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About Project TRANSAM

The National Defense Authorization Act of 1995, Section 8032 of Public Law 103-335, created the opportunity for Project TRANSAM. The two individuals who spearheaded the legislation were Senators Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Ted Stevens of Alaska. The senators regard the project as an opportunity to point out important domestic needs and the enhancement of military readiness. Project TRANSAM is a Civilian-Military Cooperative Action Program between the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD) concerning distribution of medical equipment and supplies obtained from closure of military bases as well as other sources such as the GSA Excess program, Direct Transfers from other Federal agencies, direct shipment and delivery from Resource Control Point (RCP), Discounted Medical assets from Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Depots, and "Blankets for the Homeless" donation program sponsored by the DLA each year.

Functional Statement:

  • Plans, develops and implements the recovery of assets within Federal Agency inventories consistent with the mission of the IHS to increase the delivery capability of health care.
  • Coordinates with IHS, Tribal and Urban (I/T/U) program activity locations to transfer inventory assets or establish location specific "Want Lists".
  • Promotes "First Source of Supply" doctrine in sourcing unfunded needs requirements within the Health community.
  • Maintains asset integrity by proper storage, security, inventory management and reports.
  • Coordinates with Clinical Engineers on asset issues that affect technology, compatibility and functionality.
  • Reacts to unique needs driven by Emergency Response requirements of natural disaster, flood, fire, hurricane, or man-made disaster.
  • Provides the healthcare community an optional way to meet the increasing asset needs to offset decreased available funding.
  • Provides training to reservist in their field.
  • Responds to customer survey comments to improve quantity, quality and availability of our assets and service to all qualified customer locations and vigilant to fairness in distribution.


  • Screening for Assets - Searching for assets via websites, asset listings forwarded from agencies for review and networking. Compatibility of items is determined by contacting customer and Clinical Engineering if necessary. Contact with point of control confirms quantity, quality and availability to prepare shipment. Transfer is accomplished via SF-122 and electronic transfer document.
  • Transportation - Dimensions, Weight and quantity of pallets to be shipped are configured, Transportation Management Services Solutions (TMSS, GSA freight rates) quote request for shipment is obtained and vendor contacted for pick up and delivery (To warehouse location or direct to customer). Shipment condition is inspected by Air Force or TransAm Team, prepared for in processing. Out shipments are prepared in a similar fashion however if Air Frames are available then destination may be carried out under our Memoranda of Agreement for Training purposes.
  • Inventory - Assets compared to Transfer document for accuracy. Item entered on spread sheet (Usual activity of the Air Force Reserve) sent to TransAm member for verification and entered on the current personal property (equipment/Supply) inventory listings. Reconciliation to inventory is accomplished at interim intervals based on in and out shipments of assets. Current customer available inventory is posted on the TransAm website under National Programs and Incentives.
  • Emergency Response - Events that occur without warning that require immediate response to relieve angst and suffering. Inventory available within the TransAm warehouse made accessible for immediate deployment. Command post communications established to source and adjust to asset demands on a 24/7 concept of response.
  • Unique Requirements - Research and source a Snowbulance vehicle used in the recovery and transport of patients in the Alaskan Village of Gambell located 90 miles east of Russia. Locate, obtain pertinent data and approximate cost of preparation and transportation concerning Medical structure for transfer to the Red Lake, Minnesota. Medical complex is to be used as a Behavioral Health center.


  • At DHHS secretary's request, we gave special priority to respond to the Red Lake incident by supplying two ambulances and a handicapped accessible 15 passenger van.
  • Response to White Cloud, Kansas to furnish the clinical area completely, from administrative assets to patient treatment equipment and supplies. Direct contact was established and issue addressed on a weekly basis to meet scheduled opening of the new facility.
  • Established procedure for Medical and Dental Imagery Equipment to be evaluated and reconditioned ready for turn key operation once arrived at location. This process greatly improved patient care delivery when the location system failed beyond immediate repair. A similar program is being evaluated for Dental chair systems.
  • Stepped up to the challenge presented by disasters that involved a wide range of unique circumstances that included the three hurricanes that hit the Gulf coastline states.
  • Continued to substantiate the MOA with the Air Force Reserve Command with cross agency training and support of government to government cooperation those results in Readiness Training to be accomplished under real world objectives.
  • TransAm Ambulance program provides assistance to Tribal Emergency Response with the purchase and distribution of pre-owned and inspected Ambulances. Since 2002 this program has assisted Emergency Response programs with 29 of these Ambulances The locations to which these are sent is determined partly by the following process: Generally, first priority is given to those programs which have only one ambulance (with no vehicle backup) and to those programs who make more than 500 runs per year, per ambulance. These criteria were established in the 2001 study for IHS titled, "Quantifying the Unmet Need in IHS/Tribal EMS."

The symbolic relationship continues to parallel the Missions of both agencies and validates the importance placed on Project TransAm. As the DoD focuses on strength of Homeland Defense and Military Readiness the Indian Health Service concentrates on the strength, health and well being of the American Indian and Alaskan Native.