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JTF-Bravo medics provide care in Belize

BELLA VISTA, Belize – U.S. Army CW2 Michael Spencer, 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment pilot, administers medication to a child during the first day of a joint medical readiness training exercise here with members from the Belize Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras Feb. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bryan Franks)

BELLA VISTA, Belize – U.S. Army CW2 Michael Spencer, 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment pilot, administers medication to a child during the first day of a joint medical readiness training exercise here with members from the Belize Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras Feb. 28. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bryan Franks)

BELLA VISTA, Belize – U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Corazon Palle and Staff Sgt. Deanna Sierra, Medical Element medical technicians, distribute vitamins, de-wormer and sanitation supplies after Bella Vista community members complete the preventive medicine course during a joint medical readiness training exercise here Feb. 28. Members from the Belize Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras provided medical services to approximately 620 members of the local area Feb. 28.

BELLA VISTA, Belize – U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Corazon Palle and Staff Sgt. Deanna Sierra, Medical Element medical technicians, distribute vitamins, de-wormer and sanitation supplies after Bella Vista community members complete the preventive medicine course during a joint medical readiness training exercise here Feb. 28. Members from the Belize Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras provided medical services to approximately 620 members of the local area Feb. 28.

BELLA VISTA, Belize – U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Corazon Palle and Staff Sgt. Deanna Sierra, Medical Element medical technicians, distribute vitamins, de-wormer and sanitation supplies after Bella Vista community members complete the preventive medicine course during a joint medical readiness training exercise here Feb. 28. Members from the Belize Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras provided medical services to approximately 620 members of the local area Feb. 28.

BELLA VISTA, Belize – U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Corazon Palle and Staff Sgt. Deanna Sierra, Medical Element medical technicians, distribute vitamins, de-wormer and sanitation supplies after Bella Vista community members complete the preventive medicine course during a joint medical readiness training exercise here Feb. 28. Members from the Belize Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras provided medical services to approximately 620 members of the local area Feb. 28.

BELLA VISTA, Belize – While residents from Bella Vista waited to see medical providers, some of them took time out to tour the 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment helicopters that brought the joint medical readiness training exercise team to the site Feb. 28. In 2011, Joint Task Force Bravo, Soto Cano AB, Honduras provided general medical care to 14,401 patients and dental care to 1,061 patients for a total of 15,462 individuals receiving much-needed assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bryan Franks)

BELLA VISTA, Belize – While residents from Bella Vista waited to see medical providers, some of them took time out to tour the 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment helicopters that brought the joint medical readiness training exercise team to the site Feb. 28. In 2011, Joint Task Force Bravo, Soto Cano AB, Honduras provided general medical care to 14,401 patients and dental care to 1,061 patients for a total of 15,462 individuals receiving much-needed assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bryan Franks)

BELLA VISTA, Belize – U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Atkins, Medical Element Radiology NCOIC, discusses a prescription with a member of the Belizean Ministry of Health during the joint medical readiness training exercise here Feb. 28. Members from the Belize Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras provided medical services to approximately 620 members of the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bryan Franks)

BELLA VISTA, Belize – U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Atkins, Medical Element Radiology NCOIC, discusses a prescription with a member of the Belizean Ministry of Health during the joint medical readiness training exercise here Feb. 28. Members from the Belize Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras provided medical services to approximately 620 members of the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bryan Franks)

BELLA VISTA, Belize -- A 46-member team from Joint Task Force-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, provided medical care to approximately 620 Bella Vista community members Feb. 28 during a joint medical readiness training exercise here.

Members of the Joint MEDRETE included Belizean Ministry of Health, the Belizean military and JTF-Bravo. The medical professionals treated illnesses including abominable pain, respiratory infection, skin infection, diabetes and high blood pressure.

All patients receive a preventive medical briefing from a member of the Belizean military as well as vitamins, inoculations and preventive health supplies before heading to the screening area for more care.

As part of the screen team U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jefflynn Hall, Medical Element Medical Technician, is on her first MEDRETE and finds the experience both rewarding and challenging.

"I like to help people and especially those who are in need...for me that's the rewarding part of this mission," said Hall, who is deployed from Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. " However, the challenge is not being able to do more while we are here...we can only bring so much when we travel and it never feels like enough."

Once a patient receives his or her brief, they are seen by a nurse or medical technician for a health assessment. Once the screeners are done the patient sees the medical care provider to receive treatment or a prescription they can have filled at the pharmacy.

On a MEDRETE, most members work in their assigned profession; however, for U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Atkins, Medical Element Radiology NCOIC, who is on his first MEDRETE, that is not the case as he finds himself working in the pharmacy.

"It's a little difficult to bring an x-ray machine on a MEDRETE, but I feel by just being here doing what I can is making a difference," said Atkins, who is also deployed from Columbus AFB, Miss. "We take a lot for granted (in the U.S.), I've seen pictures from previous MEDRETES, but I'm just amazed at how resilient these people are."

In 2011, Joint Task Force Bravo, Soto Cano AB provided general medical care to 14,401 patients and dental care to 1,061 patients for a total of 15,462 individuals receiving much-needed assistance. The MEDRETE team will travel to the town of Independence to continue medical services Feb. 29.





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