The medical mission Published Aug. 28, 2012 By Col. Craig Pierce 189th Medical Group commander Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. -- Ensuring the individual medical readiness of 189th Airlift Wing and supported GSU war fighters is an extremely important component of the 189th Medical Group mission statement. This statement covers everything from promoting fitness, to fitness assessment medical exemptions, to labs and immunizations, to medical status determinations, to post-deployment processing. This mission is one that can only be achieved with a team effort between the medical group, the individual Airmen, supervisors, and commanders. Overall we do a great job accomplishing this mission together. During Commander's Call last month, Col Eggensperger showed how well the 189 AW is performing on the fitness assessment. We have made great progress. As a whole, we are developing better habits regarding exercise and nutrition. I think most of us can always use some encouragement in that area. Lt. Col. (Dr.) Tom Collins has written an article in this month's Warrior that I highly encourage you to read. I am sure we can all agree that the Air Force fitness assessment process is not perfect. However, in my opinion, this fitness program has made a greater positive impact on member fitness than any other I have seen in my career. Having a winning fitness program requires many individual areas to be successful. There is one area of the fitness assessment process that we need your help to improve. That is timely determination of medical exemptions for non-AGR members. AFI 36-2905, Fitness Program, makes it a member responsibility to "monitor his/her FA exemptions, schedule any necessary medical examinations, and initiate fitness assessment test arrangements in a manner that prevents non-currency". The role of the 189 MDG is to validate medical exemption recommendations provided by your primary care provider. Based on this validation, the Medical Liaison Officer (MLO) will prepare an AF Form 469 to inform your commander and the Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) of the results. The HAWC will, in turn, prepare an AF Form 422 indicating the approved fitness exemptions. For this process to work correctly, the MDG must provide the AF Form 469 to the HAWC one week prior to scheduled fitness assessment. As a result, members must provide complete medical documentation to the MLO no later than the UTA prior to your scheduled Fitness Assessment. The upcoming Comprehensive Unit Inspection (CUI) is on all of our minds. For the Medical Group, the CUI includes our periodic Health Services Inspection. In particular, we need each member to make sure your medical readiness requirements are met. You can review your individual medical readiness status on the MyIMR website: https://imr.afms.mil/imr/MyIMR.aspx . If you are coming due for a Periodic Health Assessment, a link to the Web Health Assessment questionnaire will be available on your MyIMR page. Finally, I want to remind everyone that any change in medical condition must be reported to the medical group, including such things as surgeries, injuries, new diagnosed diseases, as well as use of or changes to any prescription medications. Not only is this a requirement of AFI 10-203 , but it is also in the commander's and member's best interest to ensure duties are not assigned that could aggravate medical conditions. We are open on Sundays of each UTA weekend to help with any individual medical readiness and fitness medical exemption concern. Again, one of the main reasons the 189th Medical Group exists is to make sure 189th AW and GSU members are medically ready and qualified to accomplish our state and federal missions. We look forward to helping you help us as a team and to be successful and continue to be a ready and fit to fight Air National Guard unit.