The 56th Medical Group held an executives healthcare seminar July 26 at Club Five Six.
“Our primary purpose was to allow Arizona’s healthcare executives to network with colleagues,” said Col. Yolanda Bledsoe, 56th MDG commander. “At the same time, we also wanted to provide a forum for professional exchange regarding the military health system. We need to continue to strengthen our partnerships with civilian communities as well as across military joint environments with the goal of delivering effective, efficient and quality care to our patients.”
Other than the members of the AHE, a mixture of active-duty Air Force, Guard, Reserve and civilian personnel from the local community also attended the seminar.
“They represent professionals from across the healthcare continuum including professionals from hospitals, managed care organizations, long term and chronic care organizations, governmental bodies, educational institutions, consulting services, federations and associations,” she said.
During her speech, Bledsoe spoke about the 56th MDG’s main focuses. These range from how they take care of casualties in a deployed environment to educating patients and sustaining resilient families.
Additionally, the Air Force has advanced in the amount of planes and space used in order to transport medical supplies.
“We send an expeditionary medical package downrange to take care of our patients,” she said. “This particular medical package supplies up to 38 medics with the tools they need to perform their jobs in a very short period of time.”
Having aircraft available is essential to not only supply Airmen with what they need to fight, but it also works as a link for medical personnel.
Bledsoe said the aircraft are their lifeline, since they provide en route care to military personnel and to bring the wounded back home.
“Today, we can configure a plane to our exact needs,” she said. “We can get our litters, equipment and patients into the plane and transport them anywhere.”
Right now, the 56th MDG mission is to provide peacetime care.
“We are focusing on educating each patient to become partners in their health, so they can prevent certain illnesses, such as diabetes and obesity,” Bledsoe said. “By taking preventive measures like exercising, taking medications and eating nutritional food, most people can cut down the amount of time they spend at the clinic.”
Whether it’s taking care of patients on the homeland or downrange, healthcare administrators are a vital part of what the Air Force does every day.
“We work very closely with our civilian partners and these are very important relationships to have and develop,” said Maj. Edyta Haggard, 56th Medical Support Squadron Medical Readiness Flight commander. “Whether in uniform or in civilian clothes, as healthcare administrators we face similar challenges. Seminars like this provide us with a great avenue to network and learn from one another.”