28th Medical Group to transition under Defense Health Agency management

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Daniel Rosenfield
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. - The 28th Medical Group will begin transitioning to the Defense Health Agency in a phased approach that will begin October 2020 and be complete by September 2021.


This change from service-managed healthcare was effective Oct. 1, 2018, as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The goal of this transition is to eliminate administrative redundancies and business processes while ensuring medical readiness across the Department of Defense.


The Defense Health Agency, a joint combat support agency, will be responsible for everyday medical care, most budgetary and administrative matters, medical infrastructure and administrative policy. Air Force medical operations will transition to governing policies known as Department of Defense Instructions, or DODIs, rather than Air Force Instructions, or AFIs. This will ensure more consistency among the branches of the DoD.


The Air Force Medical Service will remain responsible for recruiting, training and equipping the medical force, providing emergency response services to the base and ensuring Airmen are ready to deploy and support the strategic deterrence mission.


“There’s tons of efficiency to be gained,” said Col. Virginia Garner, the command surgeon of Air Force Global Strike Command. “I’m excited about the opportunity for more joint interoperability, an increased focus on readiness and the operational mission.”


While patients of the 28th MDG will not experience any impact to day-to-day medical services, the transition, however, ensures physicians, nurses, medical technicians and support staff provide comprehensive care that is consistent with other branches of the U.S. military.


With the transition, the clinic at Ellsworth Air Force Base is slated to close only for federally-mandated holidays and necessary readiness training. The practical result of this change is that the 28th MDG will be even more available and ready to support Raider Airmen and their families.


Throughout the transition, patient care will remain the top priority in the 28th MDG.


“Each of us in the 28th Medical Group come to work each day with patient care at the forefront,” said Chief Master Sgt. Crystal Trevino, the 28th MDG superintendent. “The transition to the Defense Health Agency will better prepare our medical professionals for the future of the joint fight.”