Stars and Stripes
Commander at Lewis-McChord base hospital is suspended, under investigation
By Rose L. Thayer
October 8, 2020

Christopher Warner - Psychiatrist

Christopher Warner – Psychiatrist

AUSTIN, Texas – Col. Christopher H. Warner was suspended from his duties as commander of Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., after less than three months on the job, base officials confirmed Thursday.

Warner’s suspension went into effect Oct. 2 and was triggered by “an investigation that is unrelated to Madigan or its personnel,” said Lt. Col. Neil Penttila, spokesman for I Corps, which oversees the base. Army Criminal Investigation Command is leading that investigation.

“We can provide a further update upon completion of the investigation,” he said.

Madigan, with 220 beds for in-patient care, is the second largest treatment facility in the Army and one of only two designated Level II trauma centers in the Army, according to the hospital website. Col. Scott B. Roofe, Madigan’s deputy commander, is acting commander in the interim.

“Col. Roofe will ensure there is minimal impact on the hospital’s mission and operations,” Penttila said.

Warner, a medical doctor, took command of the base hospital on July 15, according to an Army news release about the ceremony. During the event, Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the Army surgeon general and commander of Army Medical Command, described Warner as a “phenomenal leader.”

Warner is from Toronto, Ohio, and commissioned as a Medical Service Corps officer upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1996, according to the Army release. He then graduated from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in 2000. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Family Medicine.

Before taking command at Madigan, he served as the military deputy and chief of staff for the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs at the Pentagon. Warner has also served as the commander of Winn Army Community Hospital in Fort Stewart, Ga. His deployments include two rotations to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Madigan Army Medical Center includes a network of Army medical facilities located in Washington and California that serve more than 100,000 active-duty service members, their families and retirees, according to its website. It provides general medical and surgical care, patient-centered adult and pediatric primary care, a 24-hour emergency room, specialty clinics, behavioral health and wellness services.

Each day, Madigan performs more than 45 surgeries, fills nearly 4,000 prescriptions, and delivers eight babies, according to its website.