SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – The importance of the Air Force Medical Service is clearer now more than ever, said Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Dorothy A. Hogg during a visit here Dec. 2, 2020.
The general and Chief Medical Enlisted Force Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Dawn M. Kolczynski spoke with members of the 82nd Medical Group during an all-call event, reminding them that medical readiness and delivering trusted care to beneficiaries continue to be the two essential parts of AFMS. But the rise of the COVID-19 crisis continues to threaten the wellbeing of people worldwide and presents a new set of challenges for the 82nd MDG.
Even before the threat of the pandemic, the MDG and other medical treatment facilities were in the process of transitioning to the Defense Health Agency, which presents its own set of hurdles to clear. Hogg said, though, the challenges and change have to be met with new ideas and innovation.
“We’ve been where you guys have been, but it’s been a while,” she said. “I need you all to give us the solutions to our problems.”
Hogg encouraged Airmen to speak with their leaders about innovative solutions to problems that arise every day, regularly and with the transition. On the AFMS Knowledge Exchange page, Airmen can submit ideas directly to Hogg’s team.
The transition of responsibilities will allow AFMS to focus on readiness and another initiative called Medic-X. The Medic-X initiative will equip all Air Force medical personnel regardless of AFSC with the basic skills and training to respond and give care when needed.
“Readiness is our No. 1 focus,” Kolczynski said. “It’s why we wear the uniform.”
The 82nd MDG has no shortage of great thinkers and innovators who have already put these ideals into action. The surgeon general coined several Airmen for their innovation and contribution to the fight.
“I can tell you we have incredible Airmen sitting in this room and in the AFMS at large who are way smarter than I am,” Hogg said. “I’m tagging all of you to be my disruptive innovators. I need you guys to think without the box.”
With the construction of the new medical facility on base, the 82nd MDG is already showing their commitment to quality care and full spectrum medical readiness. The new treatment facility will help the MDG stay on the cutting edge of medical care and allow Sheppard AFB beneficiaries to continue to receive the best medical care and be ready for anything in the years to come.
Operating during a critical time, the 82nd MDG has seamlessly integrated several new policies and continued to work tirelessly amidst COVID-19 operations to ensure the Air Force Mission, Fly, Fight and Win in air, space and cyberspace, is still accomplished.