Nurses Make a Difference: Anytime, Anywhere, Always; 62d MDS celebrates Nurse-Tech Appreciation Week

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Zoe Thacker
  • 62d Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 62d Medical Squadron celebrated Nurse-Technician Appreciation Week May 6-12, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The week’s purpose is to spotlight how nurses and medical technicians, whether uniformed, civilians, or contractors, exemplify excellence within the 62d MDS by providing quality healthcare services to promote fit, resilient, ready forces, while developing and strengthening their medics to sustain future medical capabilities.

The squadron held several events spanning the week to show their appreciation for one another and the hard work they’ve done over the past several years, including a K-9 Demo from the Naval Base Kitsap Security Department.

“The 62d MDS is composed of two clinics, our Warrior Operational Medicine Clinic (WOMC) and Flight Medicine Clinic,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ray Mamuad, senior nurse with the 62d MDS. “In the WOMC, there is a hardworking team of 16 staff, composed mostly of nurses and aerospace medical technicians, that make up the three primary care manager teams who service 2,200 Total Force patients.”

Daily, the team sees a mix of virtual and in-person appointments, responds to a myriad of patient portal messages and patient phone calls inquiring about various acute and chronic health concerns, appointment scheduling, prescription refills, profiles, referrals, and quarters, said Mamuad.

The team also supports the 62d Airlift Wing’s Personnel Reliability Assurance Program by providing medical care for patients in the Arming Use of Force Program.

The 62d MDS provides much more care then that of our Airmen, families and retirees – they also provided their support to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) in 2021 and 2022.

“During the height of COVID-19, the 62d MDS sent a team of 12 personnel, composed of 1 nurse and 6 medical technicians, to support the president’s national COVID vaccination program in St. Paul, Minnesota,” said Mamuad. “While deployed for a little over a month in April and May 2021, the team vaccinated more than 77,000 civilians living within underserved communities.”

A nurse with the 62d MDS also provided support to support U.S. Northern Command and the Army by providing staffing relief at St. Francis Medical Center in April-May of 2022. This support was in an effort to treat COVID-19 patients and fill civilian clinical shortfalls from burnout and attrition due to enticing travel nurse pay.

The 62d MDS was also able to lend their care, knowledge and expertise to aid in the largest non-combatant airlift in history; Operation Allies Refuge.

“We were able to send three technicians and one nurse to Germany in support of OAR,” said Staff Sgt. Rose Del Toral, non-commissioned officer in charge of the Flight and Operational Medicine Clinic. “They were able to render acute medical care to all refugees, including pediatrics, while staged at the medical tent at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Our nurse was able to assist in a mission to transport refugees from their prior locations to Germany.”

Despite the care of thousands of patients, humanitarian missions and providing FEMA support on the minds of the squadron’s Airmen; they still make sure they are keeping up with their training and learning new and more efficient ways to get the mission done.

“Weekly, all of our medical staff are going through and training on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, clinical practice guidelines and the Compressive Medical Readiness Program, to enable us to be the most ready and agile medical force we can be,” said Del Toral.

A rigorous training schedule, utmost care for their patients and appreciation for one another helps ensure the 62d MDS can provide top-notch support to ready 62d AW Airmen, promote resilience within families and honor our veterans.