Newcomers’ Guide

Welcome to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. The information on this web page is just a summary of the information that may be found on other pages of our web site and in brochures at the hospital and our clinics.

The source of health care for all military beneficiaries is TRICARE. Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center is the TRICARE System of Health for Fort Hood and surrounding civilian communities where soldiers, retirees and their families live.

Upon arriving at Fort Hood, the active-duty sponsor is enrolled in one of our primary care clinics when he or she processes through the Copeland Soldier Service Center building 18010. Family members are assigned to a primary care clinic based on available capacity.

There are several ways to access health care at Fort Hood. Your children may require immunizations, sports or day care physicals or medications. We make every effort to provide these services at convenient times. Please call the Patient Appointment Service to make appointments for all of our clinics.

TRICARE, the Military Health Plan

TRICARE, the military's health plan, is the source of health care for all military beneficiaries. It is free for active duty personnel and their families. There are three TRICARE options (see TRICARE Options). If you choose to enroll in TRICARE Prime or were enrolled in Prime at your last installation, comprehensive care is available from Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and its system of Family Care Clinics. See our Primary Care Clinics.

When you enroll in Prime or transfer your current Prime enrollment, your Primary Care Manager (PCM) is identified by name. The Patient Appointment Service (288-8888) will always attempt to give you an appointment with your PCM. When your PCM is deployed or otherwise unavailable, your appointments will generally be with a member of your PCM's team.

Your active duty spouse receives health care at the same clinic as your family unless his or her unit is assigned to a separate Troop Medical Clinic (generally, aviation units).

Although you have access to the best health care in the world, there are some important restrictions. Please be sure to read your TRICARE information. It provides you with important information about your responsibilities when you seek health care from sources other than military facilities and your responsibilities when you are away from Fort Hood and need health care.
More Information About TRICARE

Accessing Health Care

  • Appointments
    Call the Patient Appointment Service at 288-8888 or 1-800-305-6421. TRICARE Prime patients are guaranteed access, limited space-available for non-Prime.
  • Emergency Department
    Patients are seen according to the seriousness or severity of their medical problems in Darnall Medical Center's Emergency Department.
    More Information About the Emergency Department
  • Web Site
    Darnall Medical Center's web site has useful information about our services for our patients, hours of operation, clinics, TRICARE and much more. It has special sections for soldiers and families. You can request an appointment and find information on prescription refills. If you looking for information about Darnall and its clinics and many other subjects, you will likely find it on this website.

More Information About Accessing Care

Access Standards

  • Travel to your PCM should not exceed 30 minutes from home.
  • Office waiting time should not be more than 30 minutes
  • Appointments within 24 hours for acute illnesses.
  • Appointments within seven days for routine visits.
  • Appointments within 28 days for wellness visits.

More Information About Access Standards


Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center also operates five primary care clinics and four troop medical clinics. You will receive most of your health care in these clinics. When clinics cannot provide the appropriate care, you may be referred to Darnall Medical Center or other hospitals in the TRICARE network. Our clinics offer the following services:

  • Well Baby/Well Child Exams
  • Well-Woman Exams
  • Physicals
  • Minor Illness/Injury
  • Minor Surgery
  • Radiology, Laboratory, and Pharmacy
  • Management of limited chronic illnesses

All pregnant women are cared for at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Pregnancy tests are done on a walk-in basis at all family care clinics.

Women who intend to become pregnant should take prenatal vitamins before becoming pregnant. Taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy helps prevent birth defects. Prenatal vitamins are available at the reception desk of any Family Care Clinic or Troop Medical Clinic.

Pediatric care for children from birth to 18 years of age is available from your Primary Care Manager. Children with special medical problems or are enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) can be enrolled in the Pediatric Clinic. Children receive comprehensive examinations and immunizations during Well-Child visits. Please bring medical records and all shot records to the appointment.

School Immunizations

Each summer, usually in July or August, Darnall Medical Center's Army Public Health Nursing holds a Health Fair for children entering local schools. The event is held to ensure children receive the immunizations required by the state of Texas for entry into school. Children age four through 18 years old can get shots required by the state of Texas.

Parents must bring children's military I.D. card (providing proof of military eligibility), shot record and medical record for screening. Look for information about this event in local newspapers and the Fort Hood Sentinel newspaper.

If you are unable to attend the Health Fair, children age 13 and older can be taken to the Allergy Clinic at Thomas Moore Health Clinic (walk-ins) Monday – Friday, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.

School and Sports Physicals

Darnall Medical Center holds a School and Sports Physicals Clinic on one weekend in July and one in August. Please check local newspapers and the Fort Hood Sentinel for dates and times of these events. A limited number of appointments are available in the Family Care Clinics for school and sports physicals. Should you miss the weekend clinic, please call the Patient Appointment Service, 288-8888 to schedule a physical.

Self Care Program

Darnall Medical Center offers a Self-Care Program that covers the concept of self-care, common conditions that can be treated at home, By attending one of our Self Care Classes, you can receive a card that entitles you to obtain free, limited quantities of over-the-counter medications at Darnall Pharmacies. To enroll for a class, call the Patient Appointment Service at 254-288-8888.
More Information About the Self Care Program

TRICARE Prime Enrollment

TRICARE Prime is the military's health plan. Eligible family members elect to enroll with either a military treatment facility or a local civilian provider. You are assigned a Primary Care Manager that provides for your health care needs. This is a list of Darnall's Primary Care Clinics:


Operating hours vary by clinic. Most clinics are open for appointments from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Scheduling Appointments

254-288-8888, or 1-800-305-6421
Patient Appointment Service Hours: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cancellations – 288-7777

page last modified on: 2/13/2018

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