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Scott AFB re-designates two medical squadrons

U.S Air Force officers stand behind guidon

The 375th Aerospace Medicine Squadron is displayed before Col. Jeff Alder, 375th Medical Group commander, left, and Lt. Col. Paul Conroy, 375th AMDS commander, right, during the 375th Operational Readiness Medical Squadron re-designation ceremony in the 375th MDG conference room at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., June 29, 2020. Shortly after this photograph was taken, the 375th AMDS was re-designated to the 375th ORMS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook)

cell phone sits on tripod

A cellular device sits atop a tripod to stream the 375th Medical Operations Squadron Change of Command in the 375th Medical Group Basement Auditorium at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., June 26, 2020. Due to the social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 response, events and ceremonies are new streamed to various online platforms to maximize participation, but limit in-person interaction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook)

U.S. Air Force officer stand behind guidon

The 375th Operational Readiness Medical Squadron is displayed before Col. Jeff Alder, 375th Medical Group commander, left, and Lt. Col. Paul Conroy, 375th ORMS commander, right, for the first time during the 375th ORMS re-designation ceremony in the 375th MDG conference room at Scot Air Force Base, Ill., June 29, 2020. The 375th MDG had a suspense of Oct. 1, 2020 to re-designate the 375th AMDS and the 375th Medical Operations Squadron to the 375th OMRS and 375th Health Care Operations Squadron respectively. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook)

U.S. Air Force members listen to speaker

Lt. Col. Karri Roman, incoming 375h Health Care Operations Squadron commander looks on as official remarks are provided during the 375th HCOS Change of Command in the 375th Medical Group Basement Auditorium at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., June 26, 2020. In addition the Roman taking command, this ceremony also served as the re-designation of the 375th Medical Operation Squadron to the 375th HCOS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook)

U.S. Air Force officers hold guidon

Col. John Weatherwax, 375th Medical Operation Squadron outgoing commander, relinquishes command during the 375th MDOS Change of Command in the 375th Medical Group Basement Auditorium at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., June 26, 2020. The change of command ceremony also served as a re-designation ceremony, changing the 375th MDOS to the 375th Health Care Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook)

U.S. Air Force officer unfurls guidon

Lt. Col. Karri Roman, 375th Health Care Operations Squadron incoming commander, unfurls the 375th HCOS guidon for the first time during the 375th Medical Operations Squadron Change of Command in the 375th Medical Group Basement Auditorium at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., June 26, 2020. At the behest of the Air Force Surgeon General, Medical Operations Squadrons are to be re-designated to Health Care Operations Squadrons by Oct. 1, 2020, to provide a more focused form of health care patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook)

U.S. Air Force officers pose for a photo

Lt. Col. Karri Roman, 375th Health Care Operations Squadron incoming commander, assumes command during the 375th HCOS Change of Command in the 375th Medical Group Basement Auditorium at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., June 26, 2020. The change of command ceremony also served as a re-designation ceremony, changing the 375th Medical Operation Squadron to the 375th Health Care Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

The 375th Medical Operations Squadron and the 375th Aerospace Medicine Squadron on Scott AFB were re-designated as the 375th Healthcare Operation Squadron and 375th Operational Medicine Readiness Squadron June 26 and 29, 2020, respectively.

Within the Air Force squadrons, groups, and wings go through what is called “re-designation,” to either restructure units more efficiently or serve a new need.

The re-designations of medical operations and aerospace medicine squadrons are happening Air Force-wide at the behest of Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg. In a statement, she elaborated on the need for the conversion. “These changes are building an integrated healthcare system, restoring readiness and building the Air Force we need,” she said.

The implementation of the re-designations were ordered to be completed by Oct. 1, 2020, and Col. Jeff Alder, 375th Medical Group commander, found it most appropriate to combine the ceremony with the 375th MDOS Change of Command.

“Col. John Weatherwax is finishing a three-year command tour, and I have Lt. Col. Karri Roman that is assuming command today,” he said. “I thought the timing would be perfect because she is going to start off on her first day thinking about my intent, her focused mission set, and she needs to be looking through the right lens. I wanted her from day one to be an HCOS commander and not an MDOS commander.”

One of the largest benefits this re-designation is that one squadron will provide medical care to dependents and retirees, and the other will focus on the active duty medical readiness. Prior to this separation, each squadron had a hand in both pools.

“Resources that were diluted between the two squadrons that both handled active duty, retirees and dependents, now I can take the resources that we absolutely have to have that are dedicated to the active duty warfighter and their preparedness,” Alder explained. “I can now cleanly resource that squadron with exactly what they need, and I can take exactly what we need to best deliver gold standard care to retirees and dependents through the HCOS.”

“Right now, the 375th MDOS takes care of active duty, retirees and their dependents,” he continued. “The way we best get an active duty warfighter out the door is not the way that we can absolutely take the best care of say a dependent that has complex health issues.”

The ceremonies themselves are more so a formality, as the actual logistics of moving patients occurred prior to the event.

“We are lucky here at Scott because the re-empanelment as you would call it, who you’re enrolled to, who your doctor is – I took that step about three months ago,” Alder said. “The patients are already aligned this way, and nothing changes from the patients’ point of view. “

Although the legwork of beginning the new mission sets of the squadrons was done months ago, Alder highlighted the importance of events such as re-designations – with a focus on history and Air Force pride.

“From the historical perspective, you have the 375th MDOS that has had its history since about the early 2000s. They have certainly had teams that have deployed, carried that coin, and worn that patch,” he said. “I think there is unit pride that certainly has to be respected. The formality of the ceremony is to honor that squadron.”

“As we tell the story, they have a lot to be proud of. By taking the step of re-designation, it not only honors that history or legacy, but it also makes it clear to them is what we are doing is setting the conditions for them to take their game to a higher level. We need absolute mission focus to achieve a level of excellence that is unprecedented,” Alder concluded.