Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Clinic ignites 21 MDG’s stellar inspection performance

By Scott Prater

Schriever Sentinel

Nine military and three civilian inspectors walked into the 21st Medical Group clinic here at Schriever, March 15.

Tech. Sgt. Linda Emerson, a pharmacy technician at the clinic, greeted the inspectors and was immediately asked about its Personnel Reliability Program.

According to Col. John Sell, 21st MDG commander, Sergeant Emerson remained calm and quick witted, and instantly provided a textbook answer to the inspectors’ question.

And the stage for the group’s Health Services Inspection was set.

Ultimately, the 21st MDG exited the inspection earning the highest score of any Air Force medical group since 2004, according to Col. James Hougas, Air Force Inspection Agency  team chief.

“The inspectors noted how clean and organized the clinic was,” Colonel Sell said. “Our Schriever clinic set a very nice tone for the week that progressed.”

What’s even more amazing for the Schriever clinic and the 21st MDG as a whole, is that the group had just a few months to prepare for the inspection.

Colonel Sell asked the AFIA to move its inspection of the 21st MDG forward from August to March.

“People everywhere asked me why I would do that,” he said. “But it made perfect sense for us because I knew we were going to be losing key members of our leadership to permanent change of stations before our August inspection date. I wanted to go through the inspection with the team that got us here.”

Colonel Sell specifically mentioned Chief of Medical Staff Maj. Matt Hanson; Lt. Col. Andy Cole, medical support squadron commander; Medical Operations Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Wanda McFatter, Chief Flight Surgeon Lt. Col. Paul Ploceck and Lt. Col. Michelle Stephens, administrator, Schriever Clinic as key members to the effort.

Given the earlier inspection schedule, the group was forced to prepare quicker — five months quicker.

With 10 locations spread out between Peterson Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station and Schriever, the 21st MDG is the largest medical group in Air Force Space Command.

The AFIA’s military inspectors evaluated the 21st MDG on three aspects: In-Garrison medical operations, expeditionary medical operations and leadership.

“Basically, the inspectors looked at how we have our fighting force ready to deploy down range,” Col. Sell said. “That’s the expeditionary piece. Then they looked at our In-Garrison portion, which is our peace-time mission, and finally, they evaluated us on how we run our medical operations. The thing that is most impressive about the Schriever clinic is that while resources are limited, the actual people who do the work make us proud to provide medical support and assist Col. (Wayne) Monteith, 50th SW commander, and the leaders at the 50th Space Wing.”

The group earned perfect scores in five out of 16 areas and scored 83 (out of a possible 100) or above on the other 11 areas.

Meanwhile, three civilian inspectors evaluated the group’s compliance with Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care standards to determine if its accreditation should be retained. Once again, the 21st MDG earned the highest result possible: accreditation for a three-year period.

The AFIA completes 25 health services inspections each year and has evaluated every medical group in the United States Air Force. As of March 2, 38 Airmen and civilians work at the Schriever clinic, which provides primary care, dentistry, pharmacy, laboratory, x-rays and public health services as well as behavioral health on an occasional basis. It currently holds a membership of 2100 patients.

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