Wing spotlight for June

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Staff Sgt. Charles Herron, 17th Medical Support Squadron command support staff NCO in charge, and 2nd Lt. Mara Hood, 17th MDSS group practice manager, are the June 17th Training Wing spotlight, a series highlighting the accomplishments of wing personnel.

17th Training Wing Public Affairs: How does it feel to be nominated for the spotlight?

Hood: It was exciting. I think it’s great that the wing can nominate people who think outside of the box. To be recognized for that is very rewarding.

Herron: That is how I felt about it too. It’s a pretty cool thing when it gets to that level, especially when the wing gets so excited about something you took from a simple idea to now it’s going full steam and going to be a full product.

Why were you nominated for the spotlight?

Herron: I was nominated for the spotlight for starting a process where we developed a phone application for the medical group beneficiaries to use to help them navigate through all our different website services, which prior to this app was rather confusing to a lot of people.

Hood: I think we were highlighted because our duty stations recognized there was a gap, an issue, and then we did some brain storming as to how we could fix that gap, and we came up with a really cool product that we could use at the med group level, but the fact that the Defense Health Agency is looking at adopting it as well is really exciting.

Why would anyone want this app?

Herron: To make their life easier when it comes to navigating their medical care, because right now we have all these different things we throw out like TRICARE Online and MiCare, which can be an overload for someone who doesn’t have the in depth medical knowledge. What we are doing is taking sites that are every which way and we are consolidating them into one simple focal point that would be easy to use. It’s going to guide them to wherever they need to go.

What else do you want to accomplish during your time here at Goodfellow?

Hood: A lot of people come in, and they don’t really understand how the military health system works, so we want to make their life easier with a one stop shop with the app and educate them so they can take that to each new base they go to. That is what our goal is, to educate them. Making an appointment and TRICARE Online should be innate once they start using the app.

Is there any advice or anything extra you would like to share?

Hood: One thing I’d like to share is I appreciate how the military encourages its members, its Airmen to think outside the box. It’s encouraged and it’s rewarded. They follow up on what they encourage Airmen to do.

Herron: If you have an idea, even if you think it’s really small, it can get up the chain. A small, small idea can turn into something huge. It can really benefit the Air Force as a whole. If you have an idea, go with it, at least try.

The app that Hood and Herron are working on is currently in the testing phase and is scheduled for release in July. Once released, it will be available on a variety of handheld devices.