Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Defending the Homeland: Air Force International Health Specialists bring experience to pandemic response

Two men in masks...one in military uniform, the other casually dressed Michael Young, Chief Executive Officer, Temple Health, discusses Temple University Hospital operations with U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, Task Force-Southeast commander, at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, April 27, 2020. Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force 352-1, a U.S. Army Reserve medical task force, is augmenting six Philadelphia area hospitals and the Temple Coronavirus Surge Facility to support Philadelphia COVID-19 relief efforts. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, is providing military support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help communities in need. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Adrian Patoka)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Engagement

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — International Health Specialists' experience in global health engagements proved important to support the Department of Defense’s relief efforts to state health care systems fighting COVID-19.

The Ninth Air Force-led Task Force-Southeast provided defense support of civil authorities within Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, regions III and IV. The task force’s largest mission was delivering support to a COVID-19 alternate care site set up at Temple University in Philadelphia that served as an overflow medical facility.

Several International Health Specialists brought experience in global health engagements to support the task force’s establishment and mission.

Col. Andrew Allen, International Health Specialist and U.S Air Force liaison to the National Guard Bureau, Global Health Division, was appointed as the deputy surgeon for Task Force-Southeast. Allen’s International Health Specialist experience prepared him for this role.

As the U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa International Health Specialist team lead, Allen advised major command leadership. He applied public health principles to evaluate health care infrastructure and medical capabilities of partner nations to provide operational and strategic guidance for medical security cooperation. This skill set was critical for his role on the task force.

“Because of my experience working with non-medical senior leadership as an International Health Specialist, I felt confident in performing a similar role as a member of the surgeon’s team on the task force,” Allen said.

Another aspect of Allen’s prior experience that he found beneficial to perform his new function was pushing his boundaries as a medical professional and willingness to operate in unfamiliar roles and environments.

“A key element of International Health Specialist experience is expanding beyond a traditional role in a clinic or deploying to support an expeditionary medical group,” said Allen. “Stepping out of your comfort zone and being part of the larger DOD mission is crucial to grow as a military medic, and something that can be difficult to accomplish outside of the program. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable makes it easier to quickly adapt when you are called to take on new roles unexpectedly.”

Maj. Joy Tesei, a member of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command International Health Specialist team, was also assigned to support Task Force-Southeast. She served as the subject matter expert for all medical and public health matters for the task force. Her work included providing recommendations to the commander, developing medical concepts of operations, and serving as the liaison to civilian government and non-government organizations at the national and state levels.

“In working with partner nations to mutually increase capabilities, readiness and medical interoperability as an International Health Specialist, I operate in a joint and interagency environment that includes coordinating with major command staff, civilian government agencies and National Guard planners,” Tesei said. “This provides a whole-of-force perspective that helped me understand the full breadth and depth of what we do as medics – a capability that was at the forefront of the COVID-19 response activities.”

Tesei said that while her prior experience informed her work on the task force, the insights she gained while assigned to the task force will be just as helpful during future global health engagements.

“Task Force-Southeast was part of an unprecedented government-wide crisis response.” she said. “Our partner nations are interested in how we have executed this and how we can exchange lessons learned and help each other improve pandemic detection and response.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Defense Health Official Urges Personnel, Families to Wear Face Masks

Article
4/8/2020
Image of a soldier wearing a face mask

The face-covering mask can be fashioned from simple household items.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Talking to children about COVID-19 helps them feel safe and secure

Article
4/8/2020
mage of a mom and two kids sitting on house steps

USU expert advises tailoring messages for different age groups

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Authorization to Employ Military Medical Capabilities to Treat COVID-19 Patients

Publication
4/8/2020

Effective immediately, the Commander, U.S Northern Command, is authorized, as he deems necessary and appropriate, to employ military medical capabilities under his operational control to treat patients who have contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Joint Staff Surgeon Praises Americans Stepping Up to Help COVID-19 Victims

Article
4/7/2020
Image of hospital staff holding a meeting

It's about people helping people, flattening the curve, and slowing the spread of the pandemic so hospitals have a bit more time to prepare.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Decision Memorandum on TRICARE Implementation of the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act"

Publication
4/7/2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116-127, Division F, Section 6006(a), limits TRICARE authority to impose copayment or other cost-sharing for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and related provider visits that result in orders for or administration of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, cleared, or authorized diagnostic products. In order for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to implement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)) must acknowledge the self-executing authority of the statute and direct the Director, DHA, or designee, to issue guidance implementing the statutory provisions.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Coronavirus

New York City emergency room doc joins Air National Guard as flight surgeon

Article
4/6/2020
Image of flight surgeon

Paladino is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and also at Kings County Hospital Center.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask

DoD Guidance on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Publication
4/5/2020

Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (this does not include in a Service member's or Service family member's personal residence on a military installation).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

250-patient Army field hospital in Seattle expected to open next week

Article
4/3/2020
Image of soldiers unpacking equipment

The field hospital...will relieve some of the burden on local hospitals, allowing them "freedom of maneuver" to better take care of patients who have COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

It’s complicated: Our relationship with social media

Article
4/3/2020
Image of soldier lying down, looking at his phone

COVID-related story on perils of social media

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Policy on Accessions and Accessions Training during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Publication
4/3/2020

The Military Departments must seek ways to maximize accessions in a responsible manner to minimize a reduction in military end strength and the potential deterioration of mid-and long-term readiness and capacity.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Navy secretary visits hospital ship Mercy in Port of Los Angeles

Article
4/2/2020
Image of man getting his temperature taken by service member wearing a mask.

Mercy deployed in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Transition of Military Medical Treatment Facilities from Military Departments to the Defense Health Agency during the COVID-19 Response

Publication
4/2/2020

The Department's MTF transition plan is conditions-based. While the transition of MTFs to DHA is continuing, the COVID-19 response requirements are impacting DHA's ability to meet all required conditions. The need for the DHA and MILDEPs to refocus efforts away from the transition to support the COVID-19 response led to questions regarding the future of MTF Transition.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation

From the front lines to the home front, Military Medicine is always ready

Article
4/1/2020
Army Lt. Gen. Ron Place and two soldiers stand at a table with COVID-19 testing supplies

Military medicine is providing assistance in unprecedented ways

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Possible changes at MTF pharmacies in response to COVID-19

Article
3/31/2020
A military pharmacist choosing medication from a shelf

Find out the latest pharmacy policies at MTFs

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | TRICARE Health Program

Coping with the stress of social distancing

Article
3/31/2020
Image of person alone in room

How to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness
<< < ... 26 27 28 29 30  ... > >> 
Showing results 436 - 450 Page 30 of 35

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.