Be Our Guest! Walter Reed Gets Some Disney Magic
On Wednesday the House oversight committee’s national security and foreign affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing, “One Year After Walter Reed.” It’s intended to assess how much the Army medical center’s improved upon the scandalously bad care given to returning Iraq soldiers that the Washington Post documented last February.
Well, today’s Post describes one indication of a new Walter Reed. Tongue firmly in cheek, Steve Vogel reports that the Army is paying the Walt Disney Corporation $800,000 to bring a positive mental attitude to hospital staff. This can mean medical workers watching slides of a cranky Donald Duck frustrated by unresponsive nurses or doctors. Or a glowing Snow White showing how customer service is done.
It’s more than just educational filmstrips, though. Disney World lexicon has also been adopted with Walter Reed employees renamed “cast members” and customers and patients called “guests.”
Army employees expressed confidence to Vogel that the proven success of Disney World customer service successfully translates into treated wounded Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers. After all, what better way for Walter Reed to shed its reputation as a (ahem) Mickey Mouse operation.