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NEWS | Jan. 22, 2013

The best job in the Air Force: a letter from the 633rd MDG commander

By Col. Wayne Pritt 633rd Medical Group

Happy New Year! As I look back at 2012 and look forward to what 2013 has in store, I am convinced I have the best job in the Air Force -- commanding USAF Hospital Langley! With this New Year laid out in front of us, I'd be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity to tell you about the one of the only hospitals in the Air Force that's growing in size and capability. The Air Force Medical Service has designated USAF Hospital Langley as one of only seven in the Air Force charged with becoming a "currency platform." What do I mean by that? One of our primary missions is to hone the state-of-the-art training of our surgeons and other specialists so they can deploy and deliver outstanding, world class care for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen in harm's way. The best way we can advance their skills is by capturing complex surgical and medical cases from within our beneficiary population. What this means to you is that now you can rely on USAF Hospital Langley for your surgical subspecialty and medicine subspecialty healthcare needs.

I can tell you this is a big deal. At the start of 2012, we had a limited medical subspecialty program. As the year went on though, we added pulmonology, gastroenterology, cardiology, neurology and allergy/immunology. In conjunction with our existing capability in General Surgery, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urology, ENT, and Oral Surgery, we stand ready to offer outstanding care for a complex spectrum of healthcare needs. And who could forget our outstanding Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics clinics? USAF Hospital Langley is now ready to take a lead role in preparing our medical personnel to support our nation's wartime and peacetime medical missions. With all these capabilities, we also have a tremendous capacity to provide specialty care. That's where we need you--please consider us your FIRST stop for surgical and medical subspecialty care.

Something else I'd like to share with you is an amazing opportunity for those over 65. If you are over 65 and have multiple or complex medical conditions, we'd like to extend a warm invitation for you to join us at Langley by enrolling in our TRICARE Plus program. TRICARE Plus allows beneficiaries who would normally be seen at a military treatment facility on a space-available basis the opportunity to enroll here, and receive primary care with the same access as those enrolled in TRICARE Prime. This would also allow you ready access to the specialty services above should the need ever arise. Right now we have space for 2,000 additional TRICARE PLUS enrollees! Come on home to get your care at the "base" hospital!

One last thing. Those who may be familiar with USAF Hospital Langley are acutely aware of our ongoing construction. No one knows better than me that sometimes it feels like this will never end. I wish I could tell you we are almost done, but reality is we have a long way to go. Renovation projects are scheduled through 2016. The good news is that we have recently opened our newly remodeled surgical services department which now offers expanded and consolidated surgical services to include: ENT, urology, orthopedics, podiatry, general surgery, gastroenterology and ophthalmology. This next year will bring a new, larger laboratory, x-ray department, pharmacy and emergency room. I can't wait! In the meantime, please excuse our mess.

As we start this New Year, let me say that it's our solemn charge to provide you the best care and service possible-just what you rightfully deserve. I offer my sincere best wishes, gratitude, and appreciation to all of those who serve and have served in our great Armed Forces, and the families that stand beside them!

For additional information on how to get subspecialty care at USAF Langley Hospital contact (757) 764-9999, or how to pursue a TRICARE PLUS enrollment, please call (757) 225-5111.