Back to Top Skip to main content

Spine surgery team adds capability, improves readiness

Air Force Col. (Dr.) Edward Anderson, 99th Medical Group orthopedic spine surgeon, performs a lumbar microdiscectomy surgery at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. A lumbar microdiscectomy surgery is performed to remove a portion of a herniated disc in the lower back. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver) Air Force Col. (Dr.) Edward Anderson, 99th Medical Group orthopedic spine surgeon, performs a lumbar microdiscectomy surgery at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. A lumbar microdiscectomy surgery is performed to remove a portion of a herniated disc in the lower back. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The 99th Medical Group based at Mike O’Callaghan Medical Center here successfully completed its first set of orthopedic spine surgeries after bringing two specialized surgeons to the unit.

As one of the more limited Air Force Medical Service specialties, orthopedic spine surgery has only three qualified surgeons in the entire Air Force, two of whom are now on the team at the medical center here.

Air Force Col. (Dr.) Edward Anderson and Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Bryan Lawson, 99th MDG orthopedic spine surgeons, bring a combined nearly three decades of surgical experience to the operating table. Their goal is to increase capabilities inside the hospital as well as increase individual deployment readiness.

“We understood that we had a significant amount of spine surgery cases that were being referred to physicians downtown,” said Air Force Col. (Dr.) Kim Pietszak, 99th MDG medical staff chief. “After doing the math, it became pretty apparent to us that we should be providing this care inside of our facility and could do it for less cost to the government.”

Increasing Medical Readiness

Pietszak said the benefits of performing complex surgeries in the orthopedic spine clinic go far beyond the operating room because each surgery requires a great deal of preparation.

Prepping those patients increases everyone’s medical readiness, she explained, with the nurses admitting the patients, the technicians doing lab work and everyone else involved in the process soaking up the knowledge from their environment.

Pietszak said this clinic is a big win for the Air Force and for Nellis. Not only will the care providers be able to take care of the Airmen in their facility, she added, but now they are able to monitor them closer and better gauge when they are able to return to work, improving the Airmen and their readiness.

Both Lawson and Anderson are optimistic for the future of orthopedic spine surgery at Nellis.

“I think we have to start with procedures that are fairly straightforward,” Lawson said. “But the goal is to provide the full complement of spine care here.”

“When you’re setting up a complex spine program, you want to grow this in a deliberate way in order to continue to deliver safe care,” Anderson said.

“The reality of it is that we get to a point where we’re in such a specialized field that who I needed wasn’t just another surgeon,” Anderson added. “They told me they needed complex spine surgery done here. I told them I needed Dr. Lawson because it’s a team sport – you can’t do it alone.”

Lawson and Anderson have known each other for nearly a decade, and their complementary work ethics are key for Nellis to enhance the 99th MDG’s readiness as a unit.

Having a Good Team

“Half the battle when performing surgery is having a good team,” Lawson said. “There’s so much the institution is capable of providing, but what can almost dwarf all of that is when you’re starting to build a team and how the interaction with your colleagues is. Thankfully, it’s something that has already been sorted out for Dr. Anderson and I over a course of years from working together.”

This also gives other orthopedic surgeons here, who aren’t traditionally spine surgeons, the ability to scrub-in, or assist, on a spine case and learn some of the skill sets from Anderson and Lawson.

“Setting up spine surgery here doesn’t have anything to do with our surgical readiness, because when we deploy, we deploy as general orthopedic surgeons – not spine surgeons,” Anderson said.” Maintaining our Airmen’s readiness all has to do with what follows on with our service line. It keeps the nurses on their toes in the intensive care unit and the technicians trained in the lab, among many other roles that are played to keep a hospital running.”

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

You also may be interested in...

Mid-season flu activity increase: How to keep healthy

Article
1/22/2020
Navy Hospital Corpsman Kenny Liu, from San Jose, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's medical department, prepares a needle with a flu vaccination in the ship's hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski)

Despite reports of increased flu activity in the U.S., the Military Health System remains vigilant

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Influenza Summary and Reports | Health Readiness | Influenza Seasonal | Vaccine Recommendations | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

Army, FDA discuss 3D printing at workshop

Article
1/21/2020
When a medical device breaks down on a medical unit deployed to a remote part of the world, the closest repair parts could be thousands of miles away (U.S. Army photo by Francis S. Trachta)

Army medical logisticians are looking to 3D printing as a potential solution to this challenge

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology | Combat Support | Medical Logistics

HPV vaccine now recommended for those up to age 45

Article
1/14/2020
https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/hpv/ Recent CDC and FDA guidance recommends that men and women up to 45 years of age get vaccinated to protect against the Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and can cause certain cancers and genital warts. More than 14 million new HPV infections occur in the U.S. each year, and about 80 percent of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some point in their lives. (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases image)

HPV shot protects against a host of diseases in men, women

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Men's Health | Women's Health | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations

U.S. Transportation Command: DoD’s manager for global patient movement

Article
1/9/2020
An ambulance bus backs up to the Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III as Airmen prepare to unload patients at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The bus transports the ill and/or injured to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. JBA and Travis Air Force Base, California, serve as the primary military entry points or hubs for patient distribution within the continental United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karina Luis)

On a weekly basis, USTRANSCOM moves up to 40 patients from overseas to CONUS

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Joint Chiefs say mind, body, spirit all part of Total Force Fitness

Article
1/7/2020
Image of a Marine climbing a rope ladder

2020 focus on factors making service members, families “resilient”

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Operation Live Well

Navy Medicine demonstrates Virtual Health options to Africa

Article
1/6/2020
Air Force Staff Sgt. Danny Lim practices conducting a throat examination on Army Sgt. Harvey Drayton at Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti. Drayton and Lim were introduced to the Telehealth In A Bag system during a recent visit that included personnel from Regional Health Command Europe's virtual health team. (U.S. Army photo by Russell Toof)

Djibouti hosts the largest U.S. American military base on the African continent

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 1 - January 2020

Report
1/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Active and Reserve Component Service Members and Non-Service Member Beneficiaries of the Military Health System, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2009–June 2019; Respiratory Pathogen Surveillance Trends and Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates for the 2018–2019 Season Among Department of Defense Beneficiaries; Brief Report: The Early Impact of the MHS GENESIS Electronic Health Record System on the Capture of Healthcare Data for the Defense Medical Surveillance System; and Brief Report: Incidence and Prevalence of Idiopathic Corneal Ectasias, Active Component, 2001–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Air Force studies fatigue, sleep to enhance readiness

Article
12/31/2019
An Air Force Airman sleeps inside a C-17 Globemaster III during a flight over an undisclosed location in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration)

Good sleep habits are closely related to overall health and performance

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Sleep

DHA PI 6025.10: Change 1: Standard Processes, Guidelines, and Responsibilities of the DoD Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in the Military Health System (MHS) Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs)

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance of References (e) through (t), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to begin standard processes and guidelines for the Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, Reference (e)), in MTFs.

Guard and Reserve crucial to CCATT expansion

Article
12/20/2019
Air Force Maj. Lori Wyatt, a Critical Care Air Transport Team nurse, assigned to the 167th Airlift Wing, Martinsburg, West Virginia, assembles a gurney during a casualty evacuation training at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport. The Air Force is increasing the number of CCATTs to support future readiness requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. De-Juan Haley)

The Guard and Reserve support the bulk of aeromedical evacuation, CCATT capabilities

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Air Force, Army medics save groom

Article
12/19/2019
Airmen from the 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron simulate life-saving procedures to a training manikin onboard a KC-135 Stratotanker during an exercise out of Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th AES maintains a forward operating presence, and was instrumental in saving an Airman’s life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Seefeldt)

NCO’s first aeromedical evacuation mission was definitely challenging

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Payne visits service members, facilities in Puget Sound

Article
12/18/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director for Combat Support, Defense Health Agency, speaks with service members and staff at Madigan Army Medical Center during a town hall in Letterman Auditorium. Payne visited Madigan as the final stop of his tour of the Pacific Northwest military treatment facilities, also including the Air Force’s 62nd Medical Squadron, Naval Hospital Bremerton and Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor. He conducted town halls at each location, focusing on MHS transformation, and answering questions from the audience on topics ranging from MHS GENESIS, readiness and training, and the future of military medicine. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Graham)

Effective combat power depends on military health’s ability to build a medically ready force

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS GENESIS

DHA transition discussion hosted at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Article
12/12/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee E. Payne, Assistant Director for Combat Support Agency, Defense Health Agency explained to Naval Hospital Bremerton staff members during a Town Hall meeting there are four overlapping areas of focus for DHA which are great outcomes, ready medical force, satisfied patients, and fulfilled staff, all contributing to the goal of having a medically ready force and a ready medical force.

The most important outcome for us is a medically ready force

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Changes to military health care system aimed at readiness

Article
12/6/2019
Speaking before the House Armed Services subcommittee on personnel during a Dec. 5 hearing on Capitol Hill, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffrey (left), Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place (second from left), director of the DHA, the service Surgeons General, and Joint Staff Surgeon outlined the necessity for the health care system to change in order to support warfighter readiness. (MHS photo)

Merger of all hospitals and clinics to DHA a key step

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

McCaffery AMSUS Remarks 2019

Publication
12/5/2019

McCaffery statements made during the 2019 annual meeting of AMSUS

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 46

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.