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Public Health provides comprehensive care

Senior Airmen Madasen Sortino and Lakeya Jones, 30th Medical Operations Squadron public health technicians, simulate a hearing test, Aug. 5, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. From conducting hearing tests, to ensuring members are medically cleared to deploy, to monitoring a variety of potential hazards around base, members of public health pride themselves in providing a variety of healthcare services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley/Released)

Senior Airmen Madasen Sortino and Lakeya Jones, 30th Medical Operations Squadron public health technicians, simulate a hearing test, Aug. 5, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. From conducting hearing tests, to ensuring members are medically cleared to deploy, to monitoring a variety of potential hazards around base, members of public health pride themselves in providing a variety of healthcare services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- With more than 4,000 uniformed and civilian personnel working among the 99,604 acres comprising VAFB, comprehensive and preventative healthcare is essential.

From conducting hearing tests, to ensuring members are medically cleared to deploy, to monitoring a variety of potential hazards around base, members of public health, within the 30th Medical Operations Squadron, pride themselves in providing a variety of healthcare services.

"I really think we make it easier for people to sleep at night knowing we are looking out for their best interest in so many ways," said Senior Airman Madasen Sortino, 30th MDOS public health technician. "Without us, there is definitely a higher risk of people getting sick and making mission success much more difficult."

For organizational purposes public health is broken into two primary sections, to include force health management and community health. Both are then further divided into smaller groups with their own specialized functions.

"I work in occupational health and my primary duty is preventing people from getting any occupational illnesses and diseases," said Senior Airman Raquel Tuli, 30th MDOS public health technician. "We monitor every shop on base to ensure they aren't exposed to anything hazardous, like asbestos. We also ensure pregnant women aren't exposed to anything that could cause them or their baby harm, as well as visit individual work centers to do annual training."

With preventative healthcare in mind, members of public health also educate and prepare Airmen for official deployments and any other travel outside the U.S.

"I work to in-process and out-process all of our deploying members on base," said Sortino. "I also work with travel medicine, so if anyone is going to a different country they come here and we give them medical education on the country they're going to and we get them the right immunizations and medications for that country."

Adhering to their primary mission of maintaining the community's wellbeing, the dedicated professionals of public health even monitor local marine life for potential impurities.

"My section is responsible for food inspections as well as mussel sampling," said Lakeya Jones, 30th MDOS public health technician. "We inspect all public facilities to ensure the food is safe to eat and all sanitary measures have been taken. For mussel sampling, we go to the beach and collect mussels to be sent off to a lab to identify any contaminants which would make them harmful to anyone who consumes them."

For the members of this devoted team, pride continues to fuel the fire that is their blanketing approach to all things healthcare.

"We are educators and at the same time we oversee a lot in order to maintain continuous mission success," said Tuli. "It makes me feel extremely proud to do this job because I feel like I'm truly making a difference in people's lives."

For more information, contact public health at 805-606-0648.