Medical Reintegration Innovation

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrew Garavito
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

The 355th Wing is now focused on reintegration for in person-processing after halting operations for the COVID-19 Pandemic Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 17, 2024.

Medical services refocused their efforts toward pandemic-related challenges. After implementing pandemic restrictions, the reintegration process did not fully resume.

Understanding the challenges faced by returning deployers, the program was reevaluated and a more effective solution was to consolidate the multiple agencies and briefings for deployers.

The goal was to create a "one-stop-shop" reintegration experience, for the 2k returning members, saving the 355th Wing 13k man hours.

The reintegration took place at Davis-Monthan AFB in May-June 2023. The effort was to ensure that returning deployers received the support they needed without unnecessary delays.

“Returning Airmen deserve an expeditious reintegration after deployment so they can get back to spending as much time with their families,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Matthew Centeno, 355th Medical Readiness flight commander. “The 355th Medical Group is here to take care of our patients. Sometimes, it means we go to them rather than them coming to us.”

Working groups were created such as the collaboration with units like the 355th Force Support Squadron/Installation Personnel Readiness. Some examples of the medical capabilities that were reinstated on the line are labs, immunizations, and Deployment Related Health Assessment or DRHA.

“This new process is mutually beneficial, our deployers get to start their post deployment downtime more quickly and the medical group can ensure they receive the necessary care sooner,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Samara Brown, 355th Medical Readiness NCOIC. “I was glad the vision came to fruition.”

Realigning and reenvisioning all these processes will save the 355th Wing time, money, and promote a more effective medical program for our returning warfighters.