Texans provide medical care in the Pacific
By Capt Randy Saldivar, 149th Fighter WIng Public Affairs
/ Published August 18, 2008
LAIE, Hawaii -- Members of the Texas Air National Guards 149th Fighter Wing's medical group joined forces with the Hawaii ANG to provide free medical screenings to elementary students here today.
The program E Malama Kakou (to care for all) is aimed at providing basic health screening to medically underserved children populations in and around the area.
Over 460 students received vision and uku (head lice) checks as part of a collaborative effort between the ANG and the state Health Department. The screenings are part of a Medical Innovative Readiness Training program sponsored nationwide by the Office of Secretary of Defense Reserve Affairs Division.
The fifty-one person team of Texan doctors, nurses and support staff arrived Aug. 2 and conducted mutual medical readiness training with Hawaii's ANG 154th Medical Group at Hickham AFB.
"This is a great opportunity for all to benefit," said LtCol Craig Manifold, the team's commander for the trip. "We feel privileged to come here and serve Hawaiians and get some outstanding training; in turn some people get some essential medical care they might not otherwise receive."
Out of the total, approximately 20% of Laie's elementary students were found to need comprehensive eye exams. Parents receive the results of the screenings so that they are aware of their child's health.
It is expected the team will conduct as many as 2,000 patient services or more during their visit. Additionally, the team administered sports physicals at the Ewa Sports Complex Friday.
"The team from Texas are a great bunch of folks and they will have their hands full while they are here," said Lt Curtis Palmer, the Hawaii ANG program liaison. "It takes a tremendous amount of coordination to get a medical team here, but being able to provide basic medical care to the citizens of Hawaii is vital. They are our own people and we are here to help."
The screenings will continue at Kuhuku Elementary on Tuesday, and Hau'ula Elementary on Wednesday. The visiting medical personnel will also give free sports physicals, dental and vision screenings to students at Kuhuku High School from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. through Tuesday.