As a U.S. Army combat medic, Sgt. 1st Class Case B. DeWinkel provided medical care for troops and civilians in Iraq, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. In 2014 he received the Purple Heart for putting his life on the line to save his comrades.
It’s fitting that in his last years in the service, DeWinkel, stationed in Largo, FL, worked closely with The University of Tampa physician assistant medicine program as a course coordinator to improve a training program for Army medics – the 68W (combat medic) Sustainment Readiness Training Program (SRTP).
After DeWinkel passed away in 2019, his family made a gift to UT for the 68W SRTP training lab housed at the UT Interprofessional Simulation Center on campus. When the medics are using the lab, it will be called the Case B. DeWinkel Army Combat Medic Memorial Training Lab.
DeWinkel had been assigned with the 7222nd Medical Support Unit in Tampa. He joined the Army in 2004 and served as a senior troop medic in the 10th Mountain Division. After two deployments to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, DeWinkel joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 2009.
Johnna Yealy, who is the founding director of UT’s physician assistant medicine program and the medical officer in charge of training for the SRTP, said DeWinkel used his vast deployment and operation experience to provide robust and realistic training.
Yealy and DeWinkel enhanced the SRTP training that occurs at MacDill Air Force Base, by including training held at the UT Interprofessional Simulation Center. The medics are able to participate in birthing simulation, suturing practice and other skills that were previously unavailable at MacDill.
“SFC DeWinkel’s passion for this project and training combat medics was evident in everything he did. He was a man and soldier who truly put service above self,” said Yealy, who is a major in the Army Reserves and also serves in the 7222nd Medical Support Unit. “Everything he did, he did with integrity.”
Yealy added that medics who have completed the course have stated it was the best SRTP event they had participated in because of the additional training available at UT.
In 2019 DeWinkel was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his “exemplary leadership, expertise and professionalism” in working with the 68W SRTP.
Carel DeWinkel, Case’s father, said that Case was enthusiastic about working with Yealy and UT in improving training for Army medics.
“He really liked designing a program of how to most effectively train Army medics,” Carel said.
He described how Case, while deployed in Iraq and Haiti, was always eager to provide care to fellow soldiers, as well as to set up medical tents in villages and offer basic medical aid to civilians. One of his favorite photos is of Case in Iraq in full military gear, with a soccer ball, surrounded by children.
“Case had a way of bringing the smile out in everyone. He had a compassionate heart, a playful spirit and a strong sense of duty, honor and country,” Case’s obituary read.
For more information about the UT physician assistant medicine program, go to www.ut.edu/graduate-degrees/physician-assistant-medicine-program.
The University of Tampa is a private, comprehensive university located on 110 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves approximately 10,000 students from 50 states and about 130 countries.