19th MDG realigns as part of Air Force Medical Service Reform

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rhett Isbell
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Medical Group at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, held a ceremony June 24, 2019, to re-designate the 19th Aerospace Medicine Squadron and 19th Medical Operations Squadron as the 19th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron and the 19th Healthcare Operations Squadron, respectively.

The re-designations come as the result of the Air Force Medical Service Reform and are designed to increase the combat readiness of Team Little Rock.

“We’re realigning healthcare for all Airmen under a single squadron,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joshua Hartman, 19th HCOS commander. “Right now you also have primary care services split between Airmen due to their careers, but with the reorganization we took all of our active-duty patients and moved them under the same care model.”

The first and most apparent change of the restructuring has already occurred with Team Little Rock members’ primary care managers being adjusted with the goal of expediting patient care to keep Airmen in a constant state of combat readiness by providing more focused and consistent care.

“We made an effort to empanel Airmen from the same squadrons to specific PCMs,” Hartman said. “We took it a step further now by consolidating the number of PCMs seeing nothing but total force members, while the remaining ones see retirees and dependents.”

Another result of the re-designation is how it allows PCMs a greater level of attention and communication with their patients because the administrative side of the healthcare process is now structured. Aside from increasing readiness, these alterations are designed to encourage the growth of better joint leaders and foster unit-level innovation.

“The importance is the mission impact for limiting the duty restrictions for patient’s chronic health issues,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Micah Schmidt, 19th MDG chief of medical staff. “We’re able to focus our effort where it makes the greatest impact to the mission due to the realignment.”

By placing emphasis on the success of these reforms, both Airmen and Medical Group staff have ensured Team Little Rock members are still in committed, capable hands.  

“Regardless of changes, the medical group will continue to focus on delivering safe, trusted care to all beneficiaries,” Hartman said. “The goal ultimately is to improve readiness in the population we serve.”

For questions please call the 19th Medical Group at (501) 987-8811.