Illness to Wellness, Public Health helps ensure mission readiness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley Perdue
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- “Can you imagine not knowing the quality and wholesomeness of the food on base, or not being able to identify health hazards in your work place? What about heading to a deployed location with no information on the health risks associated with that area, because no group of people are concerned about you and your health,” asked Staff Sgt. Dominique Lockley, NCO in charge of deployment medicine assigned to the 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron.

This may sound like a doomsday scenario to most, but without medical professionals like Lockley and his partner Staff Sgt. Whitney M. Galloway, NCO in charge of the communicable disease section assigned to the 6th AMS, this imaginary scenario would be the reality we’d all live in.

“Without Public Health, our Airmen would be subjected to a massive number of detrimental influences to their health,” said Galloway. “It’s our job to make sure we mitigate the risk our Airmen face here in the States and when they deploy around the world.”

Here at MacDill, Public Health operates by putting the public’s concerns at the forefront of their mission. By focusing on ensuring the base population is safe from communicable and vector-borne diseases, such as last year’s Zika scare, the Airmen at Public Health deliver combat-ready Airmen to the joint fight.

The Public Health office in MacDill’s 6th Medical Group looks after more than just these combat-ready Airmen though. Dependents, government contractors and civilians, retirees, and service members from the joint force all rely on Public Health’s ability to keep them healthy.

Because MacDill is part of the greater Tampa Bay area, MacDill’s Public Health office has built a great working relationship with many of the Hillsborough County Public Health offices.

Galloway said they work with the county’s many offices almost daily. Continuing on by saying, “They have an abundance of knowledge and often serve as an information source if we ever have any questions or need any help.”

The Public Health office plays a key role for the 6th Air Mobility Wing and the rest of MacDill.

In a nutshell, they ensure all members of MacDill are educated on medical threats they may encounter locally or while traveling abroad. They identify any trends that may cause a concern to the base, and over all, help keep everyone here safe and mission ready.