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    Joint service team applies focus during Tropic Care 2014

    Service members provide optometry support during Tropic Care 2014 joint training

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal | U.S. Navy Seaman Kurtis Reid, Naval Opthalmic Support Training Activity hospitalman,...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal 

    DMA Pacific - Hawaii Media Bureau   

    KAUA'I, Hawaii -- U.S. service members participate in real-world training during Tropic Care 2014, an Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) exercise, while delivering world class medical care to the local community from June 16 to June 26.

    Active duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines are able to perform from three static clinics and one mobile clinic, providing services ranging from physical and dental exams to vision checks.

    U.S. Air Force Reserves Maj. (Dr.) Tina Burr, 911th Airlift Wing optometrist, says that performing in a joint training exercise has provided a great learning environment for participants.

    "One of the most beneficial things that i've experienced so far is that we're working with other branches of the military," Burr said. "It's really been an eye opening experience. I've learned a lot about the other services and how well we can work together to get a mission accomplished and how we may approach a mission differently."

    Despite having different backgrounds, Tropic Care's joint service optometry team works together to determine patient subscriptions and if able, issue glasses to civilians who reside on the island.

    "It's great when you have a child that has not been able to see the board be able to get a pair of glasses and say 'the world's been turned on, the lights have been turned on,'" Burr said. "That's been very rewarding and a great experience for me."

    If an optometrist deems it necessary for a patient to receive glasses they will send the request to a team working from the Kaua'i Community College . The Naval Opthalmic Support Training Activity (NOSTRA) team consisting of Army and Navy service members recieve the order and work together to construct corrective lenses.

    "They've been amazing," Burr said. "The turnaround time on this trip has been really amazing. They have been able to do some amazing things with what supplies they have. I know their working just as hard or harder then the people working in the clinics."

    U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gus Singleton, NOSTRA optical laboratory specialist, helps oversee the fabrication of all requested lenses during the exercise from cutting the lenses to placing them in frames.

    "Even though we don't deal with the patients directly we still can see the affects of [patients] getting their prescriptions," Singleton said. "You never know what life is like until you get those glasses on and see what you've actually been missing. It's always great to help out the population and community."

    Two hundred and fifty to 300 lenses are manufactured on average each day during tropic care and on June 20, 355 lenses were built to fulfill the needs of the patients served during Tropic Care.

    "It's been a very rewarding experience for all of us," Burr said. "At the end of the day we feel that we have really made an impact."



    Date Taken: 06.21.2014
    Date Posted: 06.22.2014 00:13
    Story ID: 133938
    Location: KAUA'I, HI, US

    Web Views: 320
    Downloads: 2