Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.
Nurse residency program focused on patient care
Compassion and focus for the patient are some of the many take-aways for 12 graduates of the first class of nurses to complete the Air Force’s new nurse residency program at San Antonio Military Medical Center.
First Lt. Jennifer Beasock, 2nd Lts. Alejandro Ayala, James Bickel, Rachel Castillo, Gary Dupart, Tammy Evans, Jenny Howell, Lisa Kabore, Stephanie Lord, Alexis Mitchell, Omayra Nunez, and Timothy Vojak graduated from the program Aug. 20.
The program launched Jan. 19 as an Air Education and Training Command formal officer course in response to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing recommendation to build a transitional year of training for newly licensed nurses.
“The transition to practice for the new nurses will positively impact practice, retention and ultimately patient safety,” said Maj. Gen. Kimberly Siniscalchi, assistant Air Force surgeon general, Medical Force Development, Nursing Services and keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony.
AF trauma chief: sweeping changes in critical care
From battlefield innovations to revamped health care systems, the military has radically transformed its trauma care over the past decade, a trauma expert said.
These advances have led not only to the nation’s highest combat survivability rate in history, but also to countless saved civilian lives, said Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jeremy Cannon, chief of trauma and acute care surgery at San Antonio Military Medical Center, which houses the Defense Department’s only stateside Level 1 trauma center.
Cannon summed up many of these sweeping improvements to military and civilian critical care in the August edition of the “Surgical Clinics of North America.” Serving as guest editor, the doctor called on a number of his military and civilian health care colleagues to contribute articles on recent advances, while offering insights from his experiences during three deployments in the past six years.
Air Force Spice testing lab goes full throttle
The Air Force Spice Testing Lab became fully operational Aug. 1 in support of the Air Force’s focus on quality Airmen. The new lab establishes a robust urinalysis testing program as part of the Air Force’s ongoing efforts to deter use of “spice,” the common name for synthetic cannabinoids.
The spice lab is capable of handling 2,500 active-duty Air Force samples per month, with the potential to increase testing to 60,000 samples per year. Equipped with two liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry instruments and a trained staff, the lab is taking over the full spice-testing responsibility from a commercial contract laboratory that previously handled the testing.
Over the past year, the Air Force has made significant strides in the deterrence of spice abuse among its members. Spice compounds are sprayed onto plant matter that is then generally smoked, causing hallucinogenic, psychotic and other harmful and sometimes deadly effects. In July, the president signed legislation placing 15 of these compounds on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
Knowing where to request records saves time, money
In an effort to save time and money, the master personnel records branch staff at the Air Force Personnel Center wants retirees and former Airmen to know the correct procedures for requesting medical and personnel record information.
“Knowing the correct procedures can not only cut down on the requestor’s wait time, it can also cut the routing time and our workload,” said Capt. Darren James, branch operations officer.
Airmen who retired on or after Oct. 1, 2004, can request copies of records such as a DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), performance reports and other information by writing to AFPC/DPSIRP, 550 C St. West, Suite 19, Randolph AFB TX, 78150; faxing (210) 565-4021; or visiting the eBenefits website at www.eBenefits.va.gov.