By Phil Berube, Air University Public Affairs
/ Published August 06, 2019
Colonel Jeanette Frantal, 42nd Medical Group commander, hands the unit flag for the 42nd Health Care Operations Squadron to Lt. Col. Melissa Runge, HCOS commander, during a medical group squadrons’ re-designation ceremony Aug. 5, 2019, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The 42nd Medical Operations Squadron was re-designated the 42nd HCOS, which will focus on military family member, non-active duty and retiree health care, as part of Defense Department reforms to the Military Health System. (U.S. Air Force photo by William Birchfield)
Colonel Jeanette Frantal, 42nd Medical Group commander, hands the unit flag for the 42nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron to Lt. Col. Scott Corey, OMRS commander, during a medical group squadrons’ re-designation ceremony Aug. 5, 2019, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The 42nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron was re-designated the 42nd OMRS, which will focus on active duty care, as part of Defense Department reforms to the Military Health System. (U.S. Air Force photo by William Birchfield)
The 42nd Medical Group reorganized and re-designated two of its squadrons as part of the Air Force’s new medical group reform model.
In a ceremony held Aug. 5, 2019, the 42nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron was re-designated the 42nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, and the 42nd Medical Operations Squadron re-designated the 42nd Health Care Operations Squadron.
The goal of the organizational changes is to codify the resources required to maximize Airmen readiness and availability for deployments and to maintain the medical group’s “ready medic” mission while providing top-quality care to all beneficiaries, said 42nd Medical Group Commander Col. Jeanette Frantal.
“The OMRS and HCOS are intended to be interconnected and complementary, allowing their synergy to produce the best potential to achieve full-spectrum medical readiness,” she said. “Organizing within this construct will provide opportunities to develop workflow practices tailored toward serving these independent patient categories.”
The 42nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron will focus primarily on proactive treatment of active duty service members to improve their availability in supporting the warfighting mission.
“As an expeditionary force, the Air Force Medical Service must maintain the Air Force’s most valuable weapon system: its Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Scott Corey, OMRS commander. “To do that, the OMRS will empanel active duty members with a focus on the medical readiness posture and availability of our expeditionary forces and getting ‘downed Airmen’ back in the fight.”
The 42nd Health Care Operations Squadron will provide quality care for non-active duty, families of service members and military retirees.
“The changes that are occurring are organizational, not functional,” said Lt. Col. Melissa Runge, HCOS commander. “There will be no effect on how our beneficiaries receive care in the Military Health System. The care they receive will remain the same.”
In addition to the 42nd Medical Group, the Air Force Medical Service is transforming 42 other military treatment facilities within the continental United States. The next phase of Military Health System reforms will administratively transition the MTFs of all military services to Defense Health Agency responsibility by Oct. 1, 2019.
“The bottom line for all these changes,” said Frantal, “is that we will still provide the same outstanding medical care that we’ve always provided. Other than beneficiaries potentially being assigned different primary care managers, the adjustments should be fairly unremarkable to everyone.”
The Defense Health Agency is a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and a ready medical force to combatant commands in both peacetime and wartime.