Feature - 49th Medical Logistics lifeline to clinic

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Randahl J. Jenson
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Boxes packed full of medical supplies line the walls inside the 49th Medical Logistics building at Holloman Air Force Base -- supplies that fuel the mission of the 49th Medical Group.

These supplies, along with all prescriptions and equipment used by the clinic, are ordered and sorted by the 49th Medical Logistics Flight.

"Everything the clinic uses, Medlog purchases," said Staff Sgt. Keen Santiago, the NCOIC of acquisitions at the 49th Medical Logistics Flight. "We're the lifeline of the medical group and their operations."

Not only does Medlog provide the clinic everything from pencils to prescriptions, they also dispose of medical waste, and store medical gasses such as oxygen and nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.

To the Medlog Airmen, saving the Air Force time and resources is no laughing matter.

Since November, Medlog has implemented a new program called Forward Logistics. Now, they keep inventory of everything in the clinic. This allows medical technicians to spend more time caring for their patients and less time stocking the shelves.

"We actually go in the pharmacy and help out with the ordering so the technicians don't have to and can focus on patient care instead," said Santiago. "If they're missing something, we'll do the legwork for them. We are very efficient in delivering supplies to our customers. If it comes in today, it goes out today."

This quick service supports the Medlog's main goal.

"The whole goal of logistics is to serve the clinic," said 1st Lt. Emily Burns, the medical logistics flight commander. "We manage everything for them. We've increased standardization, decreased the amount of time the techs are spending out of the clinic, and allow more time for patient care. We're here working late hours to make sure everyone gets what they need."

Medlog Airmen personally communicate with their customers to better understand what it is they need.

As she walks through the clinic, Burns stops to talk to technicians, contractors and janitors alike. This one-on-one communication is used by all of the Medlog Airmen.

"They do an absolutely amazing job," said Burns. "Every day, they are going above and beyond to meet the needs of the customers and insure that we're ordering supplies on time, and that they're stocking the shelves that we're pulling the recall items."

The Medlog motto sums up their mission in three words.

"Whatever it takes," said Senior Airman Zachary Nichols, a Medical Logistics technician at the 49th Medical Logistics Flight. "The health of the base is what our priority is."

This priority is held by all of the 49th MDG from top to bottom.

The 49th MDG recently welcomed their new commander, Col. Paul A. Willingham, who used to be a medical logistics flight commander at three different bases.
"I'm really excited to have him here and on board," said Burns. "I am excited for the wealth of knowledge he will be able to bring to the table. It's always nice when someone understands your business."