July 15, 2002, 14:59 EDT

Air Guard Medical Squadron wins Excellence Award

by Maj. Deborah D. Magaldi
Public Affairs Officer, Virginia Air National Guard

SANDSTON, Va. - The 192d Medical Squadron, a component of the Virginia Air National Guard, earned special recognition at the Virginia National Guard Association conference held earlier this year.

The unit received the Founders and Patriots of America Excellence Award for its outstanding work during 2001. The award was presented to 192d Fighter Wing commander, Col. Stephen R. Hicks, by Thatcher S. Wood, governor of the Virginia Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America.

The medical squadron’s distinctive accomplishments during 2001 included passing a major Air Force inspection, completing the requirements necessary to receive an increased scope of mission, and providing assistance to the 203d RED HORSE Flight after the 203d lost 18 members of its unit in a tragic airplane crash on March 3, 2001. Then, in response to the nation’s post-September 11 war on terrorism and the Air National Guard’s homeland defense mission, medical squadron staff mobilized and expanded its services to meet the needs of the significant number of personnel activated for Noble Eagle. In a time of turmoil, war, and upheaval, the unit worked diligently to maintain the highest levels of medical service to the men and women of the VaANG, and especially for those who were activated, Thatcher Wood noted while presenting the award.

The unit also earned a very high score during its 2001 Combat Medical Readiness training. And under its own initiative, the medical squadron designed and outfitted a new immunization clinic on base in order to meet Air Force and OSHA safety and health laws and to provide greater customer service by streamlining the base immunization process. In addition, the unit remodeled its aging dental clinic to better use space and to handle an increased workload.

On the staffing front, the medical squadron implemented new retention and moral-enhancing initiatives, encouraging people to join and want to remain a part of the medical squadron. At year’s end the squadron boasted a 110 percent retention rate.

The 192d Medical Squadron includes medical specialists and professionals from all areas of the health profession. The unit provides medical services to all Virginia Air National Guard units.

Each year the Virginia Society of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America recognizes a top Virginia Air Guard and an Army Guard unit with the Excellence Award.

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