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28th MDG sets the bar for patient care

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Recently, the Dental and Family Health Clinics won Air Combat Command and Air Force level awards, respectively, setting the standard for other medical facilities service-wide.

Throughout the past year, members from the 28th Medical Group dedicated countless hours toward improving patient care, earning clinics several accolades among the top Air Force medical facilities.

Ellsworth's Family Health Clinic won the Air Force Medical Service Outstanding Patient Centered Medical Home award for 2014, highlighting their efforts in patient satisfaction, access to care, referral rates, in and out processing and more.

"Receiving this award gives Airmen recognition for what they do day in and day out," said Master Sgt. Amy Miller, 28th Medical Operation Squadron family health flight chief. "They receive (recognition) from their supervisors and leadership, but now even at the Air Force level, they're being recognized."

Ellsworth's Family Health Clinic was also rated number one for access to care and number eight in patient satisfaction in comparison to the 137 clinics in the Department of Defense.

"All of these things show that not only are we good at what we do, but we are noticed throughout the whole DoD," Miller said. "I think it's a big deal for our Airmen to know what their work is doing and that it's being seen at such a high level."

Family Health competes with 13 clinics for ACC awards and 75 clinics for Air Force awards.

"We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our Airmen," Maj. Michelle Hufstetler, 28th MDOS family health flight commander, said. "I've never worked in a place that has this level of teamwork... We have outstanding Airmen that do everything they can every day to meet the mission and that's where the credit goes."

Maj. Christopher Wolbert, 28th MDOS dental flight commander, explained that the Dental Clinic recently won the 2014 Small Dental Clinic of the Year for ACC, a testament to their hard work and commitment to the 28th MDG mission.

"The things the Dental Clinic accomplished to win this award were things that I have never seen before in my career," Wolbert said. "It's the clinic staff working to maintain outstanding numbers that really set us apart."

Wolbert said the Air Force looks at seven main metrics to evaluate dental clinics that include readiness, patient satisfaction, access to care and private sector referrals.

"There are a lot of good things going for the medical group right now," Wolbert said. "It's really a testament to our leadership. Their approachability, flexibility and understanding allow us to do our best."

In addition to the Family Health and Dental Clinics receiving awards, the 28th MDG received the title of 2014 Best Clinic of the Year for ACC.

"There are a lot of moving parts that contribute to the success of the medical group as a whole," Wolbert added. "It has all come together very well."

Through teamwork and dedication, the 28th Medical Group excels in what they do, earning them recognition at multiple levels throughout the DoD and ultimately setting the example for other Air Force medical professionals.