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Walter Reed: The Happiest Place On Earth?

Flashback: About a year ago, a scandal erupted over the long-term treatment of soldiers at the Walter Reed military hospital. Care was atrocious, and conditions were squalid. The infamous Building 18 had been overrun by mold, had holes in the floors, executed poor care, had a lack of medicine, and was peppered with “mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.” [Mic Check]

Now, though, it would seem that the Powers That Be at Walter Reed have devised an interesting solution to solve their embarrassing problems: Strap on a set of mouse ears. [Washington Post]

The Washington Post is reporting that the army is turning toâ��wait for itâ��Disney for help. “Service, Disney Style” is a newly required course for all military and other government employees at Walter Reed.

And take it from us: Learning why Donald Duck is frustrated doesn’t come cheap. The Army is paying Disney $800,000 to help revamp attitudes at the hospital.

But Fatigues are willing to pay. Col. Patricia D. Horoho, commander of the Walter Reed health-care system, said the goal is to change the culture there. “When you enter the hospital, we want it to be the best experience possible,” she said. “Disney fits that.

Meanwhile last week, nearly 200 Walter Reed employees sat through training by the Disney Institute, a branch of the resort and entertainment empire that offers seminars on what the company calls “the business behind the magic.”

Walter Reed expects more than 2,000 workers to go through the four-hour sessions, which began last month and will continue through July.

It’s all in the details: During the training, Walter Reed employees are exposed to an image of an irate Donald Duck. Then, employees are shown a slide of a beatific Snow White, holding a broom in a spic-and-span room and surrounded by happy animals. (Lesson: “You can’t sweep it under the rug.” Seriously.)

As if vets in need of mental health care aren’t dealing with enough problems, now their doctors are dressed like Goofy.

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