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McChord, Travis Reserve medical units share strategies during visit

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(446th AW PA) - Not only did the Reserve staff of the 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron complete training and maintain mission readiness during the July Reserve weekend, it also put on a "clinic" for another medical unit from Air Force Reserve Command, July 12-15 at McChord Field.

Cadre from the 349th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., took their weekend to observe the medical processes of the 446th AMDS.

"To be able to present such an outstanding team and let others know the high quality of work we're doing here is very gratifying," said Col. Paul Abson, 446th AMDS commander. "Obviously, it can't be done by me or any one person alone. It's a unit effort and this is the result that is being recognized throughout the command."

This is where Airmen like Tech. Sgt. Richard Maser, 446th AMDS Public Health NCOIC, come into play.

"I gave (the 349th AMDS staff) an overview how our patient groups move through the (Physical Health Assessment) system, as far as where check-in locations are and where each station in the clinic is located," he said. "We went over all of our in-house-created forms to include the physician case review form I created, our fitness profile form, and our post-deployment form I utilize to conduct post-deployment interviews."

According to Maser, these processes make the 446th AMDS stand out in AFRC.

"What's unique here at McChord that is getting around the command is the ‘POD' system (Senior Master Sgt. Bill Robison, superintendent of clinical operations) created when our unit went to a schedule for annual physicals," he said. "It's a system where we move small groups of patients through their physicals. We also seem to be one of the few wings that run a schedule for fitness profiles."

This unique system, along with the 446th AMDS staff, left an immediate impression with the team from Travis.

"Their commander, (Col. Terese Lefrancois) commented on the professionalism and teamwork displayed throughout the unit while taking on a hectic, but efficient physical exam process," Abson said. "She was constantly telling us how well received and professional our people were, and how much good information they were able to receive. Her and her team felt this was an extremely worthwhile endeavor. And they were happy they were able to visit."

Maser, a Spanaway resident, said the coordination for the visit began when Chief Master Sgt. Louis Kloeppel, 349th AMDS superintendent, got wind of the 446th AMDS process and contacted him in June to inquire about how the 446th AMDS ran their PHA schedule during Reserve weekends.

"I sent him an email with all of our templates that we use for our schedules and he seemed to be very impressed and interested in how my unit conducts business," he said. "He then made an appointment for his people to come here for the next UTA."

According to Maser, the staff at Travis was so impressed, they invited him to come down and observe their Health Services Inspection, a medical version of a Unit Compliance Inspection.

"They invited me to go TDY to their unit for their HSI inspection in October, so I can see exactly what the inspectors are looking for in preparation for ours in January."

Although Robison and Maser received challenge coins from Lefrancois, Abson, who works as an ear, nose and throat doctor at the Everett Clinic in Everett, attributes the success of the visit to his medical staff.

"The commander's coins are really a representation of the unit and the quality they bring every day to their job and the professionalism that make this mission work" he said. "These guys aren't getting coined for themselves. They're getting coined for the unit."

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