WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - The best compliment any medical provider can receive is when another medical provider trusts their care for a friend or a family member.
Recently, Capt. Renee Serell, a native of Portland Oregon, and the flight physician assistant (PA) for 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry "Tropic Lightning" Division, received that trust when she was honored with this year's prestigious Aeromedical Outstanding Achievement Award from the Society of United States Army Flight Surgeons during an award ceremony at Wheeler Army Airfield, Feb. 3.
"Without a doubt I'd trust Capt. Renee Serell to care for my friends, family and myself without hesitation," said Maj. John DiGiovanni, former flight surgeon for 3-25th GSAB, and the medical provider that nominated Serell for the Aeromedical Outstanding Achievement Award.
"I nominated her because she is exceptional in all she does," said DiGiovanni. "She makes her superiors, peers and subordinates better. She has an exceptional work ethic and a great base of medical knowledge. She always volunteered for any assignment, never shied away from work or difficult tasks, and always goes above and beyond. She holds herself to an excellent standard and her decision making is excellent."
The Society of the United States Army Flight Surgeons exists to foster the professional growth and development of its members and strives to improve the practice of Army aviation medicine. Awarded once a year, the Aeromedical Outstanding Achievement Award is awarded for having demonstrated outstanding dedication and achievement in the practice of Army aviation medicine.
Aviation medicine is essentially a form of occupational medicine where flight surgeons are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the military's strict medical standards, especially with regards to flying, controlling or jump (airborne) status.
Serell is a prior service enlisted medic and has a great understanding of both the enlisted and officer roles.
"The difference with an aviation flight assistant is that I can take care of people on flight status and really focus on whether people are safe to fly or not," said Serell.
From jumping into patient care and helping with administrative duties in the aviation battalion, Serell had a dramatic impact at 3-25th GSAB from the moment she arrived at the battalion.
"She is absolutely great to work with, plus she is just super friendly, outgoing, positive and easy to be around," said DiGiovanni. "She always does the right thing and treats those she works with and her patients well. She does not cut corners and is always looking to make those around her better."
Serell goes on about how she simply just loves doing her job and the key to success is her passion for the work.
"I wanted to be a PA in Army aviation medicine because I simply enjoy medicine and helping others," said Serell. "I just love my job and I enjoy being here."
Although Serell insists she is just doing her job, the brigade's flight surgeon says it's much more.
"Capt. Renee Serell is a selfless and tireless leader and medical provider. It is a privilege to work alongside her in 3-25th GSAB," said Maj. James Dungca 3-25 GSAB flight surgeon. "It's inspiring to see how she advocates for our Soldiers. Her expert advice is highly valued by our staff officers and company commanders."
Even the battalion command team has recognized Serell's added value.
"Our battalion commander and executive officer would gesture as if whispering: 'I'd listen if Capt. Serell says so' during our Health of the Force," said Dungca. "We all think she's great and it's awesome to see her get recognized."
Serell is currently in Thailand for Pacific Pathways, a program with the goal of expanding the Army's engagement in the Pacific region, and potentially reducing the costs of doing so by linking multiple military exercises together, creating a "Pathway". These operations provide great benefits to interoperability and will contribute to the operational readiness of all the forces involved.