By Staff Sgt. Jeremiah StoddardAugust 29, 2018
VICENZA, Italy -- This summer the Arizona Army National Guard Medical Detachment has performed their Overseas Deployment Training (ODT) at U.S. Army Health Clinic-Vicenza.
The Soldiers have worked alongside their active-duty counterparts in three rotations from June to August, providing medical care and support to the military community here in the Primary Care Clinic as well as the Patient Administration and Behavioral Health departments.
"The U.S. Army relies on these kinds of collaborations between active duty and Army National Guard Soldiers in expeditionary environments. We are happy to work with the ODT rotations here in Vicenza, fostering great relationships, and to enhance the capabilities of our forces for future missions. These opportunities demonstrate how we collaboratively support our nation's global healthcare demands," said Lt. Col. Kane Morgan, commander, USAHC-Vicenza.
Arizona's Medical Detachment is primarily charged with medical readiness for the Arizona Army National Guard. The 55 Soldiers assigned to the unit are composed of physicians, dentists, physicians' assistants, nurses, patient administrators, behavioral health clinicians and combat medics. The detachment arrived in three groups, each working in Italy for 21 days.
Upon arrival, the Soldiers integrated into the Army health clinic's daily operations providing access to care to approximately 200 patients during each rotation.
"The Medical Detachment Soldiers provided an extremely valuable service to the clinic," said Staff Sgt. Chantley Kiser, noncommissioned officer in charge of Primary Care at the Vicenza clinic. "They helped out in so many ways, and totaled over 600 medical appointments for Soldiers, family members and retirees."
Lt. Col. Timothy Pfeiffer, an Emergency Room physician with the Arizona Medical Detachment, had not experienced working in primary care prior to this deployment.
"The staff was very welcoming," said Pfeiffer. "For someone with an ER background, the clinic staff was very helpful and patient with guiding me through the primary care process with referrals, lab or X-rays."
In addition to daily clinical operations, the National Guard Soldiers also participated in unique medical and physical fitness training events. Combat medic Sgt. Israel Figueroa's personal favorite involved an early morning physical training run up to Monte Berico, he said.
"It was a fantastic run," said Figueroa. "I wasn't prepared for so many stairs but the view was incredible, and worth the climb."
The Arizona Army National Guard Medical Detachment has regularly supported ODT rotations on a biennial basis with Army South humanitarian missions in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The unit previously supported the Vicenza Health Clinic in 2005 and 2009.