Veteran’s Day may have come and gone this month, but there’s always a military presence in clinical activities at UC Davis Medical Center.
Reservists from the 349th Medical Group, Travis Air Force Base, California, recently toured various hospital units, with a close look at critical specialty areas including the operating rooms, emergency department and burn unit.
The group was in Sacramento to learn about potential training opportunities at UC Davis Health. The pandemic has limited some of the options usually available at David Grant USAF Medical Center (DGMC), Travis AFB.
“These are folks who don’t do the medical mission in their everyday lives,” said Col. Meredith Goodwin, Commander 349th Medical Group. “They work for the Post Office, in schools, at Home Depot, but we need them to be prepared if they have to be mobilized quickly.”
The 349th Medical Group members set up hospitals in isolated places, often very close to war zones. They treat and stabilize patients so they can be safely transported to distant hospitals. The team also provides base operations support, where military personnel get their required physical checkups to ensure they’re ready for deployment.
Goodwin said the group on today’s tour was made up mainly of Air Force medical technicians and nurses.
The meeting was organized by Rachel Hight, associate professor of surgery and a retired Air Force colonel. Hight serves as the military-civilian liaison for UC Davis Health and DGMC.
“The 349th reached out to us to see about doing a new training partnership,” said Hight. “It’s nice to have the Travis AFB connection because we do know each other. The environment here is very supportive of our military. And UC Davis Health is always interested in encouraging new partnerships.”
The visit complemented the long-standing connections UC Davis Health has with the David Grant USAF Medical Center. It includes medical residency rotations in specialties such as trauma surgery and emergency medicine, and training programs for nurses and other health care professionals affiliated with the U.S. military.