Public health remains an integral part of daily operations

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Luis Pabon, 6th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Community Health section chief

April 5-11 is National Public Health Week, which highlights the contributions of preventive medicine professionals.

Our MacDill Public Health team has the unique challenge of providing force health and community health support to our joint force via a variety of programs.

Many do not know that the public health team, like most of our teams, is integrated into many of MacDill’s daily operations behind the scenes.

You might know them as the office where you go to get you hearing tests or the office where you go to medically out-process for your deployment but there is more to the story.

Our public health team has a force health protection team and a community health team that focus on ensuring all our warfighters and beneficiaries are protected from emerging and re-emerging diseases of operational importance.

In 2020, public health teams all over the Air Force had to drastically adjust their operations to support the unexpected pandemic they have always been training and preparing for.

In the midst of these challenging times, the MacDill Public Health team continued to work around the clock to ensure our MacDill family was safe.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public health team implemented 24/7 call operations, interviewed patients, provided Spanish translation, devised reporting protocols to providers, tracked potential cases and directly planned and coordinated the installation's new virus surveillance plan.

Their guidance, monitoring and surveillance were vital to our command team’s decision making.

Our experienced team deployed many members across the nation, validating multiple requirements.

Like many offices, they felt the demands of staffing shortages just like you.

Additionally, public health conducted 198 food and facility inspections leading to the safeguarding of $112 million in assets.

Lastly, public health performed 3,977 audiograms—critical to the 6th Air Refueling Wing and the combatant command’s achieving mission success not only here in Florida, but also all around the world.

This team has not stopped working and will not stop working hard to support you. No visible or invisible enemy will stop your public health team from taking care of you.

MacDill’s Public Health team thanks you for your support, patience and understanding during this time.

Happy National Public Health Week 2021!