HORSHAM, Pa. – The 111th Medical Group has administered more than 900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Airmen and Defense Department civilians on base from Jan. 27 to May 20 while maintaining its top ranking for operational readiness in the Air National Guard.
The pandemic presented its challenges the past year. But, members of the 111th Medical Group displayed their resiliency by finding a way to keep safe while training and fulfilling mission requirements.
“COVID-19 created numerous challenges, including canceled courses, limitations on personnel able to collectively train, and numerous medical personnel on missions,” said Col. Scott Coradi, commander of the 111th Med Group. “I decided we could either blame all shortcomings on the pandemic or develop innovative, aggressive measures to continue training.”
The 111th Med Group found a way to forge ahead.
“We sought last-minute formal school openings, modified operations to afford Medical Group training opportunities and focused on preparation for our deployment phase,” said Coradi. “These efforts, as well as guidance from the National Guard Bureau on readiness reporting, propelled us to first in readiness.”
Coradi said the 111th Med Group leadership worked closely with Master Sgt. Marcos Nascimento, public health noncommissioned officer in charge, to keep patients and staff safe.
“You take the proper precautions,” said Lt. Col. Angela McDonough, chief of dental services and medical administration officer. “You mask up, you take your vaccine. And, you figure out a way to get people in the building so we maintain our numbers safely.”
McDonough said Lt. Col. Joseph Paone, medical readiness officer in charge, and Master Sgt. Andre Ligon, the medical readiness NCOIC, were instrumental in ensuring the Med Group’s training requirements were completed and documented.
In addition to their own vaccination and readiness efforts, McDonough said the Med Group is also documenting those Guardsmen vaccinated off base.
Regardless of the challenges, the 111th Med Group’s efforts to keep its wingmen fit to fight has never wavered.
“We’ve really kept our operations running, and I think that’s a testament to the wing commander and Col. Coradi and their vision for the 111th Attack Wing,” said McDonough. “We can’t just stop. We have to stay prepared.”