NECC Recovery Care Management Program Critical to Expeditionary Multidisciplinary Care Team
13 February 2023
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) continues to demonstrate its commitment to the care and resiliency of its members across the force, by focusing on mental health and other critical care areas. The force uses the Recovery Care Management (RCM) program, which provides assistance to injured and ill service members, who incurred their conditions on or off duty.
The RCM program advocates for service members and their families, and provides direct warrior and family support to ensure all needs are met through the coordination of services and resources.
“Our all-volunteer force made the selfless decision to serve our great nation, not always knowing the missions they’d face or the challenges they may encounter along the way and how that could impact their lives,” said NECC Force Master Chief Rick Straney. “We have the responsibility to ensure our personnel have the resources they need to overcome and persevere beyond those challenges and continue to thrive either on active duty or in civilian life. Our Sailors are our weapons system, and we value their dedication to our country and are committed to ensuring they have what they need to enhance their quality of life, strengthen operational readiness, and alleviate the stressors that accompany our profession of arms. It is for this reason we have invested in the recovery care management program and I encourage our Sailors to utilize this resource to the fullest extent.”
Another responsibility of program is to serve as a liaison between service members and providers. This includes addressing issues related to their health care, benefits, pay, entitlements, legal and medical and physical evaluation boards, streamlining the process for service members and their families.
“The recovery care team is an integral component of our expeditionary multidisciplinary care team. There is no other TYCOM outside of Naval Special Warfare that incorporates non-medical case management capability into its embedded treatment model,” said Capt. Joe Bonvie, NECC Force Psychologist.
Bonvie explained that the recovery care management program falls under NECC Force Medical organizationally and is managed by the force psychologist who has oversight and regular contact with the recovery care counselors.
“NECC’s RCM removes access to service barriers at the time of injury or illness by performing such critical functions as consulting to the Navy Bureau of Personnel on medical board status, coordinating with hometown VA hospitals and representatives, and forming collaborative relationships with outside organizations to facilitate comprehensive care plans,” said Bonvie.
He went on to say that having the RCM within the NECC embedded care team, streamlines communication and lends to swift solutions and more informed decisions on behalf of our Sailors. The RCM program serves many roles, which are directed by each individual’s unique needs.
“We can be both the resource and liaison to the resource for Service members. We can be dual. Sometimes they [service members] are comfortable and can talk things through with us [that they cannot with others],” said Kimberly McQueen, technical lead, Recovery Care Management Team. “Sometimes you connect with people who have been through similar things. That connection is super important.”
The majority of the RCM staff at its four locations, have a military background or connection. The RCM works cooperatively with the Wounded Warrior Program, its sister program, but is not limited to providing assistance solely to operational members. Service members can take advantage of the program’s offerings regardless of their assigned duty with the only prerequisite being that personnel be assigned to an NECC unit. Additionally, they do not need a referral or an appointment to seek services. RCM takes walk-ins, emails and receives personnel casualty reports from the command via Navy Personnel Command, recommending a Sailor for assistance.
“We are the service member’s advocate,” said McQueen. “There are a multitude of people we reach out to and have connections with. Some people need administrative help and others do not. Everything is tailored to the service member.”
The aim of the program is to help the member either transition back onto active duty or seamlessly into the civilian sector. Plans range from very minimal assistance to more involved care. RCM offers service members tools to build their resiliency, toughness, helping them to be more productive and mentally sound.
“The two primary ways our NECC Recovery Care Management team supports our service members is by problem solving clinical service support, and through transition out of uniform. The RCM team helps our service members navigate the medical landscape and connect to resources that support their care and recovery,” said Bonvie. “This may take many forms, such as finding caregiver support to reduce the stress on the family member, identifying a civilian based specialty care facility for timely residential care, or explaining the medical board process in detail and the role of your pueblo. The RCM is also there to provide transition services to individuals exiting service whether it be through end of EAOS, retirement or ADSEP. Transition is a complicated time in every active duty service member’s career, so having an in-house advocate to explain the steps is empowering.”
The NECC Recovery Care Management Program has representatives located in four force concentration areas, including Virginia Beach, VA; Gulfport, MS; Port Hueneme, CA and San Diego, CA. Service members may schedule services with recovery care coordinators through walk-in services at any pf the locations, via phone, or by reaching out to the NECC force medical team for assistance.