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59 MDW expedites Airmen’s return to training

Suzanne Packard, a Cardiology Phase II instructor at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, explains a cardio sonogram to Trenton Moore, Basic Military Training trainee at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, during the Basic Military Training Fast Track program Feb. 28, 2018. The 59th Medical Wing’s weekly program gives trainees in BMT technical school on cardiology-related medical hold a singular location to have their issues tested and identified. (U.S. Air Force photo by Daniel Calderon)

Suzanne Packard, a Cardiology Phase II instructor at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, explains a cardio sonogram to Trenton Moore, Basic Military Training trainee at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, during the Basic Military Training Fast Track program Feb. 28, 2018. The 59th Medical Wing’s weekly program gives trainees in BMT technical school on cardiology-related medical hold a singular location to have their issues tested and identified. (U.S. Air Force photo by Daniel Calderon)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --

The 59th Medical Wing’s cardiology clinic, located at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, is working to help Airmen complete their training as quickly and as safely as possible.

 

Basic Military Training Fast Track began in December 2016, and provides Airmen in BMT and technical school a “one-stop shop” to have their cardio related issues monitored by clinicians.

 

“We’re looking for any defects with heart function,” said Tech. Sgt. Jessica White, 59th MDW cardiology technician. “We normally see between eight to 12 trainees weekly. Generally speaking, once you’re cleared by cardiology, you can go back to training.”

 

During the program, trainees go through a full echocardiogram, an exercise stress test and can be prepared for a Holter Monitor. Trainees on hold due to cardio-related issues previously had to complete these tests separately. Consolidating the appointments can lead to returning to an active training status at a faster pace.

 

By reducing the time trainees spend on medical hold, the program saves the Air Force approximately $366 per day. Before the program was implemented, a trainee could spend more than 30 days on medical hold.  Now, the average time on medical hold is less than seven days. .

 

“It’s really neat to be able to get in and help treat these Airmen, and help them continue their training,” White said. “Most don’t want to wash out, get held back, or be sent back home.”

 

For more information about the 59th MDW, including the new 59th Medical Wing Texting Service, visit http://www.59mdw.af.mil/text/.