377th MDG Mobile Expeditionary Readiness Clinic

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Karissa Dick
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Since 2019, the 377th Medical Group has been using a Mobile Expeditionary Readiness Clinic (MERC) to provide medical readiness services off-location to Airmen at Kirtland Air Force Base. Taking only 30 minutes to set up, the MERC provides Kirtland members a streamlined medical process to combat their busy schedules.

“The MERC gives us flexibility to take some of our services within the medical group, out of the medical group,” said Tech. Sgt. Mircho Plaza, 377th Medical Group education and training flight chief. “Since we have a unique mission located off base, like a lot of hospitals throughout the Air Force, we needed this trailer to help us, so that we could bring it on base and easily provide services for readiness.”

This clinic can provide laboratory services, immunizations, Preventative Health Assessment Questionnaire (PHAQ) assistance, or operate as a mobile medical station during exercises or events.

“The one time I used it was during a chemical exposure training where we took patients vitals, sent them to other stations, and asked screening questions to determine how bad their situation was,” said Senior Airman Andrew Messina, 377th MDG immunization back-up and medical technician. “I look forward to getting more familiar with the MERC during future opportunities.”

The MERC has been used for Flu immunization campaigns, medical training and as a medical station during COVID-19 quarantines. It has also been taken to several units across base so Airmen could complete their Individual Medical Readiness (IMR) items without going to the MDG clinic.

The mobile clinic helps target units more rather than waiting for individual patients to come to the 377th MDG. Airmen in some units have trouble finding time to visit the 377th MDG off base, so to combat this challenge, units can request the MERC to come and provide some services on-site. This increases IMR percentages and saves units and Airmen time.

“I'm a big proponent of readiness, so when I see the impact of the work we're doing in the numbers, like going from 20% to 80% readiness for a unit overnight, that's really the most surreal thing,” said Plaza. “It’s a really cool feeling knowing that I was part of coordinating and making that happen.”