Air Force Surgeon General updates Congress on medical reform

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  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, testified Thursday, Dec. 5, before the House Armed Services Committee’s Military Personnel Subcommittee.

Hogg’s testimony focused on modernizing the Air Force Medical Service to support the National Defense Strategy and emerging readiness requirements.

“The Air Force Medical Service is evolving in support of national defense objectives,” said Hogg. “Air Force medics continue to answer the call across a broad spectrum of operational, humanitarian, and disaster response missions.”

U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Military Treatment Facilities will transition to the Defense Health Agency starting Oct. 1, 2021, undergoing the most significant, systemic change in the Air Force Medical Service’s 70-year history being driven by Congress, DoD priorities, and the Secretary of the Air Force.

MTFs in the continental U.S. began DHA transition in 2018 to ensure policy and processes are in place prior to transitioning the overseas MTFs.

USAFE – AFAFRICA medical staff has weekly dialogs with the DHA transition cell to posture and secure a seamless transition.

“Patient care is our number one priority,” said Col. Pamela Smith, USAFE – AFAFRICA Command Surgeon. “We are looking forward to implementing new ways we can provide the best quality care to the Airmen of USAFE – AFAFRICA, so they can get back out after the mission.”

Air Force MTFs throughout Europe and Africa are also undergoing several distinct but complimentary reforms intended to improve the lethality of the force through realignment of active duty and family member empanelments and execution of standardized workflows improving efficiency and access to care guaranteeing trusted care to our warfighters and their families, added Smith.

Hogg also spoke to progress implementing a variety of other military health reforms, highlighting the standup of the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, the launch of the Air Force Medical Reform Model, and the transition of authority, direction and control of military treatment facilities to the Defense Health Agency.

“Our charge is crystal clear,” said Hogg. “I am confident these reforms will maximize our ability to meet combatant commanders’ requirements.”

Hogg also discussed how the AFMS continues to grow critical training and partnership programs, improve its ability to save lives both on and off the battlefield, and assured the Subcommittee that Air Force medics are ready to meet the challenges ahead.

“As our nation faces new challenges, I strongly believe that preparing for an uncertain future requires boldness and innovative thinking,” said Hogg. “I have no doubt that we are moving in the right direction and that medics throughout the Military Health System will rise to the occasion.”