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Expanded services in store for Schriever clinic

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 21st Medical Squadron is planning to add and enhance its services at Schriever in the near future.

On tap for the next few month are intravenous sedation for dental patients at the Schriever Clinic and limited dental service inside the restricted area.

Tech. Sgt. Tia Mullins, 21 MDS aerospace medicine and dental flight chief, said the enhancements stemmed from internal squadron discussions and brain storming sessions that occurred during the past several months.

"We have a kitchen in our Health and Wellness Center that's located in Building 500 inside the RA," Mullins said. "We're no longer using that kitchen, so Col. Brent Sonday, 21 MDS commander, Capt. Steven Bennett, 21 MDS dental flight commander, and I proposed turning that space into a dental office."

Pre-existing plumbing was a key consideration for converting the area into a dental treatment space.

"What we found is that we can take a little space from our conference room and create both an exam room and the dental office we need through a small amount of construction," Mullins said.

Though most dental service will still be provided at the main Schriever clinic in Building 220, the 21 MDS will offer preventative health assessment dental service at its RA location.

"It makes sense to provide service where a majority of our patients work, which is in the RA," Mullins said. "When Airmen have their annual PHA done they can also get their dental assessment portion of the PHA done in the same place. It provides a one-stop shop."

Squadron members brought a dental chair to Building 500 earlier this month. The chair is ready to be installed and plans have been submitted to the 50th Civil Engineer Squadron for the dental area's construction modifications.

"Up to 85 percent of the patients we see for PHAs work in the RA," Bennett said. "They'll save 30 minutes out of their day by not having to walk to and from the main clinic. And, they won't have to worry about getting locked down in the portals. It's a significant benefit to our patients, their supervisors and squadron commanders as well, which is what is driving our decision-making process."

While the new RA dental office takes shape, Bennett says adding IV sedation service to the main dental clinic is in its final stages.

"Right now, patients who choose to be sedated during surgical procedures must travel to the Peterson Air Force Base Dental Clinic, but we want to offer that service here," Bennett said. "We've procured equipment and have patients scheduled, but we're in the process of obtaining certification from a facilities point of view."

While the IV sedation services should be offered in the next few weeks, the new dental service inside the RA will likely take a few months, since it is dependent on funding.

"In 21 MDS, we're always looking for ways to provide better care for our patients," Mullins said. "We're trying to show the 50th Space Wing and the 21st Space Wing that we want to stay here and why it's important for us to stay here. Enhancing services goes a long way toward accomplishing that goal."

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