The U.S. Air Force 633rd Medical Group’s new program aims to reduce overdue Individual Medical Readiness statuses throughout the medical group
The U.S. Air Force 633rd Medical Group implemented a new program that incorporates individual medical readiness requirements into the First-Term Airmen Course curriculum at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
The Medical Right Start Program, initially launched in July 2018, aims to reduce overdue Individual Medical Readiness (IMR) statuses throughout the medical group, enabling airmen to focus on the JBLE mission.
“When airmen complete FTAC and the three weeks of details that follow, they go to their jobs and they’re bombarded with so much that they are not concentrating on completing medical requirements,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Teronda L. Hunter, 633rd Dental Squadron clinical flight chief. “The medical requirements end up getting pushed to the side and forgotten about until they’re ready to deploy or their name comes up red six months later in a unit deployment manager briefing. This program will prevent that lapse.”
The program allows for FTAC airmen to spend the day touring medical group facilities under the guidance of an assigned escort. The airmen are divided into groups that rotate through the Langley Dental Clinic, Immunization Clinic, Optometry Clinic and the Public Health Clinic.
According to Hunter, not only will airmen benefit from completing their IMR checklist on time, they will also have the chance to learn first-hand how to utilize the JBLE medical services that are available to them. “This is vital information, especially for new airmen going to their first base,” Hunter said. “As the airmen are walking around completing requirements, we also make sure to brief them on the Operational Medical Clinic services and the cough and cold clinic basics.”
Hunter assembled a group made up of 633rd MDG members ranging from senior NCOs to junior airmen. Hunter said it was important to incorporate various ranks into their bi-monthly meetings to gain insight on how to improve program procedures and continue to work toward innovation.
“A big focus of our working group is a continuing process of improvement and we are always looking at what can be added to the checklist,” Hunter said. “This isn’t about leadership taking an idea and running with it. Our airmen need to understand how these processes work as a ‘tiger team’ and understand what a continuing process of improvement really is.”
The group continues to build upon the program’s foundation and is steadily incorporating other JBLE facilities into its process. Since the start of the program, the group has also integrated 633rd Bioenvironmental Engineering members so airmen can complete their gas mask requirements.
Chief Master Sgt. Andre Gaskin, 633rd MDG dental superintendent and working group member, said the medical group is always reviewing initiatives to revamp current procedures. Their next goal is to bring Green Dot training into the Medical Right Start Program.
“Our primary focus is our operational airmen,” Gaskin said. “Providing A-1 [top quality] services to our warfighters is imperative because readiness is our number one initiative to ensure our airmen are ready to go at moment’s notice. We get all this stuff done up front so they can go to their unit, focus on upgrade training as well as career development course requirements and become a phenomenal warfighter.”