Health & Safety

June 15, 2012

Smiles make long days worth it

Tags:
by Maj. Jessica Martin and Capt. Elizabeth Magnusson
926th Group and 944th Fighter Wing

Lt. Col. (Dr.) William Dunlap, 944th Medical Squadron dentist, extracts a tooth at a temporary clinic set up at a school in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The 944th Medical Squadron members partnered with Reserve and Guard members from nine other units last month on a medical humanitarian mission to the Dominican Republic. The 47-person U.S. team, made up of medical, dental, optometry and pharmacy personnel, provided care to more than 10,000 patients during their 15-day visit.

Reserve and Guard members from 10 units including the 944th Fighter Wing recently wrapped up a deployment to the Dominican Republic where they provided nonstop medical, dental and optical care.

Six months of preparation and two days of travel culminated in providing care to more than 10,000 patients in 15 days.

“There was a certain synergy between the members that made this operation a success,” said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Alfred Rossum, 944th Medical Squadron and commander of the medical humanitarian tour. “The integration of the units and squadrons was seamless.”

U.S. Southern Command asked Air Force Reserve Command to assist in a program that identifies and helps regions in need.

“I was pleased with the combined effort,” said Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Simmons, 944th Medical Squadron first sergeant. “The Airmen operated as if they had worked together for years.”

The 47-person U.S. team conducted a joint mission with the Forces Air Dominica. The medics worked up to 15 hours a day alongside the host service who provided security, transportation, translators and additional medical providers to help with the patient load.

The group addressed the needs of patients at four schools in Puerto Plata. Each location transformed into a temporary clinic which included medical, dental, optometry and pharmacy areas.

“Our medical team had two pediatricians, four general medicine physicians and one local general medicine doctor,” Rossum said. “Additionally, the medical staff had four nurses and eight medical technicians.”

That team saw more than 3,140 adult patients and about 1,500 pediatric patients, which was about 330 patients a day.

“Patients were assessed at triage then processed through to vital signs and finally referred to either pediatrics or general medicine,” Rossum said. “Once patients were diagnosed, they received medication at pharmacy.”

The dental team had three Air Force Reserve and one Air National Guard dental officers with three AFR dental technicians.

“They have nowhere to go for needs like dental and optometry care,” said Maj. Zachary Timko, 926th Aerospace Medicine Squadron and senior administrator for the trip.

The dental team saw 656 people during the trip and conducted more than 825 tooth extractions. One in four of the dental patients was younger than 12.

The optometry team consisted of three optometrists and one ophthalmic technician.

“Our optometry requested a local optometrist to help them keep up with the demand,” Rossum said. “We had an optometry and medical technician set up to conduct basic vision testing.”

If a patient’s vision was adequate, or only required reading glasses, the patient was given sunglasses and/or readers. Patients requiring more moved on to optometry care.”

The team saw more than 3,235 optometry patients and handed out more than 2,380 pairs of glasses.

The final piece was the pharmacy section which was staffed with a pharmacist, pharmacy tech, medical tech, an administrative tech and three volunteer interpreters.”

Work done prior to the trip was by Maj. Brian Sydnor, 56th Medical Group. He provided a pharmacy diagram and prescription templates with pre-packing and labeling that facilitated the dispensing of more than 9,800 prescriptions during the two weeks.

The Dominican Republic military personnel opened the visit with a military ceremony and ended it with a closing ceremony complete with a military band and a softball game.

As a thank you to the schools for hosting the clinics, members of the humanitarian team purchased baseball equipment which was presented to the students.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Samuel Price

RMO, stakeholders keep eye on sky

Samuel Price The road used to get onto the Barry M. Goldwater Range lies beneath the running water July 9, 2014, that resulted from monsoon rains. With data from the additional recently installed weather stations, personnel wil...
 
 

Resource management — Doing more with less

Since I joined the Air Force in 1992, our manpower and resources have been gradually reduced with no obvious change to the mission we support. While this has been labeled “doing more with less,” I don’t believe we’re truly doing any more than we did when I entered the military 22 years ago. We seem...
 
 

Situational awareness

Throughout my career, the importance of situational awareness has been driven into my head. This became exceedingly clear to me when I landed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. It was March 17, 2003, about 48 hours until Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off. We were busy building tents, making bunkers and preparing to execute the mission. Doing...
 

 

Air Force OSI agents prevent online exploitation of children

QUANTICO, Va. — Child sex crimes are not unique to any particular base but are a perpetual problem across the Air Force and society. Online exploitation of children continues to be a problem and is routinely investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. As part of this effort, AFOSI field units have partnered...
 
 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

MDG appointment line upgrade Patients calling the 56th Medical Group at 623-856-2273 Wednesday afternoon to schedule an appointment may reach a busy signal and may have to call back if all booking agents are on the line with other callers. The queue function allowing patients to wait on hold for the next available booking agent...
 
 

Airmen get T-bolts to give blood, win award

Tech. Sgt. Alisa Frisch, 56th Medical Group unit training manager, and Capt. Sharlott Uriarte, 56th Medical Support Squadron, were among the top 3 percent of award-winning blood drive coordinators recently honored by United Blood Services, earning a Hero Award for providing the largest impact on the blood supply. Of the 1,080 organizations that sponsored blood...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin