Senior health technician discusses medical readiness

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- With an increasing operations tempo and multiple operational readiness assessments on the horizon, it is becoming more important for Airmen to track their medical readiness status and ensure medical currency.

Six areas comprise the overall medical readiness assessment for individuals; profile status, immunizations, dental, health risk assessment (Web HA), laboratory requirements and medical equipment (gas mask inserts, ballistic eyewear).

Individual medical readiness areas are assessed on a "green, yellow, red" scale, with green indicating an individual is medically ready, yellow indicating that there is a requirement due soon, and red indicating the member is in a non-deployable status.

Airmen are assessed only as high as their lowest score. For example, if an Airman is assessed as "green" for five areas and "red" for one area, the Airmen is considered "red" and is non-deployable at that time.

One of the major responsibilities assigned to 129th Medical Group is tracking medical readiness. Each week, Master Sgt. Summer Mize, senior health technician for the 129th Medical Group, briefs wing senior leadership on the medical readiness status of the 129th Rescue Wing.

This brief provides leadership with an assessment of how medically ready the wing is to deploy at a given time. Maintaining medical readiness is a key component in being prepared for a potential deployment.

"Airmen should always maintain medical readiness," said Sergeant Mize. "If they are medically ready, it will be one less thing they will need to worry about when it comes time to deploying."

The 129th MDG provides all of the services in order for Airmen to maintain medical readiness. During UTA weekends, physicians and optometrists are available by appointment and can provide services to ensure Airmen are medically ready for deployment.

Laboratory and immunizations services are also available on UTA weekends on a walk-in basis. During non-drill periods, Airmen can schedule an appointment to have laboratory work done during regular work hours.

In addition, Airmen on military status, such as annual training or rescheduled UTA days, can also receive immunizations.

There are several things Airmen can do to help ensure they are medically ready for a deployment, said Sergeant Mize. The first thing she recommends is for Airmen to sequence their individual medical readiness requirements to be due during or near a time Airmen are most likely to remember.

"I recommend people complete their Web HA about 60 to 90 days before the start of their birth month," she said. "They can then complete their medical readiness appointments 30 to 60 days before the start of their birth month. This gives them about a month of extra time to complete any necessary actions."

Her next suggestion is for Airmen and unit health ,onitors, who have access to medical readiness information and expiring requirements, to communicate periodically. Finally, it's suggested that members utilize a 90-day scheduling window to complete all requirements before they are due, Sergeant Mize said.

While ultimately it is up to the individual member to maintain their medical readiness status, the Medical Group is there to help.

"We all have a part in the mission," said Sergeant Mize. "If we all work together, there's no mission unattainable."