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.

KMC medics implant
AF’s first Micra TPS

The Keesler Medical Center became the first Air Force hospital to implant the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia April 13, 2017.

Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells.

“It’s similar to driving a car without an accelerator,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Hann, an 81st Medical Operations Squadron interventional cardiologist. “You can coast along very slowly, but when it comes time to climb a hill, you don’t have an accelerator to get the RPM’s up to climb the hill and a heart rate is the same way. If (your) heart rate is too low you don’t have the energy to do activities you once enjoyed.”

Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia and restore the heart’s normal rhythm by sending electrical impulses to increase heart rate. The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.

AF Clubs transition from card
system to virtual portal, app

The Air Force is revolutionizing its club membership program in the coming months, to include a transition away from a club credit card to the Air Force Club Member Portal.

“Our members are important to us and the credit card membership system was their number one complaint,” said Jonathan Boyd, the Air Force Services Activity chief of nonappropriated fund food and beverage operations. “We’ve changed that and much more with this new portal and we’re very excited to roll it out to our current members and offer it to all of our active-duty force, reservists, retirees and Defense Department civilians.”

The new Air Force Club Member Portal begins at six pilot bases in May before being rolled out across the Air Force in late summer. The web- and app-based system allows members to choose their payment methods and receive real-time event information directly on their smart devices.

Currently, member dues are charged to a specific bank-affiliated club membership credit card.

“The beauty of the new system is that members can now use their credit or debit card of choice,” Boyd said. “It’s an easy process … you simply update your profile using your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.”

$36,000 in scholarships to AF club members, families

The deadline to apply for the 2017 Air Force Club Scholarship Program is May 12.

During the past 19 years, the program has provided college tuition assistance to more than 440 Air Force Club members and their eligible family members.

As in the past, applicants must be club members or their eligible dependent ID card holders. They must complete an online application form, submit a written or video essay, supply a college or university letter of acceptance or admission (for their first associate’s or bachelor’s degree) and two letters of recommendation.

The Air Force core values — “integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do” — are the inspiration for the 2017 essay topic.

“Written or video essays should tell us about a time when the applicant was tested to live up to our core values,” said Lt. Col. Darryl B. Lee, the Air Force Services Activity deputy director of operations. “Tell us about a specific moment when embodying these ideals was difficult, how you succeeded or failed, what you learned from the experience and how that impacts the way you live today.”

Senior enlisted leaders
conduct full EPME review

More than 40 Air Force senior enlisted leaders and subject matter experts met in April at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, to perform an extensive review of all facets of enlisted professional military education during the 2017 EPME Triennial Review.

“We reviewed every level of EPME provided to our enlisted Airmen, from policy to content to delivery,” said Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne Bass, the chief of Air Force Enlisted Developmental Education. “This forum discussed in great length the educational component of the continuum of learning as well as the other components, training and experience, and how we can maximize leader development to build strong, resilient Airmen.”

The intent of the two-day review was to examine the state of enlisted education and the changes implemented since the last review while identifying target areas of improvement. Additional time was dedicated to analyzing issues associated with effectively executing the continuum of learning.

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