LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—The 47th Medical Group reorganized its squadrons, the 47th Medical Operations Squadron and the 47th Medical Support Squadron, as part of the Air Force Medical Service Medical Squadron reform, on July 15, 2019 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
The 47th MDG will remain as such, but the 47th MDSS will become the 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron, and the 47th MDOS will transition to the 47th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron.
The reform among the 47th MDG’s squadrons is in preparation for the shift of management to the Defense Health Agency, which goes into effect Oct. 1.
“The DHA’s reform implements some significant changes that will positively influence our ability to effectively care for our total force airmen, joint service members, dependents and retirees,” Col. Andrew Cruz, 47th MDG commander said. “It will help better organize healthcare operations, manning and monetary support for the medical squadrons.”
This change, directed by the National Defense Authorization Act, is to increase standardization and cost effectiveness through the military branches.
Prior to the reform, MDOS focused on patient care while MDSS focused on administration and ancillary support, described Maj. Joy Spillers, the 47th MDG administrator.
“The big push with the realignment is focusing on readiness so our Airmen can deploy at a moment’s notice,” Spillers said. “Each squadron now has a team of providers – the 47 OMRS sees military beneficiaries and the 47th HCOS sees our retirees and dependents. With this change, it will prevent military and non-military members competing for care.”
Another benefit of the medical reform is the 47th OMRS primary care team will be more involved with their patients. The team will do this by taking a proactive approach with their patients’ wellbeing and visiting them at their respective units.
“The purpose of the team becoming more involved with their military patients is identifying any systemic issues not immediately identified during individual appointments,” Spillers said. “For example, if members from a certain squadron are continuously being seen for headaches, our medics can visit the squadron, interact with them, and see firsthand any indicators of what’s going on in order to recommend preventive healthcare.”
Laughlin’s clinic reform is designed to continue meeting the needs of its beneficiaries and proactively ensure Laughlin Airmen remain fit to fight.