Operational Support Team opens doors for preventative care

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Suzie Plotnikov
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Operational Support Team building opened its doors here, March 26 to provide a space focused on preventative care.

Unlike regular treatment facility clinics, where the focus primarily is on treating musculoskeletal injuries and addressing existing pain, the OST operates on a proactive front striving to prevent health issues before they escalate.

“OST is a multidisciplinary team,” said Capt. Cheven Bonnell, 39th Medical Group OST element lead. “We’re meant to be an embedded team, so we pick squadrons that are higher risk such as security forces or maintenance. We’re here to get ahead of issues before they become chronic.”

The team of two, a physical therapist and mental health provider, are prioritizing treating members from the unit they’re embedded in, the 39th Security Forces Squadron, but they still offer services to the wing.

“When people walk in here, this building can provide space for classes, one on ones, and that’s where we service the wing, but the primary focus is for security forces,” said Capt. Jacob Kriegbaum, 39th MDG OST element chief. “This building is used for educational classes for everybody… but if anybody walks in and wants a class on ‘x, y, z,’ we’re going to flex and make that happen for them.”

One of the key advantages of the OST lies in its flexibility. Unlike traditional clinic hours, the team adapts their schedules to meet the needs of their squadron, providing care beyond the confines of a typical ‘nine-to-five’ timeline.

“We do some walk-ins in the morning with security forces,” said Kriegbaum. “In a few weeks we’ll shift that because they have a lot of different flights and folks that work different schedules, so being able to hit all of those different work schedules is nice.”

The team is excited to use the building to its maximum capacity.

“We’re ready to see folks and get them going, whether that’s improving their fitness, goal setting, or one-on-one form with weightlifting,” said Kriegbaum. “We have a mind gym coming in so we’ll be able to work on improving someone’s attention span and mindfulness. We also have run data analysis so we’re excited to get everything spun up here.”