Approximately 37 Ready Medics from Little Rock Air Force Base’s 19th Medical Group deployed in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 response operations.
The medics departed LRAFB on April 2, 2021, for Gary, Ind., to help increase the number of Americans getting vaccinated. The Airmen are supporting Type II Teams, which, according to FEMA, are capable of administering up to 3,000 vaccinations a day.
FEMA, at the direction of the President of the United States, set up vaccination administration locations within communities across the country. LRAFB’s medics are joining approximately 4,200 medical and support personnel nation-wide from the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force in this vaccination operation.
LRAFB’s deployed military members, in support of an approved request from FEMA, will be working in a state-run, federally supported Community Vaccination Center to help increase the numbers of Americans being vaccinated.
“We are honored that our medics have been given this rare opportunity to serve our nation taking care of our fellow Americans,” said Col. Jennifer Bratz, 19th Medical Group commander. “So many lives have been lost to this disease and more lives will be lost until we are able to reach full herd immunity through mass vaccination.”
The medics will be in Indiana until further notice to help support FEMA and administer thousands of vaccines to Americans.
The FEMA vaccination plan will help stop the rise of confirmed cases in the United States which are currently at 31,158,087 as of April 15, 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
COVID-19 has had a worldwide impact over the past year, making it crucial for vaccines to be widely available. LRAFB will also continue to provide vaccine services on base to eligible beneficiaries.
However, this deployment will leave the 19th MDG with reduced staffing, which will not be enough to continue to provide the high-quality, timely, and safe care that its enrolled beneficiaries are accustomed to receiving.
Therefore, the 19th MDG requested approval from the Defense Health Agency for a Primary Care Manager (PCM) Referral Waiver for all members enrolled in the Family Health Clinic. This recently approved waiver is a “blanket” authorization allowing FHC beneficiaries to be seen for primary care within our approved referral network without a referral by their PCM.
Beneficiaries that are seeking an off-base provider during this time can visit Humana.mil or contact Humana at 1-800-444-5445 for additional information. All affected beneficiaries were mailed a list of providers in the local area that are able to provide support.
Additionally, LRAFB will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccine services on base to eligible beneficiaries. To book an appointment visit https://informatics-stage.health.mil/LRAFBCOVIDApp/