114th Medical Group airmen support TAMC and Schofield Health Clinic
By Master Sgt. Christopher Stewart, 114th Fighter Wing
/ Published May 25, 2016
HONULULU -- Airmen from the 114th Medical Group, South Dakota Air National Guard, deployed to Hawaii May 14, 2016 in order to support and train at Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) and Schofield Barracks Health Clinic.
This two week deployment fulfilled the units Medical Facility Annual Training (MFAT) and established new working relationships with the TAMC staff and medical operations.
"We have airmen in three different facilities including TAMC, Schofield Barracks Health Clinic and Hickam Air Force base with the Hawaii Air National Guard," stated Col. Tim Wilkinson, 114th Medical Group commander.
As the Air Force changes requirements for training, units are finding new ways to get the training they need and give their Airmen a chance to hone their skills. For years units met these requirements by partnering with and traveling to active duty bases close to their home station.
"The Air Force no longer wants us to set up permanent relationships with bases and go to the same bases year after year," said Wilkinson. "Now they match us with a facility that is large enough to host us and provide work for us to do."
This deployment offers opportunities for Airmen of the 114th to practice their skills in a clinical setting.
"I think one of the biggest advantages of any unit coming here is the training opportunities that Tripler provides," said Joffree Gilliard, Reserve Affairs mobilization specialist. "When you come here you are coming to an environment and a teaching facility that is one of the best places to learn your job."
The 114th Medical Group also arranged training on new software and patient records programs that currently can only be received from a few active duty bases around the globe. The Composite Health Care System CHCS and the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application Course or AHLTA are the new standard for record keeping, but currently require a four hour training course in order to be certified. Members were fortunate enough to be able to arrange and attend training sessions while here in Hawaii saving the government time and money that would have been required to send them elsewhere.
As Airmen from the 114th practice and learn, they also take time to share their own experiences with their active duty counter parts. Many guard and reserve airmen bring with them a wealth of knowledge they gained from the civilian sector and are more than willing share that knowledge.
"We have reservists coming in that have their own practices or work in civilian facilities," said Gilliard. "They can teach us about specific equipment and methodologies that are used in the civilian world. Being able to compare Army standards and procedures against the civilian sector can only improve the processes for both entities which is beneficial to everyone."
In addition to training and practice, the unit members are also helping to handle the large flow of patients that come to TAMC for treatment. Thousands of patients a year seek treatment at TAMC and rotating groups of Guard and Reserve medical personnel increases the ability to treat all the patients. This saves the Army money that would normally be spent on contracting extra medical personnel.
"We do a work flow analysis at the end of each rotation," said Gilliard. "The 114th Medical Group personnel will provide roughly $100,000 in savings to the Army for the two week period they are here."
"We are thankful for units like the 114th," stated Gilliard. "They were chosen to come here so they are special and is a testament to their unit."