SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Schriever Dental Clinic member’s continue their mission to maintain the readiness and lethality of the force despite the global pandemic.
The clinic is offering deployment exams and triage appointments for emergency situations while engaging COVID-19 prevention measures.
Additionally, the clinic implemented temperature screenings prior to allowing building access, updated questionnaires, enhanced telephone triage services and added additional disinfection procedures to protect personnel.
“It’s important for us to continue operations because there are Airmen conducting critical actions who cannot afford to pause,” said Tech. Sgt. Janee Tamayo, 21st Medical Squadron dental flight chief. “Keeping the clinic open provides a channel for disseminating important, accurate information and reassurance for Airmen and their families who still need access to certain functions. Although dental has curtailed most of our direct patient care, our technicians and providers are busy supporting some of the new clinic protocols and initiatives associated with COVID-19.”
Much like many other active units, COVID-19 presents new challenges for the clinic that Airmen must adapt to and overcome. Due to the nationwide shortage of protective equipment, clinic personnel have had to scrutinize every aspect of their operations in order to conserve those assets and to protect themselves and their patients.
“One thing I’ve learned while working through this pandemic is just how strong our unit is and how we come together to make sure our team is well equipped,” said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Barrios, 21st MDS dental technician. “I definitely take pride in working with a unit that is still active, we are here to take care of our Airmen.”
The dental flight has been split into two rotating shifts to limit potential exposure and support COVID-19 taskings.
“It’s tough not being together as a team, but [our measures] contribute to taking care of people,” said Tamayo. “In terms of the overall clinic, the 21st Medical Squadron has always worked well as a team thanks to being a small unit where dental is not geographically separated from the primary care center.”
Ultimately, the dental clinic’s mission is to provide care to Airmen and ensure they stay fit to fight. While keeping precautionary measures in mind, it’s vital their mission continues.
“Our Airmen keep the mission going,” Tamayo said. “Nothing happens unless our Airmen are taken care of.”