Air Force Medical Leaders Reflect on 2022 and Next Year > Air Force Medical Service > View

From ongoing support of COVID-19 patients in civilian hospitals to advanced training to ensure operational success, Air Force physicians have seen great success in 2022 and leaders are confident in their readiness for the future.

Highlights of 2022

When asked to identify standout moments in 2022, many Air Force medical leaders found it difficult to pick one, but all singled out medical aviators who do their work in military treatment facilities, operating units, and deployed environments as they navigate the System’s ongoing transformations. of Military Health and the growing demands of medical readiness.

For Major General John J. DeGoesDeputy Surgeon General of the US Air Force, was the physicians’ ability to support multiple mission sets amid the ongoing pandemic.“One of the biggest accomplishments came in early 2022 in supporting our nation during the COVID-19 outbreaks,” said DeGoes. “Although this increase was less severe than the initial variant we all saw in 2020, there were still so many infections that it overwhelmed our civilian hospitals. By mid-February, there were about 500 Air Force medics on 25 medical support teams in stressed civilian hospitals across the country. Our doctors were on the front lines of a once-in-100-year pandemic, so I’m particularly proud to be a part of the Air Force Medical Service that kept all the key fly, fight, and win missions, kept all the training going. and kept the airmen and guardians ready.

Read more: Air Force medics continue deployments to civilian hospitals and care facilities

DeGoes was also impressed by seeing the MHS transition from concept to action and how effectively navigating the demands of the Defense Health Agency, as well as the Department of the Air Force, can be done.

“Last year I had the opportunity to come out of Hurlburt Camp in the 1st Special Operations Medical Group, and despite the many challenges people in the medical groups are working to address, the positive attitude from all members was hard to ignore, ” said De Goes. “When I toured their facility, it was clear that they are transitioning very well. It is gratifying to see an MTF clearly making the partnership between the Air Force and DHS work.”

Building and maintaining partnerships was also a highlight for Brig. Gen. John R. AndrusCommander, 711th Human Performance Wingwhich is part of the Aeronautics Research Laboratory.

“One of our greatest accomplishments was holding our first formal Enlisted Critical Care Course through our partnership with Kettering Health Network, Soin Medical Center and contract partners in Dayton, Ohio,” said Andrus. “Through this new partnership, we expect to train around 100 intensive care technicians per year, further strengthening our mission to produce ready doctors.”

Read more: Leaders of AFRL and Kettering Health network celebrate new Enlisted Critical Care Training Center at Soin Medical Center

Medical readiness also gained new meaning with the conceptualization of multi-skilled medical aviator where physicians will need to be ready to work beyond the confines of their specific specialty or role when called upon to do so. The importance of this concept being seen in action was particularly significant for Master Sergeant Dawn M. Kolczynski, Chief, Enlisted Medical Force, Office of the Surgeon General, Air Force.

“I got a message from a public health aviator who was running one day and heard a cry for help,” Kolczynski said. “His training prepared him to feel confident in his ability to act and ultimately save a life. This is exactly what we mean by ready doctors. We want them to be ready when called in all their day-to-day actions. He was so proud of himself, but more importantly, he was grateful for being prepared. I was incredibly grateful that he shared his story because it validated that changes are becoming fundamental to what it means to be an Air Force medic.”

For Major General Sharon R. BannisterDirector of Medical Operations, Office of the Air Force Surgeon General, it is a privilege to see those outside AFMS recognize the hard work of Air Force physicians.

“I had the honor of representing our Surgeon General of the Air Force at the Battlefield Angels Annual Awards Gala to help introduce Staff Sgt. Jasmine Krapf, respiratory therapist with the 60th Surgical Operations Squadron, your award,” said Bannister. “Krapf’s story of his heroic service while deployed at Hamid Karzai International Airport during the withdrawal from Afghanistan reminded me why I have dedicated more than 30 years of service to the Air Force. Serving alongside some of the finest sons and daughters our country has to offer is an honor and a privilege. Krapf used her Air Force training to save lives without hesitation – but she had tears in her eyes as she shared her experience. Like many of our physicians, she not only has the skills to get the job done, but the compassion to connect with those she serves. Because of our doctors, those who wear the uniform can fulfill the mission. It’s a special trust that doesn’t have to be earned. She is always there.”

Great takeaway of 2022

Across the Department of the Air Force, medical leaders reflected on how they would best describe 2022, the impact of various policies on airmen who do the work every day, and the important role each physician plays in supporting the nation.

“Each year reminds me how fortunate I am to wear the uniform while serving the world’s most dedicated physicians,” said Bannister. “The meaning of each year of service has been one of gratitude and unwavering devotion, as the work we do serves the sons and daughters of our nation who have raised their right hands to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the families that support them. I can’t imagine a more meaningful career.”

For the doctors of Air Force Research LaboratoryThe 711th Human Performance Wing last year focused on aligning with Air Force and Space Force priorities to meet current and future demands.

“Here at the 711th Human Performance Wing, we are uniquely positioned to use the synergy of our work in research, education and training and consulting to solve the most impactful issues facing the military medical community today and in the future,” said Andrus. “I was inspired by the way Air Force physicians came together to improve their experience. In addition to meeting the demands of clinical, operational, and administrative roles, Air Force physicians published a new medical guidance guide and a new squadron commanders guide, actively participated in addressing burnout, created diversity working groups, completely redesigned the career roadmap and launched a new Medical Corps mobile app to make all of these resources easily available. I was inspired to see firsthand the effort and care that goes into placing each candidate through the graduate program in medical education. I am inspired every day watching Air Force medics caring for each other and our warfighters. What a blessing to be able to get up every morning and serve.”

Looking to the future in 2023

Since the transition from MTFs to DHA, Air Force leaders have remained increasingly focused on readiness and will continue to implement strategies to improve readiness for a new and dynamic operating environment.

“This year, we will officially introduce our Medic-X strategic initiative to all Air Force physicians, officers and enlisted, regardless of their medical specialty, with the goal of improving patient outcomes in a denied and contested environment to ensure that we are ready for the future. fights,” said Kolczynski.

“The 711th Human Performance Wing is releasing its new strategic plan, which outlines our mission and its importance, as well as our goals and strategies for continuing to support our airmen and guardians in today’s complex environment,” said Andrus. “This plan serves to focus and prepare the wing to move forward and ensure that the Air Force and Space Force’s greatest resource – its people – are equipped and capable for the mission ahead.”

The demands and vision for Air Force medicine are clear, and leaders are looking forward to the year ahead and the next steps to achieve readiness goals and ensure all physicians have the right resources to meet the challenges ahead.

“As we continue to move from the transition phase to the execution phase of managing the DHA and administering the MTFs, we will need to ensure that the Air Force and the DHA are structured properly to help ensure success,” said Bannister. “As MTFs are healthcare delivery and readiness platforms, the continued partnership between AFMS and DHA will be critical. We are grateful for the progress in recent years under the leadership of Army Lieutenant General Ron Place and look forward to working with the The newly appointed director of the DHAMajor General of the Army Telita Crosland, advancing.

Air Force Medical Leaders Reflect on 2022 and Next Year > Air Force Medical Service > View

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