779th MDG's Flight Medicine Clinic delivers superior care to Pentagon beneficiaries

John S. Baxter, M.D., Director, 779th Medical Group Pentagon Flight Medicine Clinic May 23, 2017. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

John S. Baxter, M.D., Director, 779th Medical Group Pentagon Flight Medicine Clinic May 23, 2017. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

79th Medical Wing’s Pentagon Flight Medicine Clinic staff, May 2017. (Courtesy photo)

79th Medical Wing’s Pentagon Flight Medicine Clinic staff, May 2017. (Courtesy photo)

PENTAGON --

(This story is the fourth of 10 stories about the more than 1,500 Air Force health care professionals who make up the 79th Medical Wing and the vast expertise they bring to executing the organization's mission of providing medical services for expeditionary deployment and defense operations in the National Capital Region and around the world.)

The 79th Medical Wing has medical assets positioned across the National Capital Region, delivering 42 world-class healthcare specialties to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries. One of those assets is the 779th Medical Group’s Pentagon Flight Medicine Clinic that, for the last 40 years, has provided care to countless service members assigned to the Pentagon, regardless of rank, service or seniority status.

Comprising a team of highly-skilled physicians supported by nurses, medical and pharmaceutical technicians, the PFMC’s staff offers its approximately 1,600 beneficiaries a wide variety of services, ranging from flight medicine, Preventive Health Assessments, pre- and post-deployment health assessments, travel medicine, minor procedures and acupuncture.

Delivering this array of care means meeting exact and complex medical standards, which can be challenging. Precise documentation must occur at every PHA and pre- and post-deployment visit. Flyers must undergo specialized evaluations that determine if conditions and/or treatments will allow continued performance of flight duties. In cases of chronic conditions, detailed aeromedical summaries must be prepared and submitted in order to obtain waivers for continued flying duties. PFMC also has one of the largest aeromedical waiver programs in the DoD. We pride ourselves in giving our patients rapid access and high quality care while meeting the important assessment and documentation requirements of our modern military.

Our Pentagon patients perform vitally important and complex roles to insure our national security. We give our best for them just as they give the best for our country. Our physicians supports overseas missions for some senior DoD leaders, having been trained and equipped to manage a wide spectrum of illnesses and injuries for delegation members and aircrew while overseas.

Aside from employing an excellent staff, we also have valuable partnerships with whom we deliver the best medical care to today’s and tomorrow’s patients. We share readiness mission with the DiLorenzo Clinic, also located in the Pentagon. Both clinics worked together on 9/11 to care for and evacuate injured patients. We continue to work together regularly on exercise scenarios to maintain readiness for potential emergencies.

I can consider it an honor to provide care for our patients. The most important decisions affecting our national defense come from the hard-working people assigned to the Pentagon. We try to make their access to care as easy as possible.