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NEWS | March 14, 2013

Biomedical team celebrates 48th birthday

By Robert Goetz Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

Forty-eight years to the day after its creation as a unit of the Air Force Medical Service, the Biomedical Sciences Corps concludes its first appreciation week today.

At Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, the 359th Medical Group paid tribute to its BSC flights with activities that included a luncheon Thursday at the Kendrick Club featuring Maj. Gen. Byron Hepburn, 59th Medical Wing commander, as guest of honor.

"It's our first-ever recognition week for a group of people who are instrumental in providing quality health care for beneficiaries and training for aircrews," Lt. Col. Christine Stabile, 359th Aerospace-Medicine Squadron Biomedical Sciences executive and optometrist, said. "We help make the mission happen."

In his memo announcing Biomedical Sciences Corps Appreciation Week, Brig. Gen. James Carroll, BSC chief, noted the corps "has made invaluable contributions to medical research, clinical medical practice and the aerospace medical mission."

BSC flights play a key role at Randolph as well, Stabile said, representing 10 of the corps' 18 career fields and comprising about 100 members of the 359th MDG, including 25 officers. Those flights are pharmacy, physical therapy, optometry, physician assistant, mental health, aerospace physiology, bioenvironmental engineering, public health and biomedical laboratory.

"We're the people who support medical care, but we also provide a lot of direct care," she said.

BSC members at Randolph have distinguished themselves in recent months, including recognition as Air Education and Training Command's Biomedical Sciences Team of the Year in 2012 in the clinic category, Stabile said.

The family health clinic's Travis Team, led by Maj. Darrell Stutts and Matthew Hansen, 359th Medical Operations Squadron physician assistants, was the Patient-Centered Medical Home Primary Care Manager Team of the Year for the Air Force in 2011. The team, which also included two medical technicians and one nurse, also was named PCMH PCM Team of the Quarter for the Air Force in the last quarter of 2011.

"It was the PCMH PCM Team of the Quarter for the Air Force that won us the chance to attend the Disney Institute," Stutts said, referring to the Walt Disney Company's professional development and external training arm. "The award was based on patient satisfaction, ease of appointment access, patient seeing their own primary care manager and high Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set metrics for preventative medicine."

Stabile also noted the accomplishments of the pharmacy, which she called "one of the most productive in the Air Force," and Capt. Michael Scannon, 359th AMDS Force Health Management Element chief, who led efforts to help the Afghan National Police establish a preventive health department and a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, set up an infectious disease control program during a recent deployment.

The clinic's physical therapy flight has also excelled in recent months, Capt. Felix Islas, flight commander, said, reducing its no-show rate for patients from 12 percent to 4 percent.
"We used the Air Force Smart Operations 21 program to streamline processes," he said.

The BSC's roots go back to 1917, when Congress established the Army Sanitary Corps to combat infectious diseases. The Army Medical Administrative Corps followed three years later. The National Security Act in 1947 created the Army Medical Service Corps and, two years later, the Air Force had its own medical service. Air Force Special Order CA-5 in 1965 created the Biomedical Science Corps category.