December Shirt Blast
By Master Sgt. Perri Peraza, 169th Medical Group
/ Published November 26, 2019
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
The term medical readiness can be a daunting topic for those not familiar with it. At times, it can be difficult to see how everything we have to accomplish all fits together and why we have to get it done. However, in order to be fully prepared to leave at a moment’s notice, whether it’s stateside or overseas, ensuring you are healthy, both physically and mentally, to accomplish the mission is of utmost importance. That means making sure you are medically ready to handle whatever the mission entails.
Ensuring this happens is not only the responsibility of the medical group by providing the necessary services, but it’s also the individual Airman’s responsibility to get their appointments accomplished when scheduled by their Unit Health Monitor (UHM). Having your medical readiness items current is important also because it can affect member’s subsequent medical appointments, enlistment and retention.
There are many medical areas that make up medical readiness. Below are just a few:
1) Preventative Health Assessment Questionnaire (PHAQ): Accomplished each year, this is a screening tool used to evaluate the Individual Medical Readiness (IMR) of each member. By using the PHA combined with the Mental Health Assessment (MHA), medical staff can make an informed decision if the member is medically ready to deploy.
2) Dental exam: Required annually, although members must see a military dentist every five years. Making sure one’s dental health is in check is important because a small issue can turn into a big issue if not treated properly.
3) Occupational health: Specific requirements needed based on one’s job, this is a function of public health.
4) Immunizations: Certain ones required annually if local or as needed based on location of deployment.
This should give you a better understanding of how simple medical readiness can be. Medical readiness affects each Airman and it is each Airman’s responsibility to ensure they are medically ready. If you are unsure of your IMR status you can check here, https://imr.afms.mil/imr/AppDir.aspx or get in contact with your Unit Health Monitor (UHM).