Keesler member wins AETC aerospace medicine award

  • Published
  • By Steve Pivnick
  • 81st Medical Group Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Debra Reiss, 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron, has been named the Air Education and Training Command Olsen-Wegner Aerospace Medicine Technician of the Year for 2013.

Among the achievements cited in her nomination, Reiss, NCOIC of the squadron's Base Operational Medical Cell operations, was hand-picked by her squadron commander, Lt. Col. Teresa Roberts, to lead implementation and training for the BOMC. "This new medical operation concept was set forth by Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Thomas Travis who had selected Keesler as the test pilot base.Within a few months, Reiss composed a team including seven technicians with support of various medical experts to pioneer ways of implementing this new concept which would service more than 5,000 Total Force personnel. She took charge of training requirements and was solely responsible for full implementation of competencies for two flights on flight physical processes, waiver guidelines, grounding management protocols and flight physical health assessments servicing 800 special duty operators."

The nomination continued, "She was charged with providing innovative ways by utilizing resources from three medical treatment facilities, three major commands and two forward operating agencies to break away from outdated Aerospace Medicine functions that limited medical care quality and mission. She instituted a baseline that will be adopted throughout the Air Force Medical Service and will provide a way for the future of Air Force-level operational medicine which will focus on patient care while improving clinical competencies through the Air Force."

In addition, she "was instrumental during the full implementation of the regional Total Force Partners clinical and operations capabilities initiative, 'Hospital without Walls.' Having been selected as the leading NCO, she worked directly with the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine as the only base-level clinical team on the Surgeon General Aeromedical Evacuation 2020 initiative. Reiss also led a Cost Conscious Culture imitative by enhancing 81st Medical Group and the 403rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron technology and clinical information exchange which significantly reduced facility footprint providing a reduction in operational costs."