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Walter Reed Bethesda Staff Supporting Army Ten-Miler


By Bernard S. Little

WRNMMC Command Communications​

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center held a series of dress rehearsals to prepare staff for providing medical support at the 34th Army Ten-Miler, which course will take runners through Arlington, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Oct. 7.

After the Philadelphia Broad Street Run, the Army Ten-Miler is the second largest 10-mile race in the United States, according to race officials. The race annually draws tens of thousands of runners from around the world for the run, which begins and ends at the Pentagon[OMACW1] .

Staff members from Walter Reed Bethesda have traditionally provided medical support for the event, caring for runners challenged in past years by heat, musculoskeletal and dermatological injuries and other medically-related problems from participating in the run.

This year, Walter Reed Bethesda has been tasked to provide a minimum of 59 medical staff members, according Army Maj. Angela Howell, a nurse coordinating the efforts of medical center taskers for the race and WRNMMC’s nurse informatics officer. “We have 150 tasked and volunteers who will support the tasker for this year’s 34th Army Ten-Miler,” she added.

During dress rehearsals for the event, WRNMMC staff members practiced setting up and using litters and wheelchairs, radio communications and trauma kits including ice bags, splinting material and wound dressing equipment. WRNMMC staff members will staff a number of first aid stations along the race course, and medical tents at the event will be equipped with cots, intravenous (IV) fluids, and resuscitation devices including defibrillators, oxygen, suction and adult- and pediatric-sized instruments and medications. WRNMMC staff members supporting the event include physicians, nurses, corpsmen, medics and other medical and administrative technicians.

During last year’s Army Ten-Miler, more than 260 patients were treated by University Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) faculty, medical students, and National Capital Consortium Primary Care Sports Medicine fellows, along with staff from several National Capital Region military treatment facilities, in four medical tents on race day, according to Sharon Holland, USU external affairs officer. “Thirty-four patients were transported to area hospitals by ambulance. Thirty runners were treated for Exertional Heat Stroke (EHS) in one of four ice baths running almost continuously for much of the race. More than 1,500 pounds of ice was used to provide life-saving treatment for runners with EHS.

Howell and Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Christopher E. Jonas, USU assistant professor of Family Medicine who served as chief medical officer for last year’s race, agreed that providing medical support to such events as the Army Ten-Miler gives service members real-life experience to better provide battlefield care. Jonas said of providing medical support at last year’s event, “This felt almost exactly like providing care during mass casualty situations while deployed.”