By Senior Airman Ty-Rico Lea, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 13, 2016
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The various flights and facilities within the 325th Medical Support Squadron and the roles they play make a substantial contribution to fulfilling Tyndall's mission.
In 2015, the squadron was recognized by Col. Derek France, 325th Fighter Wing commander, as "leading the wing in evaluation reporting" with their efficiency in adapting to the new static closeout reporting that gives all enlisted personnel a fixed date for EPRs giving everyone an equal chance to promote.
Lt. Col. Daniel Roberts, commander of the 325th MDSS, implemented another new program called the Lean Daily Management. This program allows junior Airmen from all flights within the squadron an opportunity to brief their commander and offer new ways to cut costs and fill leadership roles.
The laboratory flight is another part of the MDSS that keeps Airmen ready. This facility is where patients come to have tests done for a wide variety of reasons.
"Drawing blood, running tests, culturing samples, and shipping out reference samples to other Department of Defense and commercial laboratories are only some of our responsibilities," said Airman 1st Class Jadow Hughes, 325th MDSS laboratory technician. "We see an average of 100 patients a day, so it's important to provide fast and reliable results to providers so they can treat patient illness efficiently."
Some of the tests they administer are cholesterol testing, pregnancy testing, rapid strep throat and Influenza testing.
The 325th MDSS Group Commander's Support Staff Flight serves as the squadron's personnel section managing in-processing, security clearances, evaluations, decorations, and personnel information files for all personnel.
Next up is the Radiology Flight; this flight is responsible for performing magnetic resonance imaging, mammography, bone density, routine radiography, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound services. Personnel are trained to perform these services using a variety of specialized equipment.
"What sets us apart from other facilities is our dedication to customer service," said Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Zamora, 325th MDSS radiology NCO in Charge. It starts with our amazing staff members, both active duty and contractors, who are committed to providing only the highest quality customer service available," "In fact, we have initiated a program entitled 'Strive for 5' which is a customer service initiative designed to receive feedback from our customers daily and strive to provide a perfect "5" rating during their encounter."
Staff members of the Radiology Flight stand proud on their commitment and dedication to customers and always look to improve their services for them.
"The human weapon system is the most important and irreplaceable system, including spouses and dependents -- and returning the human weapon system back to the fight is our goal," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Gabert, 325th MDSS radiology assistant NCOIC. "In Diagnostic Imaging, it's not just about performing an exam, it's about providing the best test for the right patient so the provider can provide accurate results and expedite their treatment."
The 325th MDSS pharmacy and satellite pharmacy manages and distributes more than 17,000 prescriptions per month and a combined total of 216,000 per year. Its personnel consist of uniformed services members and civilian employees.
And when something breaks, the squadron looks to the Biomedical Equipment Maintenance flight. The Biomedical Equipment Maintenance flight is unique in a way that it works hand-in-hand with all other facilities within the 325th MDG and it incorporates skills of not only medical trades but also skills typically associated with civil engineering.
"Depending on the scenario, Biomedical Equipment Technicians often act as facility managers and are instrumental in assessing, containing, liquidating any damage and providing a safe patient care environment," said Staff Sgt. Danny Papageorgiou, 325th MDSS biomedical equipment maintenance technician. "BMETs complete a notoriously rigorous 9-month technical school, adapt and develop a problem-solver approach and continue to push the clinic into the digital age."
Airmen also work in part with other equipment operators to enable accurate and safe diagnostics to beneficiaries.
While the squadron has Airmen specifically trained to maintain its medical equipment there are those who are tasked with synchronizing forward logistics and procuring medical and surgical supplies to clinicians throughout the entire 325th Medical Group. This is where the Medical Materiel flight supports and does their part in doing so.
"We perform an extremely broad spectrum of tasks that mainly involve utilizing 325th MDG funds for things such as pharmaceuticals, lab and radiology equipment and test agents," said Staff Sgt. Jenna Bruhn, 325th MDSS medical materiel technician. "While we do not perform patient care in a tangible sense, 325th MDG beneficiaries notice and feel our presence from the moment they approach and enter the facility. Essentially, the orchestrated support we provide is what keeps the 325th MDG ticking and our patients satisfied."
For such a large facility like the 325th MDG that employs a multitude of personnel there should always be a system in place which keeps track of all operations. This is the exact purpose of the Information Systems flight.
The flight maintains all Information Technology equipment, software and telecommunication within 325th MDG. They also have personnel responsible for the cybersecurity of the facility, maintenance of all medical systems, server room and network devices.
"Employees are able to perform various functions and troubleshoot all hardware such as personal computers, printers, scanners, monitors, and telephones," said 1st. Lt. Lyubomir Angelov, 325th MDSS systems flight chief. "The systems flight provides support for wireless communication, clinical websites and various patients' data critical programs. All medical digital records for Tyndall enrollees are recorded on servers maintained by our outstanding personnel."
The flight's job is essential in providing telephone capabilities along with the 325th Communication Squadron; this makes it possible for patients to reach us and schedule or cancel medical appointments.
"The role to make exceptional medical service and knowledge readily available is essential for the successful treatment of our patients," said Angelov. "The systems flight strives to provide modern, world class health information services with our patients in mind."
When disaster strikes, the Medical Readiness flight keeps the 325th MDG prepared. Members of the Medical Readiness flight are responsible for ensuring all flights within the MDG are well prepared for any natural disaster or mishap. They are also accountable for ensuring that every member within the 325th MDSS is qualified and trained for disaster.
"325th MDSS members are matched to these teams based on their flights and air force specialty codes to provide the 325th MDG and base with support in the event of a natural disaster, accident or act of terrorism," 2nd Lt. Nicholas Doe, 325th MDSS medical readiness flight chief. "In an exercise, all members of the Medical Readiness flight are assigned to the Medical Command and Control Team where they gather information and disseminate it other responding teams in a situation. This includes the Deployment Control Center in the case of a deployment exercise."
The mission of the 325th MDSS wouldn't be completed without the cohesive efforts of all the flights working together to accomplish their common goals. This is also true for the Resource Management flight. This flight is taking steps to improve the 325th MDG by implementing a $45M renovation to the facility. They plan on doing this while simultaneously performing their daily duties which include controlling the manpower, civilian liaison, and managing data analysis for workload productivity.
Military affiliate readers may also be familiar with the medical provider Tricare. Readers may also recognize the Tricare Operations flight either when in-processing or out-processing.
"The Tricare Operations flight is responsible for providing healthcare support services as part of the delivery of basic and comprehensive medical treatment to eligible beneficiaries," said Airman 1st Class Francisca Aguilar, 325th MDSS outpatient records technician. "We also manage appropriate guidance and oversight of all aspects of medical records functions within the Medical Treatment Facility."
While there are several variations of the Tricare system based on a beneficiary's regional location, active duty family members and retirees have options to choose a level of cost and flexibility that is right for them and their families.
In accordance with Col. France's four lines of effort, the 325th MDSS strives to embody the principle of "Take Care of Airmen and Their Families." The squadron plans to continue this by only moving forward and improving as they go.