MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
The week of Oct. 28 to Nov.1 is dedicated to showing appreciation to healthcare administrative Airmen. This year, the 42nd Medical Group went the extra mile to display gratitude toward all the dedicated professionals who have worked exceptionally hard throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The 4A career field, healthcare administration, incorporates three separate enlisted Air Force Specialty Codes: Health Services Management (4A0XX), Medical Materiel (4A1XX) and Biomedical Equipment (4A2XX). Medical Service Corps (41AX) officers are the 4A career field officer counterpart.
The COVID-19 relief efforts made by the 42nd healthcare administration Airmen directly support Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper’s top priority of protecting the Defense Department's people. Although COVID-19 has impacted the team, the Airmen have developed workarounds to ensure medical care at Maxwell-Gunter continues. From logisticians allocating personal protective equipment across the installation to patient administrators ensuring that customers receive the care they need, it has been an all-hands-in effort to keep the Maxwell-Gunter community healthy and intact.
The effectiveness of the 42nd healthcare administration experts has even benefited other Air Force installations. 42nd logisticians worked vigorously to maintain, and ultimately exceeded, stock level availability targets to the point where they’ve been able to send excess personal protective equipment (PPE) to other bases to support our Wingmen across the force.
“These Airmen are the backbone of our medical career field,” said Lt. Col. Hiram Ortiz, 42nd Medical Support Squadron Commander. “There is a lot of tracking, transmitting and securing of medical information behind the scenes which ensures clinicians have the right information when treating our customers. Our resourcers manage a $25M budget ensuring our civilian staff are paid, contracts are filled, supplies are purchased and medications procured. Our information systems team manages the largest medical information management/information technology account on the installation ensuring the security of our medical network and operational effectiveness of our IT infrastructure.”
Ortiz also took the opportunity to highlight a few of his remarkable Airmen at the 42 MDG for their outstanding pandemic response efforts.
Capt. Leslie Hernandez, 42nd Medical Logistics Flight Commander, led two flights during the pandemic, the Medical Information Systems Flight and the Medical Logistics Flight, both vital to maintaining operations within the clinic, wing, and Air University.
“COVID challenged us in unprecedented ways,” Hernandez said. “Thankfully, 4As and MSCs thrive in unpredictable environments. Information Systems was tasked with building from nothing an inventory of telework options as well as processes to track and manage them. Medical Logistics was entrusted with securing vital PPE when such items were difficult to come by throughout the nation. If either of these initiatives failed the mission would have failed. This can be extrapolated to all functions performed by 4As and MSCs.”
Airman 1st Class Yobanni Calderon, 42nd Medical Material professional, has been crucial to managing PPE for the Medical Group. He stocks, rotates, and tracks PPE ensuring 100% availability for staff and enables the MDG mission to continue during the current COVID environment.
“Being a 4A to me means being an all-around helper,” Calderon said. “As a medical logistician I feel as if we are versatile and can be put in different situations to just help get the mission done. COVID-19 has made us be even more attentive to the items needed for the clinic, distribute strictly, store, and always make sure we have the necessary items on hand to deal with COVID-19.”
Staff Sgt. Brendon Warnock, 42nd Medical Information Systems Technician, led the DoD’s inaugural remote Medical Community of Interest (MedCOI) migration as the primary technology technician. Despite having less than six months of systems training, Warnock drove this initiative in place of the normal Defense Health Agency teams that were unable to assist due to restrictions experienced during the current pandemic. His actions directly safeguarded the health and well-being of the clinical staff by delivering all the necessary equipment and training needed to telework during the pandemic.
These Airmen, along with all the healthcare administration Airmen at the 42 MDG, are greatly appreciated for their perseverance and diligence both before and after the COVID-19 outbreak. Ortiz emphasized that the 4A Airmen are always doing their best, no matter the circumstances, “Our team of 4As takes pride in ensuring that they meet or exceed the mark to ensure the highest quality of care, at the right time, even while engaged in a pandemic response.”