women's day photo

Salute the Troops

The US Family Health Plan is deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of the members of the uniformed services, and their families. For the past 10 years, US Family Health Plan at St. Vincents Catholic Medical Centers has been a proud corporate sponsor of the “Salute the Troops” Thanksgiving Day event, which is held on the Battleship New Jersey located on the Camden, NJ, Waterfront. Soldiers training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst who couldn’t be home with their families were treated to a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner aboard the WWII historic battleship.

“I’ve participated in this event each of the ten years we have sponsored it, ” said Jeffrey Bloom, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of the US Family Health Plan at St. Vincents. “The men and women of our uniformed services, and their families, never cease to inspire me. After all they do for our country, this dinner is one simple way to say thank you,” Jeff Bloom said.

Learn more about the event

Frank G. Willetto, an 84-year-old Navajo Code Talker, renders honors during the playing of the national anthem at a ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va., Feb. 19, 2010. In February 1945 the United States launched its first assault against the Japanese at Iwo Jima, resulting in some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

Veterans Day Message from the US Family Health Plan

On this Veterans Day, the US Family Health Plan salutes the millions of men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. America’s veterans embody the ideals upon which America was founded more than 230 years ago.

The 22 million veterans alive today have served in all branches of the armed forces and in conflicts large and small. Our veterans have shown the selflessness, courage and commitment that have kept our nation free and allowed the United States to become the greatest country in the world. America’s veterans have fought our wars, stood ready during peacetime and responded to disasters at home and abroad when called upon. While we can never truly repay the debt we owe these heroes, the least we should do for them is ensure that they have full access to the services and benefits they have earned, including health care.

The member organizations and staff of the US Family Health Plan program are truly grateful for the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans and their families. Today, and every day, we are committed to honoring their service through the delivery of the highest quality health care in support of our men and women in uniform, their families, and retirees and their families.

Mitchel Field Family Health Center promotes awareness with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

By MC2(AW/SW) Kristina Young

This story appeared in The Dolphin on Aug. 28, 2014

Photo by MC2(AW/SW) Kristina Young LONG ISLAND, NY

LONG ISLAND, NY. – Physicians, staff, and patrons of the Mitchel Field Family Health Center (MFFHC) celebrated their new branding and patron awareness campaign with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the medical center in Garden City, Long Island, NY, Aug. 12.

A former U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force base, Mitchel Field still maintains military public-private venture (PPV) housing, a commissary, an exchange, and a contracted health care facility to support military families and activities in the area.

Mitchel Field DoD activities are aligned under Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE) in Groton, Conn., for facility and infrastructure support and management.

MFFHC recently underwent renovations to improve aesthetics as well as the center’s atmosphere for their more than 1,200 patients of the military community. New paint, new carpeting, and other refurbishments were capped off with dramatic new outdoor signage including eleven 8 ft. by 8 ft. photographs of military members, family members, and military equipment.

“I look at these pictures and it reminds me of the dedication and the sacrifices that all of our military members have made, along with the sacrifices of their families,” said Jeffrey Bloom, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of U.S. Family Health Plan which directs the clinic’s operations. “I look at these pictures and I’m proud to be a part of this plan. I’m proud to be providing the service that we have been providing. And, I’m proud of all of you that’ve patronized this site for the last 24 years.”

The new signs reflect a branding effort to highlight the center’s service to its military patrons and its existence to the local community.

“It absolutely feels great to have the community come out to celebrate with us as we are here because of them; if it wasn’t for the military community around us, we wouldn’t be here,” said Norma Velez, lead clerk with MFFHC for more than 24 years. “We always try to make this center feel like home for our patients and they just love it.”

According to Velez, before the new branding signs were placed around the outside of the building, patients would have a hard time locating the center.

“When the idea of putting signs around the building came up, we all thought it would help our patients and people in the community find us easier,” said Velez. “Our building is so close to the [Mitchel Field] commissary, yet people were having a hard time trying to locate which building we were in exactly. The beautiful pictures on the signs definitely show everyone who we are and who we serve.”

The health center contracted with local Rockville Centre, Long Island, PRI Communications Inc. to develop the signs.

“They told me that they would like to make the building more beautiful,” said Angelo Puleo, president of PRI Communications Inc. “I felt it was a privilege and an honor to do it for military people who support all of us throughout our lifetimes. I made sure that we picked the right pictures; we diversified; and, had proper representation of military members. I’ve been working with [MFFHC] for more than eight years…and I appreciated the opportunity to be a part of the new brand.”

Some 50 health center patrons, staff, and U.S. Family Health Plan leadership celebrated the ribbon cutting with music, food, and reflections about the center’s history and impact.

“I love this place, I love my veterans and my active-duty service members; just being able to be there for them is where my passion for this place comes from,” said Joyce Arciuolo, nursing director at MFFHC.

MFFHC opened in its current location in October 1990; prior to that, staff worked out of three different apartment buildings in nearby Mitchel Manor.

“I began as a clerk in June 1989, and Marvin Mullens, who was in charge, decided to move us out of the apartments and into this building,” said Velez. “This building was utilized for multipurpose use before we took over. It wasn’t nearly as pleasant as it is today. The renovations and work that was put into it really shine and make this place like home.”

Dr. John Burkhart, Medical Director of U.S. Family Health Plan, and a retired Navy Capt. who once worked as medical administrator at SUBASE’s clinic, oversees the MFFHC staff. He praised patients and caregivers alike for the sense of home and family with which they imbue the facility.

Health center patrons echoed the sentiment.

“The center is really scrumptious and full of personality and history. And the medical care, all top-notch doctors; I can’t complain about any doctor that I’ve ever [received],” said MFFHC patient and retired Marine First Sgt. Michael Puglia, who served in the corps for 32 years. “The doctors here, whether they know you or not, are very outstanding, professionals, and always welcome you as a patient. The staff, when I come in there, they’re fabulous. They help me with any problem I [have], if I have a problem; or, if I don’t have a problem, I still get help. [MFFHC] is second to none.”

For more information about the DoD services and activities located at Mitchel Field, visit:

Patriot Day Picture

The US Family Health Plan Remembers 9-11

The US Family Health Plan Alliance and its member organizations are deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of our uniformed services members and their families.

Thirteen years ago today marked the beginning of our nation’s longest war—the still ongoing war against terrorism. The nearly 3 million service members who have deployed in support of war operations – many of them multiple times — volunteered to serve our country and have served with great distinction, often in very difficult conditions overseas. Each of them has family members who have sacrificed in many different ways. They have assumed extra duties at home, taken extra jobs, assumed family burdens that would ordinarily be shared, and have worked hard to ensure a stable home and productive environment while the military member is away supporting the mission.

As we remember the 2,977 people who perished at the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., we are reminded of the continued selfless commitment and patriotism of all of our service members and their families. The US Family Health Plan Alliance and members are especially proud to collaborate with the National Military Family Association in honoring the memory of those who perished on 9-11, as well as the service members and families of our uniformed services who sacrifice every day for our great country. A brief tribute can be seen below.


Homes for Military Veterans

Two US Family Health Plans are helping to build homes for military veterans. In Texas, CHRISTUS Health and the US Family Health Plan Alliance helped fund a home for a retired wounded warrior. In Massachusetts, Brighton Marine Health Center, Inc., is in the early stages of a planned multi-family complex that will provide affordable rental units to veterans and their families.

Brighton Clinic Looks to Build Housing for Veterans
Wounded warrior welcomed to new Cypress-area home


What Parts of Your Compensation Package Do You Value the Most?

An independent, congressionally-appointed commission tasked with recommending ways to modernize military pay, benefits and retirement seeks input from current and retired service members, dependents, and other members of the public.

The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission over the next few months will survey active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, as well as military retirees. The Commission wants to know which parts of their package of compensation benefits they value the most. But the Commission isn’t just relying on the survey. It is also encouraging other military members, retirees, dependents, the general public and other interested parties to share their opinions with the Commission. Those opinions can be submitted either online through the Commission’s website or by writing to the Commission directly. The Commission’s website address is: www.mcrmc.gov

The Commission is tasked with reviewing the full range of military compensation and retirement policies and making recommendations to Congress about which compensation benefits and policies should be reformed and how. Compensation benefits under review by the Commission include all active duty, reserve and retired pay and allowances, health care benefits and policies, and quality of life programs and activities such as commissary and exchange benefits and nonappropriated fund activities. The Commission’s recommendations are supposed to help ensure the country can maintain its all-volunteer force in a fiscally sustainable way, whether the nation is at peace, or at war. The Commission’s final report will be provided to Congress and the President by February 1, 2015.

The commission’s recommendations could significantly impact the array of future military compensation benefits, including health care benefits. Those interested in the US Family Health Plan program may wish to register their views about important compensation benefits like health care by contacting the Commission at www.mcrmc.gov or by writing to:

The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission
Post Office Box 13170
Arlington, Virginia 22209

Nurturing the Roots of Healthful Eating Habits

Nurturing the Roots of Healthful Eating Habits

Nurturing the Roots of Healthful Eating Habits

Children from the Youth Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA, and volunteers from the US Family Health Plan teamed up to plant a community vegetable garden at the Youth Center on May 28. The children tend the garden, and are permitted to harvest the vegetables for use at their homes, or for food preparation lessons at the Youth Center. This is the fourth year that the US Family Health Plan operated by Brighton Marine Health Center has sponsored the event and helped plant the garden. Brighton Marine Health Center is one of six US Family Health Plans that provide care to military families under Defense Department contracts.