With hundreds of taskings, they had a week between learning who would deploy, who their alternates were, and creating a plan to get them cleared all while continuing daily clinical operations.
“It’s not just about meeting the numbers, it’s about ensuring each deployer is ready,” said Maj. Bakary Jallow, 355th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron public health flight commander.
This entailed a highly compressed timeframe for medical assessments, immunizations, laboratory tests and the intricate web of pre-deployment requirements. They were challenged with balancing daily clinical operations while catering to these specialized needs.
With Jallow’s effort, the 355th MDG formulated a solution: a four-day pre-deployment medical out-processing line.
The process starts with a pre-deployment brief from public health where each deployer was provided with a checklist outlining their immunization, laboratory test, and periodic health assessment needs, said Jallow. From there, each deployer is escorted by a member of the 355th MDG to various stations, each addressing specific medical requirements.
“Rather than them coming over here five separate times, we provided them more of a concierge type of service where we greet them at the door,” said Col. Jennifer Bein, 355th Medical Group commander. “We expedite these requirements, and then they leave with everything they need to deploy minus any additional immunizations they need to wait for.”
Despite projections of a half-day process per deployer, the 355th MDG was able to do it in a mere hour, to an hour and a half per individual.
“This saved a lot of time for our units, so we were able to minimize the impact to our daily clinical operations,” said Bein. “It was a tremendous lift for our medics. They put in a lot of nights and weekends to be able to prepare for this.”
“There was an incredible synergy that we had among everyone to try to get after this,” Bein emphasized. “We had close coordination with the unit deployment managers, and had strong support from group commanders and the wing commander to create a seamless experience.”
The 355th MDG navigated shifting taskings and resource constraints and turned these challenges into stepping stones to success.
“This is new, and we may not necessarily be resourced appropriately to do this,” said Bein. “However, through innovative thinking and processes we’re able to get after this. We’re hoping to capture lessons learned and share these best practices with other lead wings.”