Keesler BOMC 'opens for business'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Duncan McElroy
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The Base Operation Medicine Cell held a ceremonial grand opening at the Keesler Medical Center Sept. 28.

The grand opening was held to introduce commanders and staff within the 81st Medical Group to the fully-functioning, operational BOMC – the first of its kind in the Air Force.

“We’re looking to revamp Air Force healthcare by removing all standardized exams like Physical Health Assessments, Deployment Health Assessments, flight physicals and clearance physicals – basically any exam requiring a medical provider when you’re not sick – from care providers and working them here,” said Capt. Colby Uptegraft, BOMC flight commander. “This offers two things: more appointment access to your physician when you are sick, and better, faster and more accurate wellness physicals.”

Though the BOMC was created in 2013 and has been in various statuses of operation since that time, the clinic’s members feel they’re in a place where they can showcase what they’ve been doing; the BOMC has a clear vision now, explained Airman 1st Class Terrence Paton, 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron public health technician.

In standardizing the administrative side of healthcare into one clinic, the BOMC aims to make direct patient care more efficient and personal.

“By shifting these processes to the BOMC, we’re also ensuring the appropriate use of manning resources,” Uptegraft said. “Medical providers will be able to focus on provider work, nurses on nurse work and technicians on technician work – the outcome is patients are safer, workers are utilized appropriately and the Air Force saves money.”

Paton emphasized that a main proponent of the clinic is accuracy of care, and that leadership’s willingness to allow them to innovate will set the stage for future leaps in patient care.

“What we’re implementing and refining here will help shape BOMC policy and design service-wide,” Uptegraft added. “Our team is literally reshaping outpatient medicine for the entire Air Force.”
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