By Airman 1st Class C. Todd Lopez
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (April 16, 1999) -- Col. Patricia A. Buck, 436th Medical Group commander always knew her staff were some of the best in the Air Mobility Command.
Her beliefs were recently substantiated when the Medical Group received nine Air Mobility Command level awards for 1998.
"I'm extremely proud of the men and women of the 436th Medical Group. Their hard work, professionalism, and dedication to helping others is evident in the high quality of care they provide day in and day out," said Buck. "These awards reinforce what we already knew. They are the best of the best."
Recipients of the awards included three members from the Dental Squadron, three from the Aerospace Medicine Squadron, and three from the Medical Operations Squadron.
Master Sgt. Kevin Vegas, 436th Dental Squadron superintendent, received the AMC award for Senior NCO of the year. Vegas" leadership of an eleven member team, aiding the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in the forensic identification of 22 casualties from a terrorist bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya and a helicopter crash at Nellis Air Force Base, contributed to his receiving the award.
Tech. Sgt. Ursula Young being named Dental NCO of the Year is partially due to her work reducing the number of Dover AFB personnel not qualified for worldwide service due to dental health to less than 1 percent. The acceptable level set by AMC is five percent.
Senior Airman Rebecca Taylor was named AMC Dental Airman of the Year for her exceptional clerical work and management of the Records and Reception Section during the six weeks absence of the Noncommissioned Officer In Charge.
"One reason for the outstanding performance of the Dental Squadron may be its commitment to the enlisted force," said Capt. Elaine Dekker, 436th Medical Group Executive officer "The Dental Squadron seems to have carried out the idea of ACM's Year of the Enlisted Force, beyond just a year."
In the Medical Operations Squadron, Staff Sgt. Eric Cisney was named Physical Therapy Craftsman of the Year. Some of Cisney's achievements include the creation of a new gym program, allowing one-on-one instruction on gym equipment. The program decreased patient time in the Physical Therapy Clinic and allowed patients more independence. Cisney was also involved with the Delaware State Senior Olympics Program; his instruction provided an environment, which produced zero injuries for more than 100 participants.
Capt. Catherine E. McGowan, a physical therapist from the 436th Medical Operations Squadron ,was named AMC Physical Therapist of the Year for her contribution to the recent high scores on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations and Health Service Inspection inspections. McGowen prepared participants for the inspections by conducting mock survey inspections of primary teams. McGowen was also involved in the organization of Medical Group Spouse's orientation for the Year of the Family
Capt. Judith Hughs, a nurse, gained recognition as AMC Nurse of the Year partly for her reorganization of the drug list for the Minor Procedure Unit. The improvement minimizes the waste of unused drugs, and improves efficiency of drug administration for nurses who rotate through the MPU. Hughs has also volunteered to teach a class on pain management at a local hospital.
"Each one of these people do their job with excellence every single day," said Lt. Col. Janice I. Lee, 436th Medical Operations Squadron commander. "They are very involved with community activities in the city and the state. Each is an energetic person looking for ways to do things better. It is a validation of what we have known all along that we have excellent people here that work very hard, it is nice to see them recognized."
In addition to the Medical Operations Squadron and the Dental Squadron, the 436th Medical Group as honored to have another squadron, the Aerospace Medicine Squadron, receive high honors.
Senior Airman Kora G. Parks, named AMC Medical Readiness Airman of the Year, was honored in part for her ability to perform under pressure. During Phoenix Scorpion II and Phoenix Banner her coordination of the Global Reach Laydown Team deployment enabled medical clearances and weapons issuance to be performed efficiently, ensuring the team and equipment were ready to deploy ahead of time.
Airman 1st Class Sarah Byron was named AMC Public Health Airman of the Year, for her work safeguarding pregnant workers at Dover AFB. Her awareness of safety issues allowed for the identification of dangerous work environments for pregnant workers and the subsequent relocation of three workers for the duration of their pregnancies.
For her work with civilian work force records, Airman 1st Class Stacey S. Bonk was named AMC Aeromedical Airman of the Year. Bonk's participation in the audit of civilian medical records led to the retirement of more than 1000 files, improving record manageability and simplifying record keeping duties for coworkers.
Quality performance is not limited to these nine 436th Medical Group team members, quality really is evident throughout the entire Medical Group.
"We're fortunate to have a lot of young people doing super things for the Air Force and for their community," said Senior Master Sgt. Alan Wilkerson, 436th Medical Group superintendent. "For our folks to have achieved this level of recognition is significant and noteworthy of their dedication to the 436 Airlift Wing and to all of our patients and clientele."