Idaho Medical Staff Airmen Bleed Blue, Capture National Recognition

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua C. Allmaras
  • 124th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 124th Medical Group and two Airmen from the medical group were presented with national level awards during a surprise ceremony at the base clinic here Dec. 5, 2015.

The medical group received the Surgeon General Award for Best Clinic of the Year, Master Sgt. Mindi Anderson was the recipient of the SNCO Organizational Management Excellence Award, and Staff Sgt. Kelly Goodman, now a technical sergeant, was selected as the Outstanding Aerospace Medicine NCO of the Year. All of these are Air National Guard awards.

"Being recognized as the best for this year is huge," said Col. Brandon Isaacs, the commander of the 124th Medical Group. "Everyone has been working their tail ends off and we are getting recognized for it."

"The medical group does an outstanding job," said Brig. Gen. Michael Nolan, assistant adjutant general Air National Guard. "They are very professional and they have a service focused attitude, which is a huge part of why they are so successful. They take care of the wing very well and that's what they are being recognized for."

The group was selected for many reasons, one of them was for implementing innovative ways of helping Airmen accomplish their annual requirements efficiently.

"The 124th Medical Group developed a physical health assessment festival that allowed them to accomplish more than 900 PHAs and 200 occupational exams in just two days," said Col. Tim Donnellan, the commander of the 124th Fighter Wing. "One of the biggest impacts of this festival was the time savings for the fighter wing. Every hour at drill is critical to maintaining our readiness and the medical group returned more than 975 of these precious training hours back to us with this innovative event."

Increasing efficiency allowed the medical group to maintain the Airmen of the wing's readiness at a high level, which is another reason why they were selected.

"Not only did our medical professionals implement a time saving annual event, but they maintained our individual mobilization rate for the entire 124th Fighter Wing at 91 percent," said Donnellan. "Out of 89 Air National Guard wings, our IMR rate was only topped by one other wing."

Taking care of Airmen and their medical requirements is one of the core responsibilities of the medical community. However, they still have to maintain their own readiness.

"The 124 Medical Group participated in both Patriot and Operation Pathfinder Minuteman exercises. During Patriot more than 30 members completed their expeditionary medical support systems training and during Pathfinder Minuteman more than 25 medics trained on joint civilian disaster responses processes, supporting our State Mission," said Donnellan.

Anderson, an education and training manager, was the recipient of the SNCO Organizational Management Excellence award. She was nominated and selected for her many accomplishments, but one in particular saved the government a significant amount of money.

"Master Sgt. Anderson exemplifies Excellence in All We Do," said Donnellan. "She eliminated more than $42,000 in outsourcing costs associated with training guardsmen in basic life support, which was a direct savings to our Air National Guard and Air Force. Every effort to stretch our resources during our current budgetary constraints allows us to maintain our war fighting capability."

Goodman, a flight and operational medical technician, received the 2015 Outstanding Aerospace Medicine NCO of the Year Award. Like Anderson, her nomination package was full of many accomplishments, but one in particular stood out from the rest.

"Tech. Sgt. Goodman is an outstanding Airman," said Donnellan. "She volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan and while there, cared for more than 38 patients during a mass casualty response. Her efforts were attributed to saving lives."

All of these accomplishments for the medical group, Anderson, and Goodman are just the tip of the iceberg of why they received national recognition. Their selection brings great pride to those in the wing leadership.

"I am extremely proud of the 124th Medical Group, along with Master Sgt. Anderson and Tech. Sgt. Goodman for their recognition." said Donnellan. "They are leading the pack in the medical community and these awards validate this."

"I'm just privileged to serve as the commander," said Isaacs. "They make my life a lot easier because of the devotion and the desire for success that they have imprinted in their brains and it goes to the very core of their being. To put it plainly, some people say my unit bleeds blue and they love what they do and I am proud to be part of it."

The Air National Guard uses their medical award program to identify and recognize outstanding performers in 36 different categories. Those nominated and selected at the ANG level have the potential of being submitted to compete at the Air Force level.