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DIMO, 59th MDW help Rwanda take medical training to next level

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Defense Institute for Medical Operations, in partnership with the 59th Medical Wing, recently helped the Rwandan government establish their first-ever medical modeling and simulation center in a local military hospital.

As one of the leading contributors of forces for United Nations Peacekeeping efforts, the Rwandan Defence Force turned to DIMO to help take their medical training to the next level.

“This project has been ongoing since 2015. There were significant obstacles with logistics and funding but we were finally able to do this with a lot of help from partner organizations,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Ballard, academic and simulator project lead.

Among them was the 59th Medical Wing headquartered at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center.

The 59th Medical Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Medical Equipment Management Office provided essential training equipment totaling more than $82,000. The team also managed to cut the total project completion time by six months saving the Air Force and Department of Defense approximately $32,000, according to Staff Sgt. Fabre Fontenot, a member of the MEMO team.

Moving forward, DIMO will continue to oversee educational and logistical support as well as coach and mentor the Rwanda military medical team through the end of 2017.

“This organization works to provide the best health care education and training to partners around the world. Our success is a result of hard work from all of our partners. Without even one of them, this project wouldn’t have been possible," said Master Sgt. Beverly Smith, project co-lead for DIMO.