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Med Group going for Triple Crown

Story by Nick Stubbs
Thunderbolt Staff Writer

First came the honor of Air Mobility Command's top medical treatment facility early last month.

Then there was the record-high 96 scored by MacDill's hospital in its health services inspection.

What comes next may be the Triple Crown for the 6th Medical Group-the award of top medical facility in all the Air Force.

Col. Kevin O'Shea, deputy commander of the 6th Medical Group, is quick to point out the award, to be announced Jan. 27 at the Department of Defense Tricare Conference in Washington, isn't in the bag, but he is hopeful the AMC award and extraordinary inspection score may be enough to convince the judges MacDill is tops.

"We're hopeful, but we'll have to wait and see," O'Shea said.

The award, to be presented by the United States Surgeon General, would be the ultimate, he admits, but if it doesn't come, the Medical Group has plenty for which to be proud with the accomplishments already achieved.

O'Shea said the AMC honor was a great one and a pleasant surprise. He believes it was the medical group's community outreach that made the difference.

The establishment of the Brandon clinic and rapid growth of Tricare members from the surrounding community showed the commitment to reaching out beyond the base, he said.

O'Shea said the Brandon clinic had 5,533 members by Christmas.

Overall the Tricare program has grown by 2,400 over the past year. "We've been fairly innovative in reaching out to the community," O'Shea said.

"Not many Air Force medical treatment facilities have established that kind of outreach."

Everyone still was riding high from the award when news of the hospital inspection scores came a couple of weeks later.

With a 96, it was the highest by any Air Force facility in the last three years, O'Shea said. The score was the result of "hard work," he said, with much preparation going into preparing the facility for inspection.

"We were thrilled," O'Shea said. "We basically blew all the other hospitals out of the water."

O'Shea doesn't want to get ahead of himself, but is looking forward to the Tricare conference and, along with many others in the medical group, has his fingers crossed.

"That would be a great honor," O'Shea said of the possibility of being chosen tops in the Air Force.




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