National Public Health Week is the first full week of April every year. This week is a time to recognize the contributions made by public health professionals to keep the community healthy, and their services are needed now more than ever. Here at Beale, the team of public health professionals working within the 9th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron (OMRS), work daily to keep all of Recce Town healthy.
While a clinician focuses on one individual to fix a problem, public health takes a holistic approach to find a solution. They look at the broad picture as to how and why the issue began in the first place and look for ways they can prevent it from happening again in other people.
“Public health is the practice of medicine in preventive health that ensures the safety and well-being of our base population,” said Airman 1st Class Akira Peek, 9th OMRS public health technician. “That includes retirees, civilians, and active duty members.”
One way they do this is through spreading information.
“Some of the things we practice are, educating the base population such as letting them know about proper hand washing, and pushing out information to the public when outbreaks such as COVID-19 happen,” said Peek.
When they aren’t actively battling a pandemic, the Public Health team focuses on thwarting future threats that may arise, such as foodborne illnesses.
“Education and prevention are big things in public health,” said Tech. Sgt. Derek McGee, 9th OMRS public health technician. “We go out and do food safety and sanitation, our job is to educate those people who are handling the foods to make sure the food is safe for consumption.”
Public health provides many services, but one of the most important, especially in the current situation, is arming the base with accurate and credible data.
“We follow guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control, and World Health Organization. We use those two as our main sources of information,” said McGee. “We’re constantly checking that to make sure we have the most up-to-date information.”
While you may not directly see a public health worker taking care of someone who’s ill, you can rest assured that they are working tirelessly to keep COVID-19 at bay and ensure Beale is as safe and informed as possible.