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ACC recognizes Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth for excellence in patient care

Airman prepares to give another Airman a shot.

Maj. Leslie Mead, 55th Medical Group, prepares to give a safe injection at the Ehrling Bergquist Clinic June 18, 2020. The 55th Medical Group was the recipient of the 2019 Air Force Surgeon General’s Best Ambulatory Patient Safety Program Team Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

An Airman hands another Airman a prescription bottle

Airman 1st Class Savana Harrison, 55th Medical Group, provides a prescription to a customer at the Ehrling Bergquist Clinic June 18, 2020. The 55th Medical Group was the recipient of the 2019 Air Force Surgeon General’s Best Ambulatory Patient Safety Program Team Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The 55th Medical Group was the recipient of the 2019 Air Force Surgeon General’s Best Ambulatory Patient Safety Program Team Award.

“The best thing about this award is that it’s a team recognition, and everyone contributed,” said Col. Samia Ochia, 55th MDG Chief of Medical Staff.

In 2017, the 55th MDG began their high-reliability organization journey. The entire Air Force Medical System has been on the HRO journey since the third quarter of 2017. The 55th MDG’s HRO journey led to the acronym C-A-R-E, meaning Clear Communication, Attention to Detail, Respectful Teamwork, and Exercising a Questioning Attitude. Each staff member dons the badge featuring the phrase, “Trusted Care Begins With Me” on the front and the C-A-R-E acronym on the back.

“If you come into the clinic, you’ll see people striving to emulate what the badge states,” said Richard Halama, Patient Care Manager and head of the Patient Safety Program at Ehrling Berquist. The ultimate goal is to eliminate preventable patient harm. “The reason HRO principles work is that they enable “Every Airman, Every Day, to help solve problems.”

Among the awards highlighted is The Good Catch Program, which identifies people who, based on HRO principals, identified breaks in processes and improved outcomes. The Patient Safety Manager’s number one goal is to eliminate preventable patient harm in the AFMS. The 55th MDG received 12 awards for high levels of reliability in assisting patients through this program.

“I am immensely proud of the 55th MDG, and the work Col. Julie Ostrand and her team are doing to ensure patient safety,” said Col. Gavin Marks, 55th Wing Commander. “Not only were they excelling at their duties, but they did this during the historic flood here at Offutt. Not once did this significant event limit their service to our Offutt Airmen and families and despite the challenges, they continued to improve while ensuring partner clinics were educated and new, innovative processes formed. Col. Ostrand and the 55th MDG dedicate themselves to supporting Team Offutt, and I am thrilled this award helps to recognize their hard work and world-class standard of care!”