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WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR BASE. Ohio– In response to the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, US Northern Command is mobilizing multiple medical support teams to help in locations where hospitals are overwhelmed due to understaffing.

Three teams are mobilized from the 88th medical group.

“Despite the personnel challenges we face, we will continue to be a highly reliable organization, providing the trusted care our combatants and patients have come to expect,” said Col. Christian Lyons, 88 MDG Commander. .

This isn’t the first time doctors at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have supported the effort. Recently, a small number of medics returned from a medical support team on assignment in Muskegon, Michigan.

“Our Airmen are always proud to serve, but there is something even more special for our team members in providing care to the citizens of our nation alongside our civilian medical partners,” Lyons said. “Nothing is more inspiring than the military-civilian partnership demonstrated at this time to save lives.

“Wright-Patterson Medical Center stands ready to provide additional teams of medical aviators to support the President and our nation.”

These deployments will have an impact on the delivery of care.

“As team members temporarily depart Wright-Patt, we want to be fully transparent about the impact these deployments will have on our personnel and our ability to provide care to our beneficiaries,” said Col. (Dr. ) Ryan Mihata, deputy commander of 88 MDG. . “Some previously scheduled appointments with relevant providers and clinicians will be rescheduled.”

Beneficiaries can also provide:

–Delays in elective medication refills

–Longer wait times for replies to TRICARE secure messages

— Delays in non-urgent routine appointments

–Decrease in the availability of hospital beds

— Postponement or cancellation of elective surgeries to allow for emergency surgeries

During this time, beneficiaries are encouraged to take advantage of all available care options, including:

–Urgent care centers in the community for acute care needs

–Visit the the closest emergency room for real emergency conditions

–Nursing Advice Line: or 800-TRICARE

“While many providers, nurses and staff are impacted by the impending deployments, our on-site care teams will still be available,” Mihata said. “People will continue to have access to secure messaging, pharmacy refills and some medical appointments, although response may be delayed as they work to support all beneficiaries with medical needs and provide trusted care. to our active duty population.”

As Wright-Patterson Medical Center navigates these temporary changes, recipients can remain confident that the goal of providing reliable, ready care for all is always at the forefront.

“Our best response will require a unified effort from our providers, our clinicians and our beneficiaries,” Lyons added. “We appreciate your understanding and partnership as we strive to provide trusted care to our patients here at Wright-Patterson and beyond.”