Back to Top Skip to main content

New Horizons embedded health engagement provides unparalleled training

Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Charles Hutchings, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron pediatrician, explains information to a local woman near Meteti, Panama, April 17, 2018. Hutchings was part of an embedded health engagement team participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which will assist communities throughout Panama by providing medical assistance and building facilities such as schools, a youth community center and a women’s health ward. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen) Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Charles Hutchings, 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron pediatrician, explains information to a local woman near Meteti, Panama, April 17, 2018. Hutchings was part of an embedded health engagement team participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, which will assist communities throughout Panama by providing medical assistance and building facilities such as schools, a youth community center and a women’s health ward. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dustin Mullen)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

METETI, Panama — As with most tasks, hands-on education remains one of the most effective training methods of both learning and maintaining skills. For the medical professionals participating in Exercise New Horizons 2018, hands-on training comes in the form of fully submerging into local clinics. 

Doctors and technicians from the 346th Air Expeditionary Group participated in an embedded health engagement, which sought to incorporate them directly into clinics near here.

“We brought in three doctors to make up our EHE team,” said Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Brian Neese, commander of the 346th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron. “They were brought in to integrate themselves directly into the host country’s medical system. Because of that, we didn’t bring any additional medications and brought very little additional equipment.”

By integrating directly, the medical team was forced to adapt to a completely foreign environment, new regulations and new standards. All three doctors worked in one of three regional clinics.

“It’s a very different approach to the New Horizons effort. Each day, we sent one doctor to each clinic or hospital,” Neese said. “We would show up and work with the doctor in charge. Often times we even got to pair up with a resident in training, which proved a huge benefit to both sides. At every step we saw patients together, side by side. We discussed cases and learned from each other.”

Integrated Care

The embedded health engagement team has three doctors: a pediatrician, a family physician and an OB-GYN. Each provider is able to assist members of the local communities within each of their specialties.

“On average, each provider is seeing about seven to 10 people per day,” Neese said. “But this is not about numbers. When it comes to a typical medical readiness exercise, we see hundreds of patients per day, but with the EHE team we see as many patients as the clinic would normally see, so that we are truly embedded and integrated into the local health care system.”

During their engagements, the doctors shared and received valuable information that enhances their overall readiness as military medics.

“For our [medical] training requirements, at the Department of Defense level, there are a set of guidelines for what skills a military medic should have and should train to in an exercise like New Horizons,” Neese said. “Operational readiness, global health knowledge, cross-culture competencies and language skills are all tools that we must develop in order to be effective at our job as military health care professionals. There is no better model to meet these objectives than the embedded health engagement. Our experience here in Meteti has shown this to be true.”

The Panamanian doctors and health professionals echoed their support for the embedded health engagement team and the longer lasting impacts it will have.

“This is what really works,” said Dr. Panama Perez, MINSA Darien regional director of health. “Working hand in hand will leave us with longer-lasting impacts than the typical medical readiness exercise, and we much prefer working with the EHE team.”

As the Air Force doctors and technicians worked with local doctors, the partnerships formed provided a better understanding of the strengths each doctor possessed.

“We have found that the medical knowledge of our counterparts here is equivalent,” Neese said. “The issue is not one of knowledge, but of resources. Areas such as the Darien region don’t always have the resources like we have in the United States.”

He added that due to the local clinics’ lack of resources, their ability to adapt and diagnose problems has provided the New Horizons 2018 medical team more skills to perform in austere environments.

“As we went along, there became more and more opportunities to share information, best practices and standards,” Neese said. “Our doctors learned a lot about World Health Organization standards and approaches to medical problems in low-resource areas, as well as aggressive approaches to preventive medicine.

“We have been impressed with how compliant the Panama Ministry of Health is in meeting or exceeding WHO standards.” he added.

Coupled with the immersive training that New Horizons 2018 has provided the team, the exercise will give them a unique and memorable experience.

“This has been a really neat opportunity,” said Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Adam Hebdon, a family physician with the 346th EMDOS. “We have the opportunity to work side by side with the Panamanian doctors and medical staff. We are learning about their medical care system and the challenges they are facing from a treatment perspective, as well as aiding a relatively underserved population. We are also dealing with some diseases that are indigenous to the tropical area, which are different than what we see back in the United States.”

Neese said he was impressed with the ability of the clinics to fully use the EHE team and build upon their partnerships.

“The doctors really and truly enjoy this experience,” he said. “It’s a diverse experience, and we have made lifelong personal and professional relationships here. Our Panamanian colleagues are very gracious hosts.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Medical logistics Airmen enable lifesaving skills at NATO exercise

Article
4/18/2019
Civilian first responders from Romania participate along with Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in a multinational medical exercise drill during Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Uniting upwards of 2,500 providers from 39 countries, the exercise is the largest medical readiness event in NATO

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Medical Logistics | Global Health Engagement

Africa Malaria Task Force Key Leader Event continues fight against malaria

Article
4/12/2019
Brig. Gen. Dowlo Yao, Chief of Health Services, Cote D’Ivoire Armed Forces and Chairman of Africa Malaria Task Force, asks a question during the AMTF Key Leader Event. (DoD photo).

The primary goal of AMTF has been to assist African partner militaries do develop relationships with their national malaria control programs

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Military nursing exchange brings together 23 partner nations

Article
4/12/2019
Medical professionals from around Europe and Africa receive small-group training at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The 2019 European African Military Nursing Exchange is the 6th iteration of its kind, with extensive planning and coordination to connect partner nations in a collaborative environment that promotes hands-on training scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jessica Hines)

United States, European and African military nurses focused on each nation’s unique cultures, communication patterns and capacity for interoperability

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Pacific Partnership 2019 introduces helicopter en route medical care

Article
3/29/2019
A Philippine Fire Department rescue worker lifts a simulated earthquake victim onto a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter during the Pacific Partnership 2019 exercise in Tacloban, Philippines. The goal of the Pacific Partnership is to improve interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific all while strengthening relationships and security ties between the partner nations (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

The exercise is an important part of disaster risk reduction

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability

Pacific Partnership 2019 participates in community health engagement in Tacloban

Article
3/21/2019
Navy Lt. Sharon Hoff (right) listens to a patient’s heartbeat as Philippine Army Capt. Glorife Saura from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Corps records patient vital signs. Pacific Partnership participants and Tacloban City medical professionals worked together to provide medical and veterinary services throughout the day at Tigbao Diit Elementary School. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Carpenter)

Pacific Partnership 2019 exchanges create lasting bonds of friendship and trust

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

Global Health Engagement in action: Trinidad and Tobago

Article
2/22/2019
Navy Lt. David Cruz, Southern Partnership Station 2018’s Fleet Health Engagement Team officer-in-charge, speaks with a Trinidad and Tobago military professional as part of functional exercise Red Fish aboard a TTO coast guard vessel during Southern Partnership Station 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katie Cox)

The U.S. Navy’s Global Health Engagement missions are inherently collaborative

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Hospital ship USNS Comfort returns home after completing mission

Article
12/20/2018
Family and friends of crew members aboard Military Sealift Command’s hospital ship USNS Comfort wait as the ship pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Dec. 18. Comfort returned to Virginia after completing its 11-week medical support mission to South and Central America, part of U.S. Southern Command’s Operation Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photograph by Brian Suriani)

This mission marked the sixth time the hospital ship has provided medical assistance in the region

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Global Health Engagement

Leaders take world view to enhance health readiness

Article
12/19/2018
Army Maj. Elizabeth Polfer (left), an orthopedic surgeon at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Texas, performs hand surgery with her Honduran counterpart in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, during a Regional Health Command-Central Global Health Engagement Medical Readiness Training Exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Pinel)

Global engagements include missions in South, Central America

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Navy entomologists team up to build disease detection capacity in Honduras

Article
10/18/2018
Navy LCDR Kimberly Edgel (right) and Carmen Lucas examine a positive malaria blood smear at U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit, or NAMRU, 6 in Callao, Peru. (U.S. Navy photo)

Leishmaniasis, malaria, dengue and Chagas disease are known to be present in Honduras

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Bringing Comfort 2018

Video
10/17/2018
The USNS Comfort is a state-of-the-art hospital ship, and it’s scheduled to deploy to Central and South America for Continuing Promise 2018.

The USNS Comfort is a state-of-the-art hospital ship, and it’s scheduled to deploy to Central and South America for Continuing Promise 2018.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Sailors, Afghan medical professionals team up to improve medical care

Article
10/10/2018
Navy Lt. Cdr. Travis J. Fitzpatrick, senior nurse for Kandahar Airfield NATO Role III Multinational Medical Unit, demonstrates a technique on how to clear the airway of a patient to Afghan medical staff members during a medical advisory visit at Kandahar Regional Military Hospital, Camp Hero in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Staff members from the Role III conduct routine visits to KRMH to train and advise Afghan medical staff. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Neysa Canfield)

The Kandahar Regional Military Hospital is run by Afghan military and civilian medical professionals

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Partners | Global Health Security Agenda

USNS Comfort to deploy to Central and South America

Article
10/9/2018
The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is scheduled to depart Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, en route to South America and Central America where it will conduct an 11-week medical assistance mission working closely with host-nation health and government partners in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Honduras. This mission marks the sixth time the hospital ship will provide medical assistance in the region and reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership, and solidarity with the Americas. (U.S. Navy file photo)

The ship’s crew will include more than 200 U.S. and partner nation military doctors, nurses and technicians

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Partners | Global Health Security Agenda

Navy Medicine global health team conducts trauma exchange in Vietnam

Article
8/28/2018
The 13 Navy Medicine members stand together on the first day of the Integrated Trauma and Medical Readiness Exchange engagement in Vietnam. (U.S. Navy photo by Capt. Joel Roos)

Sharing trauma management skills was the focus of this exchange

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

U.S. doctors save Italian patient hours from death

Article
8/8/2018
U.S. Air Force Capt. Melanie Gates, left, Capt. Nick McKenzie, and Capt. Richard Thorsted, all who are Special Operations Command Forward Northwest Africa ground surgical team members, gather for a photo at Nigerien Air Base 101, Niamey. The three doctors recently finished medical school and are serving their first deployment. They are deployed from Travis Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

The patient had a fever, a very high heart rate and low oxygen levels

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Partners

USNS Mercy returns home following Pacific Partnership 2018

Article
7/24/2018
Navy Hospital Corpsman Tianna Garcia, assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, is greeted by her husband Aaron Garcia during the homecoming ceremony for the hospital ship USNS Mercy. The ship and her crew completed a five-month humanitarian relief mission to Southeast Asia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Indra Beaufort)

Pacific Partnership 2018 included more than 800 military and civilian personnel from the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United Kingdom

Recommended Content:

Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support | Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing; Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.