New hospital provides wealth of services to base

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Karen Tomasik
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
The 386th Expeditionary Medical Group, also known as "Med Rock," is now open for business.

Before the hospital opening, many patients were sent off-base for various aspects of their medical care.

"We can provide much of this basic care here on base, saving time in treatment and allowing our deployed members to be returned to duty more quickly," said Maj. Lidia Webb, officer in charge of the multiservice unit.

While the new hospital will be open 24 hours daily for emergencies and serious illness, the base clinic will continue to handle sick call and immunizations.

Even with all the equipment and space needed to put up the hospital tent, the medical group had help from the civil engineer and communications squadrons and everything was up and running within 10 days.

"For many of us, this is the first time we have built a hospital from the ground up," said Capt. Douglass Odegaard, 386th EMDG pharmacist. "The floor was started by civil (engineers) about 10 days ago, and we had the tent up in less than a week. We are really pleased with how well everything came together so quickly."

This is a deployment of many "firsts" for most of the medical group staff, but everyone seems to enjoy the opportunity to put their various skills to use in a deployed environment.

"This is my first time deploying, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the services the base has to offer to people deployed here," said Capt. (Dr.) Robert Buck, one of the emergency room doctors.

The 386th EMDG airmen are prepared to provide a wealth of services to servicemembers of this forward-deployed base should the need arise.

"Although we are geared up and ready to go, we hope we won't need to use them," said Buck.