325th MDG goes from last to first

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 325th Medical Group at Tyndall Air Force Base rose to the top in an Air Force wide Individual Medical Readiness assessment.

The Air Force goal for fully mission capable (FMC) Airmen is 80% or more, but Tyndall came in at 37% after Hurricane Michael destroyed medical facilities and scattered base personnel.

Over 1000 Airmen were marked red for flu shots, which resulted in the scant percentage. The 325th MDG administered two weeks’ worth of flu shots before closing for three months due to the storm. The closure caused other IMR components, such as dental and optometry, to be incomplete as well.

The medical team began correcting the IMRs when they reopened in January. The majority of the new team arrived on temporary assignment from other bases, including Staff Sgt. Leslie Hines from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

“It was overwhelming walking into it knowing [Tyndall] was last and it would take a lot of work to turn that around,” Hines said. “No one wants to be last in any race.”

The group brought their percentage up to 86.4% as of May 30, 2019. The 325th MDG went from last in line to number one in Air Combat Command in six months.

The group rose to number one in a short time frame by holding several mass flu shot lines, improving data tracking, streamlining medical treatment facility processes, using an all hands on deck approach, having individualized meetings with squadron commanders and empowering Airmen to “own” their programs.

“I didn’t tell them how, but I gave them the goal of getting those prioritized lists as close to zero as possible,” said Lt Col. Michael Frayser, 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron commander. “The results were amazing. It really reinforced the fact that our medical group Airmen are truly experts in their career fields and exemplified the core value of ‘Excellence in All We Do’.”

The task had its challenges. The immunizations department lost their entire stock of vaccines, but acquired a full stock within a week.

Almost all of the sections had to revalidate their medical equipment. The Biomedical Equipment Technicians cleared around 250 pieces of equipment in family medicine, dental, optometry, pharmacy, lab, radiology, immunizations, bio and public health in just two weeks.

The group also had space and personnel issues.

“The medical group experienced an approximate 60% loss of active duty members due to them qualifying for humanitarian permanent change of station after losing their homes and belongings to Hurricane Michael,” Frayser said.

With the remaining 40% of active duty and over 90% of civilian personnel, the medical group reconstituted the full spectrum of medical care in just as safe a manner as they would’ve before the storm, Frayser said.

All of the teams across the medical group worked together to accomplish the task without cutting corners getting Airmen to FMC.

“Our members never compromised our priority of safety throughout the entire post-storm efforts,” Frayser said. “That has been an element that our medical group leadership has taken great pride in, which was echoed by our ACC Surgeon General leadership team as well.”