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Medical team uses holistic approach to improve health

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman David Bernal Del Agua
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
As part of the new Air Force Medical Home initiative, members of the 22nd Medical Group partnered with the 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron to learn possible factors that may cause injury in the squadron.

The initiative focuses on medical provider teams approaching health care in a more proactive way to individual groups. This study involved performing lower extremity screenings and analyzing the way Airmen walk or run, also known as a gait analysis.

"We performed two of these screening sessions during AMXS roll calls," said Tech. Sgt. Sean Devereaux, 22nd Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of physical training. "We completed 117 foot screenings and identified 36 Airmen for further evaluation, while Mr. Stadler [exercise physiologist] also performed 35 gait analyses."

Those identified in the screenings have been scheduled to have further evaluation with Lt. Col. Denis Nolan, 22nd MDOS physical therapist, with no referral needed.

"From the evaluations we can provide a custom treatment plan for these individuals, including exercises and orthotics," said Devereaux.

The goals of the team are to maximize their efforts with the team approach to minimize the time spent away from work.

"Honestly, this is the direction the Air Force medical service is going," said Lt. Col. Joshua Hartman, 22nd MDG medical staff chief. "We're taking a holistic approach to treating people. When someone comes into the clinic with a bad ankle, knee or back, instead of slapping a Band-Aid on it and sending them back to work, we're taking a look at the bigger picture to see how to keep this person from getting sick or hurt again."

The willingness of the units to participate has helped the primary care management teams with their holistic approach, and it also has helped the Air Force Medical Home initiative take hold.

"The process is still ongoing, and we are very excited with the results so far," said Devereaux. "The AMXS team has been super supportive and appreciative of our efforts as well. We are maximizing our efforts with the team approach to minimize time away from work. Ultimately, we want to have a healthier Air Force."