HOHENFELS, Germany – As a public health nurse at the U.S. Army Health Clinic Hohenfels, Matau Masaga continues to be instrumental in the fight against the COVID-19 virus for her clinic and community.
Masaga, who is also a military spouse, joined the Army work force to share her nursing profession and her passion of giving back to her community.
“My main goal is to ensure that our community is being informed with the latest information that is coming out as far as diseases and illnesses,” said Masaga. “Education and knowledge is the key.”
Masaga admits the COVID-19 pandemic not only came as a surprise, but it also put public health nurses as frontline medical responders during the pandemic.
“We were immediately placed in areas that we have to be the subject matter experts, providing consultations to our clinicians, answering questions for the community as we are learning [about] this virus for the first time,” Masaga said.
In addition to being instrumental in helping stand up the COVID-19 screening clinic at Hohenfels, Masaga continues to provide guidance and training for the cleaning team – a team tasked to clean and disinfect the isolation and quarantine barracks at Hohenfels Training Area.
“One the biggest thing that we focused on during this COVID pandemic, was having the child care services available and ready to our soldiers,” explained Masaga. “Some of our Soldiers were teleworking due to COVID – being that the child care services were not available then. So that had an effect on [military] readiness as far as having our Soldiers available to complete missions and tasks that they are here for.”
As the Hohenfels public health nurse, Masaga also provides health consultations to organizations, such as Child & Youth Services, or CYS. She ensures these facilities are meeting health and sanitation requirements in order to provide a safe and healthy environment for the children that attend.
“I was there to inspect and ensure that these facilities are meeting requirements for health and sanitation,” Masaga said. “I ensure that CYS staff are trained, and have the latest information and resources in minimizing infection control within the center.”
Community outreach plays a big part in community awareness and education in order to help minimize, mitigate and prevent future illnesses and diseases within the community. Masaga enjoys meeting people within her community where she is able to create collaborative partnerships with local organizations, with the goal of promoting health and wellness.
She went on to say, “With me being out there serving in the community, and providing them the information that they need to know of, this will help them be aware of health threats going on.”