AF surgeon general, medical enlisted force chief visit Hill AFB

  • Published
  • By Richard W. Essary
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Lt. Gen. Dorothy A. Hogg, U.S. Air Force surgeon general, and Chief Master Sgt. G. Steve Cum, Medical Enlisted Force chief, visited Hill Air Force Base Feb. 11-13 to get a better understanding of the base’s 75th Medical Group and the missions it serves.

Hogg is the functional manager for the Air Force Medical Service and advises senior leaders on the medical aspects of the air expeditionary force and the health of Airmen. She oversees the delivery of health care and readiness of 2.6 million beneficiaries at 76 military treatment facilities worldwide.

Cum is the personal advisor to the surgeon general on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper utilization and progression for the 34,000 Total Force medical enlisted community.

During their three-day visit, they toured facilities and met with Airmen to learn about the challenges the 75th MDG faces in order to better support them in delivering health care to Hill AFB’s beneficiaries.

In addition, Hogg and Cum led a town hall meeting with the Warrior Clinic’s military, civilian and contractor medical team to discuss medical reform and other health care issues.

With the transfer U.S.-based military treatment facility administration and management to the Defense Health Agency in October 2019, Hogg touched on the new role DHA has to deliver health care benefits so MTFs can stay focused on the readiness mission.

She urged the audience to “let us know what’s working right and what’s not.”

The general said one of the purposes of the transformation is to arm commanders with the mission capable readiness rate of their Airmen. Her vision is when commanders are briefed on the mission capable rate of their “iron,” it would be followed by the mission capable rate of their “human weapon systems.”

During the back-and-forth briefing, the medical enlisted force chief hyped the value of “real training” over computer-based and “just in time” training to prepare for “what our medics are going to see in tomorrow’s fight.”

“What do we get when we put people in stressful situations and training? We develop resiliency,” Cum said. “Training is paramount, we need to get after it and not put it off.”

He explained conceptual initiatives AFMS is looking to implement by 2030, including “FlexWeb,” a web-based technology similar to Alexa to expedite delivery of medical care downrange, as well as “MedicX,” a plan to give all Airmen in health care-related career fields a standard baseline medical skillset.

Another topic Hogg discussed was what she calls “thinking without the box,” citing that when there’s a box, it’s too easy to get back inside it when things gets hard.

“We have to think big, we need to think broad, and we need to take risk. We’re too risk averse right now. We want to make sure everything is 100% perfect before we start anything,” she said. “Change is constant. We have to think without the box if we are going to solve some of the challenges we have.”

The general concluded by deputizing the audience to be “disruptive innovators.”

“We have seen innovation in our visit with you today. You don’t need to ask permission. It’s okay to try something new,” Hogg said. “There’s only three rules: It can’t be illegal, it can’t be immoral, and it can be unethical.”

“Thank you for what you do,” she said.