Issues & Comments

 

 

14 Responses to Issues & Comments

  1. Doc Pond says:

    I received a note from Dean Winslow about the appointment as Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs, so I wrote him:

    Dean,

    So good to hear from you my friend. Yes, I will pass this on to your colleagues. Do you mind if I publish in information on the Alliance web site also?

    I am now approaching the end of my second MSD extension, so I too will be retiring from the military, but not from the active practice of medicine—60-80 hour/week critical care-cardiac-trauma anesthesia and teaching. Gerry Harmon, will be presiding at my retirement on November 4. (He is now Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the AMA, with a good shot at becoming president. He will be flying a Malibu to Fort Wayne, in case you need a ride and an opportunity to bend his ear. )

    We are so fortunate to have one of your expertise, experience and dedication in your position.

    Please keep my Indiana colleague & anesthesiologist, Jerome Adams, newly appointed Surgeon General, company in DC. As president of the Executive Board of the Fort Wayne/Allen County Health Department, I have always been impressed by his professionalism and support from the state level.

    Best always,

    Bill
    Col William W. Pond, MD, CFS, MC, INANG
    Indiana State Air Surgeon
    wwpond@gmail.com
    (260) 602-5167 (cell)
    (877) 917-5507 (secure fax)
    11011 West Sycamore Hills Drive
    Fort Wayne, IN 46814

    Bill,

    I’d be HONORED to have you publish this in the Alliance website! I’m really sad (as you must be) about your upcoming retirement, but I guess you feel the same as I do: It was a great ride serving as an ANG flight surgeon for so many years. I told Gen Mattis I’d only commit to 2 years because I really love being a doctor and want to go back to Stanford before I get too old! I probably won’t be able to make it to your ceremony unfortunately but if I’m confirmed by then, expect a big thank you from the Pentagon! Give Gerry Harmon my best and congrats! (I’m also jealous of that turboprop, though…) That’s so cool that we have another Hoosier going to DC. (As you might remember, I consider myself an honorary Hoosier. Was born in Illinois but mom and dad were both from Indiana…)
    Keep in touch, my friend!

    Best,
    Dean

    Dean L. Winslow, MD
    Professor of Medicine
    Division of Hospital Medicine
    Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine

    Vice Chair, Department of Medicine
    Academic Physician-In-Chief, Stanford/ValleyCare

    Stanford University School of Medicine
    300 Pasteur Drive, room L134, MC 5107
    Stanford, CA 94305

  2. Doc Pond says:

    BLUF: SG Staff Personnel will host a two-hour Quarterly Field DCS Tuesday
    night 30 August 2016 @ 8PM EST

    On Tuesday night, 30 August 2016 @ 8PM, SG will host a Quarterly Field DSC
    for all audiences. Overall the DCSs have gone smoothly and effectively and
    produced positive responses from the field. Our attendees range from State
    Air Surgeons, Medical Group Commanders, Medical Administrative Officers,
    Nurses, Health System Specialists, to invitees such as our
    Assistants/Advisors, Aeromedical Squadron Commanders, and other special
    guests. As usual, the agenda will be filled with current and relevant
    topics delivered by our dedicated SG Staff SMEs.

    I am soliciting the field now to inquire on specific topics and/or
    questions you would like discussed. SG will update any and all timely
    topics we deem necessary to assure the field has what it needs to accomplish
    the mission. Once we have those requests, SG will gear up accordingly and
    then launch another email notification reminder with the final agenda and
    any updated BBPs on topics to be covered during the two-hour session. Those
    same BBPs are always available for your convenience on our SharePoint and Kx
    Websites.

    As it stands now, some of the hot discussion topics this quarter will
    include: 1) 2016 HPET wrap-up and 2017 Readiness Frontiers Light spin-up;
    2) FY17 funding of selected MDG full time technician positions; and 3) New
    Scorecard format and grading criteria.

    Please provide any topics and/or questions you might have no later than COB
    Thursday, 25 August, or sooner, to Mrs. Donna Meador,
    donna.s.meador.civ@mail.mil; COM (240) 612-9596; DSN 612-9596.

    Last quarter we had topics and/or questions coming in on the day of the DCS.
    In some cases, just not enough time to get you a proper answer. Remember,
    the DCS format allows you to ask real-time questions and hopefully, the
    staff can provide real-time answers.

    Thanks for our cooperation in this matter of mutual interest.

    Col Thigpen

    CHARLIE D. THIGPEN, Col, USAF, SGA, MSC

  3. Contract Occupational Medicine Physician Needed says: says:

    December 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm
    Hi, Bill. Good talking this morning! As discussed, Barksdale will be
    looking for an Occupational Medicine physician in their Flight Medicine
    Flight in the very near future. If you would, please post this to the
    Alliance of Air National Guard Flight Surgeons website, along with the
    attached Statement of Work. Please direct all questions to Ms. Thompson,
    whose contact info is in the message below. If you have questions for me,
    please use my gmail address, (effeeks@gmail.com) Thanks again! V/r, Ed Feeks

    “There is likely to be a contractor position opening very soon for an
    Occupational Medicine physician at Barksdale AFB. The position was recently
    put out for bidding, and has not been awarded to a company yet, but
    interested persons should contact Ms. Denise Thompson, Service Contract
    Manager, 2 MDSS/SGSM, at 318-456-6040,
    denise.thompson.3@us.af.mil . See attached description. ”

    Edmond F. Feeks, MD, MPH
    —————————————-
    Ed,
    Great to hear from you after your service at NBG. Rumor has it that you are getting back to the Hoosier State, home of the Indianapolis 500, so if you get up here, be sure to stop by. Best always. WWP

  4. Flight Surgeon Badging says:

    Flight Surgeon Badging:

    Efforts continue by many to see that flight surgeon badging is appropriate now and in the future. Below is some recent conversation regarding the issue:

    Cxxx

    I agree with you entirely. My version was how the regulation would actually appear with the notes removed. The grandfathering clause can stay, but it is probably unnecessary those affected have retired.

    For now, changing to number of sorties would go a long way towards fixing the problem; it can be done immediately and is very simple.

    The long range fix is a fundamental evaluation of the best mechanism of assuring flight surgeon knowledge in the weapons system of those whom he/she supports. For RPAs it’s flying a mission, for DGS it’s time in the SCIF during a mission, for A-10 it’s time reviewing the HUD and time in the sim, etc. The lack of positive response at the operational level is more reflection of the many more pressing concerns.

    This is a strategic issue that affects flight surgeon career progression, retention and satisfaction for coming decades. As such, impetus from LtGen Ediger would go a long way to establish guidance. I would suggest appointment of a working group with a representative from Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and School of Aerospace Medicine; the group would be charged with making specific recommendation regarding the issue.

    Cxxx, if you do not mind, may I extract portions of this conversation for posting on the Alliance Web Site? The flight docs across the country would find it enlightening.

    Thanks,

    Bill

    ================================

    Bill,

    I agree. If you read the text of my email I mention removing notes 6, 14, and 15. Note 13 is a grandfather clause which doesn’t matter. I also mention that we need to add a note allowing sim time and RPA time in the box to count as a sortie. I suspect we will have to better define those times (so someone doesn’t get multiple sorties). I was hoping to get some discussion, but it has been crickets.

    Cxxxx

    ===============

    Cxxx

    I concur, but it is imperative that the writing in parentheses be removed because this is the portion that defines operational flight surgeon in terms of months receiving flight pay. This actually makes it much simpler while keeping the spirit intact.

    Thanks,

    FOMCB-Flight Surgeon Badging

    MOBBIC et al,

    During the May FOMCB at AsMA we discussed making changes to AFI 11-402, Table 2.1 with respect to requirements for Senior and Chief Flight Surgeon aeronautical ratings. The discussion centered around column D (operational
    flying duty) and the difficulty ARC flight surgeons, especially those assigned to fighter aircraft, have meeting the Operational Flying DutyAccumulator (OFDA) credit. This requires that an ARC FS obtain 2 hours of flying (half of the AD requirement in 1/15 the time) to receive flight pay and receive one month of credit toward the OFDA requirements of 72 months (Senior) and 144 months (Chief). Since most of these sorties are 0.8 to 1.2 hours it would require two sorties per UTA (Unit Training Assembly=drill weekend), which would require a significant time commitment to flying at the expense of other equally important flight surgeon requirements (shop visits,
    AMC/OEHWG/DAWG meetings, HUD tape reviews, PHAs/occ health and flight exams, etc.)–all of which have to be accomplished in the 16 hours of a UTA.

    Flying can occur outside of UTA; however this is complicated by time away from civilian employment/practice or the fact that frequently the flight surgeon does not live near the installation. In addition, there are frequently more flight surgeons than back seats. The issue also extends to flight surgeons assigned to units with single seat fighters or RPA missions–with limited opportunity to fly.

    I would like to recommend changing column D of Table 2.1 in AFI 11-402 to reflect the equivalent of 1 sortie per month (at least for the ARC), which would equate to 144 (or possibly round up to 150) sorties for Chief and 72
    (or 75) sorties for Senior ratings. I would also recommend a note allowing flights in the simulator or in the RPA box to count as a sortie.

    Please see the changes to the table (attached) less any notes. I appreciate your consideration and comments.

    V/r,

    Cxxx

  5. William Pond says:

    EFFECTIVE MIDNIGHT, SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2015 MHS LEARN WILL NO
    LONGER BE AVAILABLE FOR TRAINING

    MHS Learn has been designated a legacy
    system and as such, will be fully decommissioned this year. Joint Knowledge
    Online (JKO) has been designated the new MHS enterprise e-learning solution.
    Please use the following URL for the list of current active training on MHS
    Learn that will migrate to JKO by May 31,
    2015:

    https://mhslearn.csd.disa.mil/ilearn/en/learner/mhs/portal/docs/course_list.pdf

    Completing
    training: To receive credit for MHS Learn courses in progress, learners must
    complete training prior to midnight, 5/31/2015!

    EFFECTIVE MIDNIGHT, SUNDAY,
    MAY 31, 2015 MHS LEARN TRAINING RECORDS WILL NO LONGER BE ACCESSIBLE

    Selected
    staff training records associated with MHS Learn courses migrating to JKO will
    transfer to JKO. Although every effort will be made to successfully transfer
    those training records, there is potential for loss of data. Training records
    for courses not migrating to JKO will not be transferred. For updated
    information from the DHA Education and Training Directorate about which training
    records will transfer to JKO and which will not, please watch the
    “Announcements” section of the MHS Learn home page.

    Printing training
    certificates: Prior to 5/31/2015, DHSS strongly encourages all learners to print
    and save copies of their MHS Learn training completion certificates. Training
    certificates learners should print and save include:

    Certificates for their
    most recently completed HIPAA and JCAHO Annual Regulatory training – only
    certificates for the most recently completed training are available

    Certificates for courses with CEUs

    Certificates for any training that
    will not transition to JKO if they will need proof after 5/31/2015 that they
    completed the training

    Please click following URL for the instructions on
    locating and printing MHS Learn training
    certificates:

    https://mhslearn.csd.disa.mil/ilearn/en/learner/mhs/portal/docs/mhsl_cert.pdf

    For

    • Doc Pond says:

      A list of the training that is transferring to JKO is available in the documents tab of the AANGFS web site.

  6. Jill Hendra says:

    with the end of Readiness Frontiers…I have lost track of AANGFS.
    please forward membership $$ to get me back in the green with group!

    • Doc Pond says:

      Jill,
      Great to hear from you. Your question is a good one. The Alliance did produce an RSV program along with Category 1 CME last summer.
      The lectures and CME are here, just click the RSVs. There is also an application on the homepage with the address of Frank “da Banker” Yang.
      Best always,
      Bill

  7. Doc Pond says:

    Col Frank Yang: A Flight Safety Proposal

    ~~Flight Surgeons,
    Regarding aircraft mishap investigation, here is an interesting proposal by Col Frank Yang and some discussion.  Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts. The Alliance of Air National Guard Flight Surgeons serves as a vehicle for the open exchange of ideas among those who are interested in aerospace medicine and is supported by its members.   Let’s not hear the sounds of crickets.
    Bill
    ==================================

    Frank,

    Sounds like a great initiative…I don't have any objections from the Society
    standpoint (we can't "endorse" it per se from our federal positions).

    Thanks,

    Mark
    =====================================================
    Subject: RE: Enhancing flight safety and investigation

    Hi All

    Many have asked "Why can't they design some of the info and tracking systems
    in such a way that they can NOT be turned off" – of course, there's the
    consideration of being able to break a circuit if a short occurs w/ potential
    for fire (but it may be possible to design a system so safe and isolated, with fire suppression, that any remaining risk is well worth the benefit of being Un Turn-Offable by bad guys). Such a system would also serve as a deterrent…

    Buck

    ========================================================

     SWAT & Doogie & Cassie,

     Plz see below email trail.
     I meant to include you in my original send. I apologize. I am still TDY OCONUS & do not have officers' list with me. Emailing from memory.

     Plz forward to "Schmitty" for me.

     Which other AANGFS & SocSAS Officers did I UN-intentionally omit?

     Senior Statesman Bill,

     Always great to receive your input.
     I am happy you have "no objection to querying membership".
     I hope other leaders feel similiarly as we do.

     Meanwhile, to answer your very good and key questions:

     – Cost of storage: Cost of actual "cloud" type storage is small, as internet and telecoms have driven the per unit price down. And storage space could be reclaimed as industry may decide after what duration the info may be replaced.
    My Texas Instrument calculator cost me a whopping $130 freshman year in
    college and had to be ordered in advance. That was ridiculously long ago (many decades), and $130 was a lot of dough back then. Now calculators can be easily bought, cheaply, in Wal-Mart.

     – Cost of transmitters: Should not be prohibitively high, as off-shelve products exist: satellite phones; current airline jets already transmit maintenance data to ground stations, such that parts are moved to meet arriving planes for maintenance/repairs, to turn jets around and continue the flow. Why should such technology not be adopted for passenger safety, not just airline profitability and flow?!

     – Certainly total system's cost pales in comparison to the cost of search and recovery, which easily runs into the millions and still no answer, as in Malaysia MH370. And the cost of litigation for each life lost or each person mangled and even the cost of the jet, insurance premium savings will more than pay for the system. I will gladly pay $5 more per ticket each way to cover the cost of these safety features, and most passengers will. But we probably won't have to, as market edge and increased ridership with such safety-enhanced airlines will likely make up the systems cost differential.

     – Cost of ground pilots in the loop: This is the Cadillac version but makes sense: to have pilots in the data loop. So that if system detects discrepancy in autopilot vs. pilot input, or low oxygen tension, alarms can go off, and ground staffers can intervene: i.e. call up the air crew and re-orient them or command emergency oxygen, etc. YES, this could have prevented the Air France crash two years ago (when pilots input opposite autopilot and caused stall and crash – my shortened version) and may have prevented the March Malaysia mishap as well. But we won't know until (or IF) recorders are found.

     – Lessons learned: Surely lessons learned, and learned quickly, will enhance safety of future travel. In the case of MH370, as long as recorders are not found, there are no direct lessons to be learned – except the necessity of such real-time transmitters and ground pilots to answer alerts in the data loop.

     Between just these two mishaps, some 400 lives could be saved! We, in health care, have as our mission the saving of lives. I feel strongly about this initiative and sincerely hope our membership of health care leaders will support this feasible and sensible idea.

     MY WISH: is simply to go back to FAA and airline industry with endorsements from respected flight surgeon communities (AANGFS & Soc State Air Surgeons) that such initiatives be given due consideration.

     FY

    ===================

     On Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:53 AM, William Pond <wwpond@aol.com> wrote:
      Frank et al.

      It is always worthwhile to educate and solicit information from the members regarding a public stance on any matter.  I have no objection of querying the members.

    Bill

    =====================================

    ==========================================

  8. Robert Fortino, D.O. says:

    Dear Sir(s): March 23, 2014 When and where is the next RSV class?  I am a FS in NJ, and I am really interested in attending.  I will be performing EMEDS in June and C-Stars in July of 2014.  Also, where can I read some real world cases regarding how flight surgeons handled medical issues?  Are there any cases to learn from?  Thank you, Robert Fortino, LTC, MC, FS, 48R3, 177th MDG, NJANG

    =================================

    Robert,

    Sounds like you are really fired up as a flight surgen.  Great to have you on board.  Looks like the RSV day will be July 26, 2014.

    Same format as last year with personal participation for those in the area along with teleconference, CME, RSV and great collegial interaction.

    Details on the website as they become available.

    As for how real flight surgeons handle medical issues, we have a wealth of knowledge in the Alliance, especially among some of the seasoned (old) flight docs.

    Best.

    Bill

  9. Robert Fortino says:

    Dear Sir: I am a flight surgeon with the New Jersey ANG in Atlantic City, and practice internal medicine in the "real world".  My chief FS at the wing is very seasoned and smart.  Eventhough we do consult together with medical issues that deal with fly and non-fly members, we are at times in need of a more definitive plan of care.  Is there someone that we can consult when needed?  Is there a more definitive reg guide that would help us with medical decisions and treatment plan?  I am always looking to learn more, is there classes we can attend or take online?  Thank you for your time and advice.  RF

    • Doc Pond says:

      RF

      Good question.  The definitive authority for the Air National Guard Medical Service is Col Robert “Cutter” Desko, ANG/SGP, at robert.desko@ang.af.mil or phone.(240) 612-8570;  he is very knowledgeable and approachable.  Of course, you can also drop me a note at wwpond@aol.com or call (260) 602-5167.  If there is a specific question or topic, please let me know so that I might refer you to the appropriate reference or regulation. Also feel free to click the link on RSVs for some more topics.  And of course, if you find information that would be of assistance to other flight surgeons, please feel free ot share it.  Thanks,

      Bill

      Col William W. Pond, MD, SFS, INANG
      Indiana State Air Surgeon
      wwpond@aol.com
      260-602-5167 (cell)
      260-492-0897 (fax)
      5730 Autumn Woods Trail
      Fort Wayne, IN 46835

       

  10. Elka Vargas says:

    Thank you Doc. Pond, I truly apperciate your assistance. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit., it can get very hot at times. But, usually we do have great weather. Again, Thank you for your help.

  11. Elka Vargas says:

    ~~Hello Sir,   Currently I am recruiting for a Flight Surgeon for Shaw AFB, SC. If you are interested please dont hesitate to give me a call. Or you can shoot me an e-mail. Respectfully, Elka Vargas 210-566-9995 evargas@nursesetc.net ===========================================

    Happy to post. Had an opportunity to visit your state last fall. What a delightful location. Best wishes. Doc Pond

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