By Mikaela Cade, CRDAMC Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas —With just about 70 days to go until patient care begins in the new hospital, the team at CRDAMC is looking for volunteers to participate in full scale patient care rehearsals known as Day in the Life (DIL) events.

The first DIL event is set for 7 a.m. Feb. 6. at the new hospital. A second event is planned for Sat. March 5.

Karin Markert who didn’t want to miss the chance to participate in the community event threw her hat in the ring way back in October.

“The new hospital is beautiful, and I want the community to get excited about it,” Markert, an Army spouse and mother of three said. “It’s such a great thing for our community; not only that, but I think participating in the Day in the Life event will be a blast.”

“I want to play a pregnant lady,” Markert moaned using her best woman-in-labor voice. Markert is so pumped up about the new facility; she volunteered herself and her boys to be actors during the event.

Day in the Life events are full scale rehearsals that ensure the staff is prepared to deliver safe, quality care in the new facility. Both events will occur on Saturdays in order to have minimal impact on patient care and maximize community participation.

During the rehearsals community members will participate in a variety of medical role-play scenarios, and staff will provide the required care. There are more than 40 scenarios that adults and children can participate in.

“The staff has to get comfortable delivering care in the new facility, so we definitely need the support of the community,” Col. Mark W. Thompson, hospital commander said. “We’re going to need about 250 community volunteers to help us with the upcoming Day in the Life events.”

“This is a great opportunity for medical center staff to show the commander and the community how prepared we are,” Maj. Brian Cahill, transition director said. “It is one of the final checks the commander will complete to ensure staff is ready to deliver care in the facility.”

“At this point, we’re on track for opening in April, but we must be assured that the staff is ready to deliver safe, quality care in the facility,” the commander said. “Successful Day in the Life events will give us the confidence to know that everything and everyone is ready.”

Thompson noted that next few weeks will be extremely busy for the staff as they complete orientation and training in the facility.

“We don’t want people to start wandering over there for appointments,” Thompson said. “So, we’re going to keep the community well-informed on the timeline of the move.”

“The actual move will occur over a six-week period which means we will have some dual operations,” the commander explained. “We will ensure the community is aware of which services are being offered where. We want the first baby to born in the facility; not in the parking lot,” Thompson joked.

In an effort to share information about Day in the Life, move timelines, changes to services, and what the community can expect at the new facility, Col. Thompson and the hospital leadership team will host a town hall in the health education classrooms of the current facility on Thurs. Jan 28 at 6 p.m. All community members are invited to attend.

“This is a great facility. It will transform how care is delivered to the Fort Hood community,” Thompson said. “The new facility is really a magnificent building,” I’ve seen other new hospitals, and I can tell you this is the best in Army Medicine bar none.”

Community members interested in participating in the Day in the Life event can contact the hospital operations chief, Mr. Billy Williams, at (254) 286 – 7210/4546 or send an email to for more information.