located in Iraq.  He also describes how he prioritized patient needs and helped promote primary care patient teams and the development of the Primary Care Medical Home.  He details how he as a nonphysician, led physicians and helped synergize their efforts for optimal healthcare delivery.

You will hear him describe how he navigated difficult circumstances with physicians and the situations that arose in the war zone, such as how to deliver care best when there are blood shortages. He also discusses how he handled these difficult situations and helped build rapport with those healthcare teammates. He also describes the training he encountered that most closely reflected combat casualty care.  As an advocate for physical, mental, and spiritual renewal, he describes the importance of personal care.  Interestingly, he explains how he had a high-profile casualty and managed the flow of communication to ensure respect for the casualty’s privacy and family.  He describes how he positively engaged with the media to respect patient confidentiality and ensure family members received information before the media broadcast.  We also discussed how he thinks the military should focus on clinical training to optimize platforms for providing ready providers for casualty care.

Hear about the challenges in military healthcare and recapturing patients due to the fierce competition in the healthcare industry.  He discusses the integration of the healthcare models and his thoughts on the balance between active duty and reserves healthcare providers and the limitations of pulling from the private sector for military care.  He is an expert in these areas as he received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington, TX. He earned his Master of Healthcare Administration from the Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA.  Don had a distinguished career in the Air Force and served as a primary advisor and consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General immediately before and following the attacks on 9/11.  He served as Commander of the Air Force Hospital at Luke AFB and was a pioneer in developing the concept of the primary care medical home.  He also was the first non-physician to Command a deployed Air Force Theater (Trauma) Hospital (Balad AB, Iraq). His final military assignment was at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland AFB, TX, where he served as the Vice Wing Commander.   Following his distinguished military career, Col (Ret) Taylor has worked in the VA system and held several roles providing executive coaching, teaching, speaking, and consulting services to healthcare organizations.  He also led academic positions as an Adjunct Professor and Lecturer at the University of Texas in Dallas.  For those interested in healthcare leadership, he discusses his teaching and leadership programs and those available to senior physicians in and out of the military healthcare system.

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