Society of Air Force Physician Assistants

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We begin our PA week recognition today with highlights from those working in Operational and Emergency Medicine.

October 7, 2020

Maj Brandon Mondfrans

42 G Operations Officer

Major J. “Adam” Vann is the 720th Special Tactics Group/Surgeon General at Hurlburt Field. This past week he was a key leader in the planning and execution of a one-week training course and exercise, hosted by the 24 SOW and 1st Special Operations Medical Support Squadron (OSM) at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama. This multifaceted training exercise was previously contracted out. 
Major Vann’s expertise, along with the support from medics of the OSM and AFSOC at large, was key in saving AFSOC over $50,000 while providing a higher-yield training experience for the participants. 

The didactics included three-day classroom and hands-on skills labs on topics such as TCCC, K9 trauma medicine, field ultrasound, blood transfusions, and other emerging technologies in operational medicine. The training integrated all phases of battlefield trauma care from the point of injury, to patient evacuation, to damage control resuscitation and surgery.

AFSOC medics from around the globe came together to fuse this continuum of medical care, including OSM and Special Tactics IDMTs, Special Tactics Pararescuemen, DUSTOFF flight medics, physician assistants, and Special Operations Surgical Teams (SOST).  The training culminated in a realistic 24-hour exercise that included CASEVAC with Blackhawks, mass casualties and prolonged field care scenarios.

Major Vann is key in ensuring the best medical training and deployment readiness for all of AFSOC’s medics. This integrated approach to training and validation through exercises such as this will ensure the advancement in operational medical capabilities for the future.

As we celebrate National PA week, it’s important to recognize the leadership of Maj Vann and the many Operational PAs who support and care for the Special Warfare Airmen community. #PAsdothat

As we celebrate National PA Week, we would like to highlight several Emergency Medicine PAs for their extraordinary work during the current pandemic both at home and in the AOR.

Major Sarah Ostrom is the Associate Program Director for the U.S. Air Force Emergency Medicine PA Program at Brooke Army Medical Center Emergency Department. During the COVID response, she was responsible for ensuring Emergency Medicine Fellows continued to receive training in critical emergency skills while also assisting with the local COVID response. #PAsdothat 

Captain Nathan Fritts (second from the right-black scrubs) – Emergency Medicine PA Fellow presents patients during his 3rd ICU rotation at University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas.  UMC serves as the key training facility for the Nellis EMPA Fellowship. #PAsdothat


Captain Yvonne Harris is an Emergency Medicine PA currently deployed to Craig Joint Theater Hospital (CJTH). Due to the draw down, CJTH is the only remaining Role III facility in Afghanistan. 

Additionally, Captain Harris serves as the sole Emergency Medicine PA in the region where she is responsible for assessing and treating all battlefield trauma, COVID trauma, and for providing local COVID response. She leads a 16 member ED and 29 member MASCAL team managing all traumas and MASCALs in the AOR with a 99.8% survival rate. 

Captain Harris leads TCCC training of all NATO and joint service medics. This training is critical to ensure proper care under fire and tactical field care techniques are employed. Finally, she and her team are responsible for ensuring all symptomatic COVID and inter/intra theater travel screens are evaluated in the ED in order to minimize community spread and ensure continued mission readiness. #PAsdothat


Society of Air Force Physician Assistants is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. P.O. Box. 340362, Ft Sam Houston, TX 78234

*SAFPA is an AAPA Chartered Chapter*

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