May 8, 2008
IC Directors
Kerry Brink, Assistant to the Deputy Director, NIH
IC Directors’ Meeting Highlights – April 10, 2008

Discussion Items

I. Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Comments – National Naval Medical Center (NNMC),
Mr. Dan Wheeland, Office of Research Facilities Development and Operations (ORF), Office of the Director (OD)

Mr. Wheeland explained that under the BRAC law, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center will relocate all tertiary (sub-specialty and complex care) medical services from its campus on Georgia Avenue in Northwest DC, to the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) campus in Bethesda. This merge will create a premier military health care command named Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). The BRAC law stipulates completion of the project by September 2011.

Planned construction at the WRNMMC will result in additional inpatient and outpatient space to accommodate increased patient load. Expansion and construction include:

  • Intrepid Center for Excellence to meet an urgent need for Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder care;
  • Clinical and administrative space for a Warrior Transition Unit;
  • Medical administrative space;
  • Bachelor enlisted quarters;
  • Fitness center for staff and patient rehabilitation;
  • Parking for patients, staff and visitors.

Mr. Wheeland noted that transportation issues are a principal concern in the EIS. State and County governments will need to focus on various improvements to mitigate the impacts including mass transit enhancements, pedestrian and bicycle safety and intersection and roadway improvements. A long range project includes an I-495 slip ramp to and from the WRNMMC.

Actions for the NIH consist of providing formal input via the EIS process (NIH has legal standing), continuing participation in the Montgomery County BRAC Implementation Committee and continuing coordination with the Medical Center Metro Transportation Working Group to develop transportation demand management and improvement strategies for the area. It would also be beneficial for the NIH’s Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis (OLPA) to ensure Congress is informed of the impact on NIH and the surrounding area.

Mr. Wheeland commented that NIH should continue to maintain vehicle trips at or below 1992 levels, conduct measurements twice annually, increase use of telework and other alternative work schedule tools, and increase employee incentives for using transit and cycling.

In summary Mr. Wheeland emphasized the need for NIH to continue to take external and internal measures to mitigate the short and long term impact. He reported that the Department of Defense has addressed a number of NIH’s suggestions in the Final EIS, including making use of the Defense Access Roads program, establishing a Visitor Center and Kiss & Ride area, making further improvements to its entrances, and managing future BRAC-related construction traffic.

II. Discussion on NIH Laptop Security, Dr. Jack Jones, Director, NIH Center for Information Technology (CIT), Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Dr. Jones explained Data Security policies emphasizing the mandate that all data (unless determined to be non-sensitive by the agency Deputy Secretary) on mobile computers and other portable devices be encrypted. Access and security are of the highest priority of the policy. IC Directors discussed the distinction between sensitive and non-sensitive information and agreed with a constant focus on security to continue to increase awareness and cooperation.

Kerry Brink
Cc: OD Small Staff

This page was last reviewed on May 8, 2008 .
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