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AETC Med Group 2006 awards announced

By Bob Hieronymus | staff writer | Dec. 14, 2006

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — The Air Education and Training Command Medical Service Awards for 2006 were announced Friday.

The 12th Medical Group's Health and Wellness Center won the Best Small Base Award for Health Promotions Programs and six of the Medical Group's people were singled out for individual awards:

Lt. Col. Carol Andrews received the Maj. Gen. Barbara Brannon Nursing Leadership Award
Maj. Arshad Qureshi received the Maxine Beatty Field Grade Award in Pharmacy
Tech. Sgt. Andrew Flora received the Noncommissioned Officer award in Aerospace Physiology
Tech. Sgt. Susanna Klein received the NCO award in Bioenvironmental Engineering
Senior Airman Abel Padilla-Loredo received the Olson/Wegner Award in Aerospace Medicine
Airman First Class Vikas Kumar received the Airman award in Aerospace Physiology

Even though Randolph is classified as a small base, the Health and Wellness Center here counted more than 3,500 visits from base personnel during the year.

This was a key factor in winning the AETC Health Promotions Program award for small bases for 2006.

The HAWC has also been an Air Force trendsetter in reaching more than 300 youth and parents in child obesity prevention programs.

"Our team at the HAWC is really awesome," said Dr. Suzy Harrington, HAWC director, "but I have to also give credit to Team Randolph for the way they have embraced our promotions and responded to our efforts to improve the health of so many people on base."

Colonel Andrews was singled out for her work which has affected the whole Air Force nursing corps.

She revised standards used by military and civilian clinics around the globe and set the course for future requirements for ambulatory care nursing professionals.

The American Association of Ambulatory Nursing Care honored her with its Administrative Excellence Award for 2005. Through her work, the 12th Medical
Group was recognized as number one in AETC for business planning, reaching 140 percent of its goal.

Major Qureshi was selected as the premier pharmacy manager in the command. Under
his direction, the pharmacy, which is reported to require 80 percent of the Medical Group's budget, filled 275,000 prescriptions for 60,000 beneficiaries and maintained a 99.9 percent accuracy rate in supplying those services. The flight did this with a staff of one officer, 12 technicians, four students and 35 volunteers.

In addition, while deployed to southwest Asia, he served as a translator and the only contact between U.S. Army hospital corpsmen and the indigenous Pakistani population after a 6.7 earthquake.

Sergeant Flora led the operations element of the Air Force's busiest Aerospace Physiology Training Facility, directing the scheduling for 7,000 students in 22 courses and supervised more than 47,000 training hours. He supervised the training of more than 1,450 aircrews and coordinated 120 altitude chamber sessions for 4,650 students.

He also developed a memorandum of understanding to allow the local squadron of
the Civil Air Patrol to use the physiology training facility as part of their cadet development program.

Sergeant Klein was chosen to take the lead in testing a new computer program that links various agencies related to hazards management. Her work was instrumental in
averting some $140,000 in contractor costs.

She was also cited for her decisive leadership in a real world sulfuric acid incident in which she worked closely with the HAZMAT team to diminish exposure to the public.

In other actions, she discovered and corrected major HAZMAT procedural errors
that could have resulted in thousands of dollars in fines from the Environmental
Protection Agency.

Airman Padilla-Loredo was directly involved in saving nine lives during the year as an emergency services medic, as he maintained oxygen in decompression sickness cases. He also managed the largest contact lens program in AETC, assuring flight safety in the process.

Airman Padilla-Loredo also managed the Photorefractive Keratectomy program, tracking 40 aviators in pre and post-surgery progress. He volunteered to serve on the base honor guard, where he participated in the funerals of 23 retirees, seven veterans and two active duty members.

Airman Kumar won kudos as the squadron, group, wing and Team Randolph junior enlisted member for the fourth quarter of 2005.

In his work with the Aerospace Physiology Flight, he programmed the training for more than 4,500 aviators in altitude chamber flights with zero training deficiencies and no
cancellations. He identified a chamber malfunction and decisively directed corrective action that saved what would have been $100,000 in repairs.

His supervisors recognized him as an eloquent speaker and assigned him to deliver safety briefings that were cited by students for excellence. He showed himself to be number one among his peers for completing requirements for award of his 5-skill level. He also volunteered to serve on the base honor guard where he was involved in 14 details, and still took time to volunteer to help with the local Special Olympics.

Col. Paul Bennett, 12th Medical Group commander, said, "I'm proud of these people for being singled out for these awards. It takes the full team to carry out the mission successfully, but these people have earned well-deserved recognition for dedication above and beyond the norm."

Packages for the award winners have been sent forward to Air Force level. Results of that review will be announced in mid-February.