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Kirtland medics take home Global Strike awards

Members of the 377th Medical Operations Squadron, family health clinic, discuss the day’s events during their morning huddle at the 377th Medical Group in Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 30, 2018. The family health clinic won the yearly Air Force Global Strike Command Outstanding Medical Home Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Austin J. Prisbrey)

Members of the 377th Medical Operations Squadron, family health clinic, discuss the day’s events during their morning huddle at the 377th Medical Group in Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 30, 2018. The family health clinic won the yearly Air Force Global Strike Command Outstanding Medical Home Award. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Austin J. Prisbrey)

Airman 1st Class Rodtavia McCall, 377th Medical Support Squadron, medical logistics technician, stocks medical supplies at the 377th Medical Group in Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 30, 2018. McCall is team member of the medical logistics flight that won Air Force Global Strike Command Medical Logistics Team of the Year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Austin J. Prisbrey)

Airman 1st Class Rodtavia McCall, 377th Medical Support Squadron, medical logistics technician, stocks medical supplies at the 377th Medical Group in Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 30, 2018. McCall is team member of the medical logistics flight that won Air Force Global Strike Command Medical Logistics Team of the Year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Austin J. Prisbrey)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Airmen assigned to the 377th Medical Group received some early holiday greetings this year after the Air Force Global Strike Command Air Force Medical Service Award winners were announced.

Three teams and five individuals in the medical group won MAJCOM level awards:

AFGSC Outstanding Medical Home Award:  377th Family Health Clinic;

AFGSC Medical Logistics Team of the Year:  377th Medical Logistics Flight;

AFGSC Medical Readiness Team of the Year:  377th Medical Readiness Flight;

AFGSC Medical Service Corps Commitment to Service Award:  Lt. Col. Amanda Phlegar;

AFGSC Aerospace Medical NCO of the Year:  Staff Sgt. Mircho Plaza;

AFGSC Pharmacy Technician of the Year:  Staff Sgt. Elaina James;

AFGSC Chief of Medical Staff of the Year:  Lt. Col. Dr. Zhi Lau;

AFGSC Excellent in Nursing Leadership Award:  Maj. Michelle Pierson.

MDG leadership was gratified by the recognition, according to Phlegar, 377th MDG deputy commander and administrator.

“The [Medical Group] leadership team is so proud of our three team and five individual 2018 Air Force Medical Service Global Strike-level award winners,” she said. 

One of the big reasons of the success for the Medical Group is the changing culture of innovation.

"The main tenets of our [Medical Group] trusted care culture, such as leadership engagement and continuous process improvement, have fostered a spirit of innovation where every Tiger Medic and each work center is truly committed to their role in generating positive patient interactions and smart processes,”  Phlegar said. “That kind of environment removes barriers to rapid success and led to the contributions which were recognized at the AFGSC-level.”

According to Phlegar, one of the innovative ideas the medical group is working on is the mobile medical trailer. The trailer will allow Airmen to get basic medical care and tasks accomplished right at their units instead of having to leave their work centers to head off the installation for things like receiving immunizations.

"We will be able to take that trailer onto base and provide the medical care to the 58th Special Operations Wing and the 377th Air Base Wing directly in their units. Saving them the time on having to come here," added Phlegar.

Innovation wasn't the only thing that helped win all the awards. Communication played a big part in the success of the logistics flight, according to Staff Sgt. Adam Coleman, NCOIC Medical Maintenance.

"Because our flight is made up of so many different sections, the communication point is very effective with us with our daily morning meetings," said Coleman. "We do have cross talks daily to let everyone know what they’re doing and because of that, we are a close-knit group, which allows us to solve any problem that pops up more effectively and get it done faster."

For a flight commander of one of the smallest flights in the medical group, just knowing the work the flight is doing is being noticed feels rewarding.

"We felt privileged and honored to be selected," said 2nd Lt. Allan Rodriguez, Medical Readiness Flight commander. "For me as the flight commander, it’s just as rewarding to know that the work we do in this office is paying off."

The award winners will now move on to compete at the Air Force level Medical Service Awards.