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News > Medical group earns excellent rating in health inspection
Medical group earns excellent rating in health inspection

Posted 12/23/2009   Updated 12/23/2009 Email story   Print story


from 1st SOMDG

12/23/2009 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The 1st Special Operations Medical Group received an excellent rating during a recent Air Force Inspection Agency inspection from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.

The medical group is also expecting the highest rating of substantially compliant from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

"It is a joy to come to a place like this," said Philip Grassia, AAAHC lead surveyor. "Of all the military and civilian facilities I have surveyed, the 1st Special Operations Medical Group beats them hands down."

The team surveyed various areas within the 1st SOMDG such as quality of care, patient safety, customer service, deployment processing and community support. The 1st SOMDG was not only measured against Air Force standards, but also against civilian benchmarks set by the AAAHC.

"The 1st Special Operations Medical Group's relatively new executive leadership team has continued to sustain and even improve upon a wide array of clinical, administrative and support programs," said Col. Gary Forthman, AFIA team leader. "Two areas worthy of special note are Mental Health Risk Management and the Epidemiology, Public Health Surveillance programs. These programs far exceeded all existing requirements and are among the best seen to date. Overall, this medical group is rated excellent, with the medical group commander and his leadership team being fully committed to maximizing base readiness and community wellness."

The 1st SOMDG received a 91, the highest score it has ever received. Ten of 16 areas were rated outstanding, placing the 1st SOMDG in an "elite category" of facilities, Colonel Forthman said.

The tri-annual Health Services Inspection was performed by a nine-member team composed of dentists, nurses and health officers from AFIA and a three-member team from AAAHC.

The inspection team spent the first two days reviewing nearly 20,000 pages of documents detailing patient encounters, clinical support and all business transactions from the last 36 months.

After the document audit, the panel interviewed medical group members from the most junior Airmen to senior staff.

"We were asked about our knowledge on issues like information management and manpower allocation," said Capt. Angela Barrons, 1st SOMDG project officer. "We were also graded on how well we gave our responses. I thought we did great."

According to the inspection report, the 1st SOMDG's beneficiaries were extremely satisfied with the consistent, high quality health care provided. It also cited significant improvement in many areas and the 1st SOMDG's commitment to maximizing the health of our Air Commandos and their families.

"This fantastic result required everyone's participation and a team effort," said Col. Dale Agner, 1st SOMDG commander. "We needed hard work and dedication from our junior Airmen, NCOs, senior NCOs and company grade officers to get a score like this."

Outstanding performance awards included Senior Master Sgt. Ronda Hopping from the dental squadron, Tech. Sgt. DeAngelo Gilliam from the behavioral health flight, and Captain Barrons, resource management flight.

The HSI team averages 26 inspections a year with nearly 80 military treatment facilities in the Air Force.

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