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Public Health works toward public good

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rhett Isbell
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Public Health Airmen work to keep members of Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, healthy from countless diseases and potentially unsafe work conditions.

They regularly perform inspections across the base and teach methods to prevent a wide variety of hazards from slowing down Team Little Rock, ensuring mission readiness.

“The saying, ‘Jack of all trades’ really does apply to public health,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Allan Licudan, 19th Aerospace Medicine Squadron officer in charge of force health management. “We have many programs, and we function both in the line side and medical side of the mission. Our ultimate goal is taking care of the members on base by keeping them healthy and deployable.”

The responsibilities of public health can be broken up into two categories: the Force Health Management and Community Health sections. They cover a variety of duties including: deployment health, individual medical readiness, entomology and vector surveillance, communicable diseases, food protection, and sanitation. Spinning so many plates means Public Health Airmen have to expect the unexpected when they walk through their office doors.

“You never get bored here,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Madison Wade, 19th AMDS public health technician. “I like the job a lot and you learn something new every day because we cover so many things.”

Along with the issues that may make their way to the 19th Medical Group, Public Health Airmen also manage to get out of their office and aid their fellow wingmen by regularly inspecting the different working environments for potential health risks, as well as all food service centers on base.

“We do food inspections three to four times per week depending on the facility,” Wade said. “We always have something going on. If the inspections don’t go well, we have to route them up to our commander.”

Keeping up with a regular inspection routine is important, but the most critical service offered by the public health team is a much simpler one … preventative medicine.

“Practicing preventative medicine can keep you safe from most diseases,” Licudan said. “Proper hygiene and cleanliness are key factors in keeping a community healthy. If I could give one piece of advice to everyone, it’d be to just wash your hands regularly and clean up after yourself.”