Saturday, March 09, 2013

Naval Hospital Oak Harbor Uses 'Room of Horrors' to Promote Safety

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joan E. Jennings, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Whidbey Island
OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Oak Harbor (NHOH) promoted Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW) at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, March 3-9.

According to the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) website,, Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness campaign for health care safety led by NPSF. Annually, health care organizations take part in the event by displaying the NPSF campaign logo and promotional materials within their organizations, which creates awareness in the community.

"This annual event emphasizes our constant need to make patient safety our number one priority," said Matthew Bowles, NHOH's patient safety specialist.

This year's theme for NPSF is Patient Safety 7/365: 7 days of recognition, 365 days of commitment of safe care, according to the website. Their focus for 2013 is to recognize the advancements that have been made in patient safety as well as acknowledging the challenges that still exist, and to commit to working on them.

"This year we will be focusing on medication safety, patient falls prevention, and preventing infections," Bowles said.

Bowles said he helped create 'Room of Horrors' for the staff. It's a room for patient care that is filled with violations or mistakes that could harm a patient or put their privacy at risk. All staff members were invited to observe the room to find all the mistakes.

"The staff will have a better understanding of the importance of maintaining situational awareness when they are caring for patients," Bowles said. "It also reminds the staff that little mistakes can really add up to a nightmarish scenario."

According to Chantel L. Miller, NHOH's licensed practical nurse, the training has pinpointed several safety measures for patients that may get overlooked.

"Little things such as bed rails being up and your call light being within reach can make a huge impact on the patient," Miller said. "It's something I do all the time, and this training has made us stop and pay extra attention."

Bowles said NHOH is proud of their safety record, and they are continuously working to do even better.

"We have a number of programs in place to ensure patient safety, and our staff works to improve patient safety every day," Bowles said.

NHOH Commanding Officer Capt. Edward Simmer said patient safety is a 7/365 effort and it is the center of what NHOH does every day.

"Patient Safety Week gives us the opportunity to educate our community about how they can help us improve safety, and to recognize the many great initiatives by our staff to ensure we keep every patient safe, every time," Simmer said.

New York Air Guard Commander visits Hancock Field to present award to Lt. Col. Ed Cook

by Senior Airman Duane Morgan
174th Attack Wing

3/7/2013 - Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York  -- Maj. Gen. Verle L. Johnston, New York Air National Guard Commander, visited here on March 3, 2013 to present Lt. Col. Edward W. Cook Jr., Commander of the 174th Attack Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron, with the Colonel Governour Morris Citizen Soldier Award and to participate in a base-wide commander's call.

The Colonel Governour Morris Citizen Soldier Award is presented annually to a member of the New York State Organized Militia who has distinguished him or herself through outstanding support to the New York National Guard, his or her local community or the state of New York.

"It's extremely important that we're involved in our community," said Johnston. "And more so than the things Ed has done militarily, is the example he's been to all of us with his involvement in the community." 

Cook has been active for many years in the Salvation Army, Leadership Greater Syracuse and the CNY Political Leadership Institute. He is also a defensive driving instructor, soccer coach and volunteer firefighter.

Additionally, Cook has deployed seven times to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He most recently served as the Director of Logistics at the combined forces special operations component command in Afghanistan from August 2011- February 2012. For his service he was awarded the Joint Service Accommodation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal.

"When you're involved in your community, you strengthen your community, you strengthen your families and you strengthen individuals" said Johnston. "I just want to thank Ed for being a great example to us."

Johnston also took time to talk to the members of Hancock Field about the federal government's sequestration process and how it would affect the members in the future.  "Even though we are in a situation, things will somehow get resolved," said Johnston. "We hope this will have minimal impacts on the folks here at Hancock."

Finally, Johnston spoke about the good work that all the units at Hancock Field are going. "You guys are great. You are making a difference in the lives of American troops every single day.  Keep up the good work," said Johnston. "We're proud of you at state headquarters."

Women's roles evolve quickly following World War II

by Martha Lockwood
Air Force News Service

3/9/2013 - FORT MEADE, Md. (AFNS) -- Within the time span it took for women in television to transform from the female stereotypes portrayed on "I Love Lucy" to the more modern, late-century version found on "Murphy Brown," women in the U.S. Air Force were making strides that far outpaced their Hollywood counterparts.

By the end of World War II, women were fully incorporated into the military, although still primarily limited to mostly clerical roles such as typists, clerks and mail sorters, and represented only about two percent of the force. Less than a year after the Air Force became its own service, President Harry Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, accepting women as a permanent part of the military. It was the beginning of the Women's Air Force, and for the next 30 years would represent a separate, but equal part of the military.

During the Korean War (1950-53), the only Air Force women permitted to serve in the Korean battle zone were medical air evacuation nurses. Servicewomen who had joined the Reserves following World War II, were involuntarily recalled to active duty as Women in the Air Force (WAF). Together, with already in-service WAFs, the women carried out support roles at rear-echelon bases in Japan. They were air traffic controllers, weather observers, radar operators and photo interpreters. Nurses served stateside, and flight nurses served in the Korean theater.

By the end of the Korean War (1953), 12,800 WAF officers and enlisted women were serving
worldwide, and in 1955, Air Force nurses experienced a moment of turnabout when men were accepted into the Air Force Nurse Corps.

These events would prove to be a harbinger of women's emerging equality in all aspects of military service. Yet, it would take two more decades and service in another war to achieve parity.

The Vietnam War (1965-75) numbers reveal a different story than the Korean War. American women military serving in Southeast Asia numbered 7,000, with 600 to 800 reported to be WAFs. However, although the numbers may vary, it is more interesting to note the solid achievements and the expanding role of women in the military that evolved during that time of intense service.

No longer thought of only as nurses or medical evacuation personnel, WAFs also served in a variety of support staff assignments, in hospitals, with MASH Units, in service clubs, in headquarters offices, intelligence, and a in variety of personnel positions throughout Southeast Asia.

With the 1967 repeal of the two-percent cap on the number of women serving, and the lifting of the restriction on the highest grade women could achieve, the first of many glass ceilings was shattered.

Then, in 1968 the passage of Public Law 90-130 allowed women to enlist in the Air National Guard, and on campuses in 1969, Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC) opened to women.

Perhaps the most notable (to date) women's accomplishment came in 1971 when Jeanne M. Holm was promoted to brigadier general. She was the first female airman to reach that rank. It was an achievement that would serve as inspiration for women throughout the WAFs for two years, until 1973, when she was promoted to major general.

It was that same year, 1973, that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Air Force Lt. Sharon Frontiero and changed military life forever. The Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the inequities in benefits for the dependents of military women. Until then, military women with dependents were not authorized housing, nor were their dependents eligible for the benefits and privileges afforded the dependents of male military members, such as medical, commissary and post exchange benefits.

By the end of the Vietnam War (1975) the Department of Defense had reversed policies and provided pregnant women with the option of electing discharge or remaining on active duty. Previous policies had required women to be discharged if they became pregnant or if they adopted a child.

By the conclusion of the WAF program (1976) when women were accepted into the Air Force on an equal basis with men, women were laying a solid groundwork for attaining leadership positions and equal opportunities.

It was that year--our country's bicentennial--more than 200 years since women first served on the battlefield of the American Revolution as nurses, water bearers, cooks, laundresses and saboteurs--that women were admitted to the service academies.

After that, the sky was the limit. In 1976, the Air Force selected the first woman reservist for the undergraduate pilot training program, and the Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) assigned the first woman aircrew member to alert duty.

In 1980, the first women graduated from the service academies, and just two years after that (1982) the Air Force selected the first woman aviator for Test Pilot School.

Six Air Force women served as pilots, copilots and boom operators on the KC-135 and KC-10 tankers that refueled F-111Fs during the raid on Libya in 1986.

That year was a banner year academically for women as, for the first time in history, the Air Force Academy's top graduate was a woman.

The War in the Persian Gulf (1990-91) deployed 40,000 American military women during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. And at the end of that war, the Air Force Reserve selected its first woman senior advisor and Congress repealed laws banning women from flying in combat.

It wasn't until 1993 that women stood on the threshold of space. In that year, Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms (then Maj. Helms) a member of the first class of the U. S. Air Force Academy ('80) to graduate women, became the first American military woman in space as part of the Space Shuttle Endeavor team.

By then, the Civil War had been over for 125 years and our nation had seen, endured, and survived two World Wars, the riots of the 60s, the war protests of the 70s, and the Space Shuttle Challenger setback of the 80s.

The best was yet to come.

(Martha Lockwood is the chief of Air Force Information Products for the Defense Media Activity)

Exemplary Airman saves life, earns city's recognition

by Eric M. White

3/7/2013 - YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- In the early morning, you're driving through the city when you see two men pushing a stalled vehicle. You stop to see if they need help, and another vehicle strikes the two men against their car, fracturing one man's leg and severing the other's below the knee. The victim with the severed leg is bleeding profusely and showing signs of shock. What do you do?

The morning of Feb. 5, 2013, U.S. Air Force Reserve Senior Airman Steve Cresanto, an air transportation journeyman with Youngstown Air Reserve Station's 76th Aerial Port Squadron, was driving through the city when this scenario became reality, forcing him to make such decisions.

Jawkwan Rudolph, one of the victims, had the most serious injuries.

"His leg was amputated. You want to stop the hemorrhaging, so I applied a tourniquet," said Cresanto.

"I didn't have a tourniquet there, so I made one. I made the tourniquet out of the individual's belt and a windshield wiper from the car that struck them," said Cresanto.
Cresanto then fashioned a splint for the second victim's fractured leg using an ice scraper and another belt.

When first responders arrived at the scene of the accident, they asked Cresanto where he learned to do what he did, stating that his actions likely saved Rudolph's life. Cresanto credited the Self Aid Buddy Care (SABC) training he receives annually as an Air Force Reservist.

"We do it every single year, do the training, and I never thought I would actually use it in the field. It turns out I did, and I am glad I had the training," said Cresanto.

SABC training includes basic life support and limb-saving techniques to help injured persons survive until medical help arrives.

Charles Sammarone, Youngstown city mayor, presented Cresanto with an award on behalf of the city at a city council meeting March 6.

Detective/Sergeant Patricia Garcar, one of the first responders to the accident, recommended Cresanto for the award and presented at the council meeting her account of what unfolded the morning of the accident.

"I was just so impressed with what he did. He did not have to stop and didn't have to offer the assistance that he did, and it just amazed me," said Garcar.

Cresanto is one of more than 1,600 Citizen Airmen stationed at Youngstown Air Reserve Station who have answered the nation's call to fulfill the Air Force's core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.

"This is just another amazing example of the Airmen that we have here and the tie that we have to the community," said Col. James D. Dignan, 910th Airlift Wing commander. "There's a sense of family here at the 910th Airlift Wing."

Lt. Gen. William Etter takes over reins of First Air Force

from Courtesy story

3/8/2013 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- In a ceremony filled with traditions older than the Air Force itself, command of Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region-First Air Force (Air Forces Northern) changed Thursday afternoon in front of a formation of Airmen and distinguished guests.

During the ceremony, officiated by Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, Lt. Gen. William Etter assumed command from Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III. General Clarke is moving on to become the Director of the Air National Guard in Washington D.C.

"Lieutenant General Etter arrives at this command with a robust level of experience and he gets things done," Clarke said in parting remarks. "I can't think of a better officer to replace me here at CONR-1st Air Force."

During the ceremony Clarke was presented the Distinguished Service Medal.

Etter comes to Tyndall from the Pentagon, where he was the Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Guard Matters.

"This organization has three missions, three names, and I will wear nine hats as the commander," said Etter. "But this command is not one person; it is a team of Active, Guard, Reserve, Canadian Forces, and interagency partners and I am looking forward to working with all of you."

Etter also said he looks forward to continuing the strong bonds forged by Clarke between the CONR/AFNORTH and Tyndall families.

As the Joint Force Air Component Commander for NORAD and USNORTHCOM, the 1st Air Force commander is directly responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting full-spectrum U.S. Air Force air and space operations in the continental United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as over the maritime approaches to the United States. The organization is also responsible for providing Defense Support of Civil Authorities as the air component to USNORTHCOM. Additionally, the 601st Air & Space Operations Center falls under the 1st Air Force commander's direction, which plans, directs and assesses air and space operations for NORAD and USNORTHCOM.

Buckley, community partners unveil roadmap for future

by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau
460th Space Wing Public Affairs

3/6/2013 - AURORA, Colo. -- Following a year-long coordinated effort between Buckley Air Force Base and the local community, representatives unveiled the Master Plan for development March 4 at the Aurora City Building.

The plan is a vision for future growth and development of the base during the next 20 years, with great consideration for the benefit of the local community.

The Master Plan was a labor of military planning sessions, multiple community outreach events and good, old-fashioned hard work, according to Mark Gillem, urban planner with The Urban Collaborative who worked as a lead on the project. It molded the four Area Development Plans, or installation section-specific plans, into a single, focused goal for the future.

"The most important aspect was creating a clear vision," explained Gillem, who is also a professor at the University of Oregon. "We hosted a two-day workshop on base with almost 100 people showing up each day. Collaboratively, we worked together to build that vision and identify those areas we wanted to improve."

These initial vision workshops became the cornerstone that would lead to a successful planning process and a fully developed the plan, stated Joe Elms, Air Force Space Command community planner. Also, this project created a blueprint for other bases in AFSPC to follow.

"What we did at Buckley is the exact repeat of the process that we are going to put into place at all of our space command installations," Elms said. "It was an educational and empowering experience. Everybody on the installation is a stakeholder, and everybody's voice has equal volume in this process.

"We are going to start developing our installations in a more sustainable fashion," explained Elms. "We are going to (make buildings the right size for our mission), make our communities more workable and livable for the occupants, get away from the dependency on the automobile, become more dense, and use our resources more effectively."

Elms discussed that this transition from an auto park to campus-style installation would save money to those who serve on the base by reducing the cost of gas and maintenance, while creating a more livable and social community.

"This is going to positively impact the base," said Matthew Stewart, Michael Baker Corporation project manager and Master Plan consultant. "We wanted to go to a nice, green, walkable community that is sustainable. We picture Buckley becoming one of the most innovative bases in the continental United States."

Not only will the community reap the benefits of the Master Plan, but also the military members who serve at Buckley and its partner units, explained Lt. Col. William Smith, 140th Wing Colorado Air National Guard base civil engineer. The plan brought all units across all functional areas to march together in a common direction.

"We have a solid, vetted plan that is clearly the right answer for everyone involved," Smith said. "It has bulletproof planning. It has what we need."

As Buckley's Master Plan is implemented, Elms predicted the base may become "one of those famous installations that everyone wants to go to -- a place where you can live, work, shop and serve all in the same area."