ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – Col. Brian Moore, Robins Installation Commander and Chief Master Sgt. Carlos Labrador, 78th Air Base Wing command chief, made a surprise congratulatory visit to the 78th Medical Group Clinic at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, March 1, 2021. Moore presented his commander’s coin to Senior Airman Megan Stahl, 78th Health Care Operations medical technician; Tech Sergeant Pedro Santos-Rabelo, 78th Medical Support Squadron unit deployment manager; Captain Kristina Friley, 78th Medical Group practice manager; and Elaine Scott, 78th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Registered Nurse for their contributions at the clinic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kisha Foster Johnson)

By Dan Rhoades

Your team at Robins Air Force Base is innovative and award winning! Of course, of the 24,000 personnel at the base, most are federal civilians and are integral members of our communities, sometimes for generations. Even for the military members, while they are often here for a tour…2-4 years…many decide Middle Georgia is home and settle down here. They bring new ideas and motivation to our communities and we have the vibrant community to prove it!

A great example of the award winners in our community, twice over, is the 78th Medical Group. They recently received the United States Air Force Surgeon General Award for Clinic of the Year and USAF Best Ambulatory Clinic Patient Safety Program for 2020. “Congratulations; this is well deserved,” said Colonel Brian Moore, 78th Air Base Wing commander. “These honors speak volumes to what you are doing especially during a global pandemic. This is a testament to how this team provides excellent service to the many people who walk through the clinic doors each day.”

The Air Force Medical Service states the goal of the awards “is to recognize individuals and teams whose outstanding actions contribute to the delivery of trusted healthcare, continuous process improvement, promotion of well-being, and expeditionary medical operations worldwide”. These awards were service wide, and quite the achievement!

Col. Dale Harrell, 78th Medical Group commander, said this award is the culmination of being focused and having a sincere dedication to the job. “The people I work with are amazing and outstanding. Every day I come to work and solve problems with them. This is a special group of medics, and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Harrell. “This is a big team award and that makes this so special. They looked at our accomplishments and felt we were the best.”

According to Harrell, the clinic was the first group in the Air Force Sustainment Center to develop contact tracing cells across the installation for 14 squadrons and developed the wing’s first COVID transport plan. Their plan served as an Air Force Materiel Command benchmark for seven bases.

Chief Master Sgt. Carlos Labrador, 78th ABW command chief, stated “Your collective efforts paid off in this year of a pandemic. To know all of the Air Force medical groups were doing a lot of great work, but you stood out and that’s no surprise. Congratulations.”