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Commander's Column - November

November 2007 -- By Col. W. Buck Dodson, III M.D.
108th Medical Group Commander

When failure to check an item - whether due to forgetfulness, competing endeavors or other reason - may result in a significant risk sometimes to the point of loss of life, the use of a checklist can be crucial. Checklist procedures that involve two individuals have been shown to be vastly more effective than those that rely upon just one person.
All wing members should have their "Personal Monthly Drill Checklist." One item should be the need to check monthly to see if they have any current open issues at the Medical Group, such as an annual Occupational Health Exam. Traditional Guardsmen should check first thing Saturday of every drill.
The other person that wing members will use in this two-person monthly checklist procedure is usually the primary health monitor liaison POC at your unit. Each liaison will have an alternate appointed for times they are not available. If in doubt, have someone contact us ASAP. Even when we're closed during our usual Saturday morning training, we can be reached by phone.
Unit health POCs will often e-mail or post names of their unit members who have open medical items. Make sure any list you are looking at a current list as the data is always being updated.
Check over the list of open medical items early Saturday so you can take care of the open items on Saturday afternoon. If appointments are needed, your unit health POC can make the arrangements. We try to take care of most issues Saturday afternoon, so that Sunday morning can be used as a back-up for issues that were not totally completed.
Have your Dental Form faxed to our office or take advantage of the FEDS HEAL dental exam program whenever it is offered. Get your flu immunization as soon as they are offered, supply permitting!
Keeping your Self Aid Buddy Care (SABC) current is another item for your monthly personal checklist. Remember - compliance with the current guidance must be documented when accomplishing this wing-wide training. Regardless of where you accomplish this recurring requirement you must have completed the computer training within three consecutive UTAs prior to attending the hands-on skills verification class. Classes are not to exceed the 1:10 instructor/student ratio and instructors must teach at least 3 classes every 24 months.
Thanks from all of us at the Colonel (Dr.) Aldo G. Baldi Joint Medical Training Facility go to all of you who have supported us in our past Health Services Inspections. Thanks in advance for maintaining currency in all items like SABC, dental and occupational health exams.
The MDG members did an outstanding job in their roles at the ORI and UCI. Now we will be asking for your support in many ways. We are approaching the next HSI in April and they inspections are getting harder. Recently the percent of units scoring satisfactory or below has been growing. The medical unit inspected in Kansas and our 514th Medical Reserve neighbors both received satisfactory.
New challenges for 2008: the addition of focus elements and the percent cut-offs for Excellent and Outstanding have been raised even higher. Our Excellent last time would be a Sat on the new scale. Needless to say, we at the MDG have been working hard.
The passing of Chief Kenneth Haberberger is still being felt in many ways. Honoring him is one of the reasons we will give our absolute best effort for the HSI. The MDG will be dedicating a room to the Chief after the April HSI.
Remember to keep checking your medical requirements and SABC training to keep yourself up to date. And, in appreciation for the outstanding work that each and every one of the MDG crewmates do, please don't forget to thank any one of our "Baldi Clinic Warriors" when you get a chance.