111th Med Group vaccinates wingmen, achieves top readiness rank
By Tech Sgt. Tyrone Mitchell , 111th Attack Wing
/ Published May 21, 2021
BIDDLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Pa. --
The 111th Medical Group here has administered more than 900 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to airmen and department of defense civilians on base between Jan. 27, 2021 and May 20, 2021 while maintaining their top ranking for operational readiness in the Air National Guard.
COVID-19 presented its challenges over the past year. But, the 111th Med Group displayed their resilience by finding a way to keep themselves and their fellow wingmen safe while training and fulfilling additional mission requirements.
“COVID-19 created numerous challenges including, cancelled courses, limitations on personnel able to collectively train, and numerous medical personnel on missions,” said Col. Scott Coradi, commander of the 111th Med Group. “I decided we could either blame all shortcomings on the pandemic, or develop innovative aggressive measures to continue training.”
Though the pandemic tested their mission and individual medical readiness, the 111th Med Group found a way to forge ahead.
“We sought last-minute formal school openings, modified operations to afford Medical Group training opportunities and focused on preparation for our deployment phase,” said Coradi. “These efforts, as well as guidance from the National Guard Bureau on readiness reporting, propelled us to first in readiness.”
Coradi said the 111th Med Group leadership worked closely with Master Sgt. Marcos Nascimento, public health noncommissioned officer in charge, to find way to keep their patients and staff safe.
Lt. Col. Angela McDonough, chief of dental services and medical administration officer, talked about some of those safety measures.
“I believe for us you take the proper precautions,” said McDonough. “You mask up, you take your vaccine. And, you figure out a way to get people in the building so we maintain our numbers safely.”
In addition to thanking all of her teammates for their hard work, McDonough said Lt. Col. Joseph Paone, medical readiness officer in charge, and Master Sgt. Andre Ligon, the medical readiness NCOIC, were instrumental in ensuring the Med Group’s training requirements were completed and documented.
In addition to their own vaccination and readiness efforts, McDonough said the Med Group is also documenting those guardsmen who have been vaccinated off base.
Regardless of the challenges, the 111th Med Group’s efforts to keep its wingmen fit to fight has never wavered.
“We’ve really kept our operations running, and I think that’s a testament to the Wing commander and Col. Coradi and their vision for the 111th Attack Wing,” said McDonough. “We can’t just stop. We have to stay prepared.”