FAIRFIELD, Calif. – The 49th Military Police Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the California National Guard conducted a periodic health assessment, July 13, during drill at their armory in Fairfield, Calif. The PHA was facilitated by the Northern California Medical Detachment and civilian dental professionals with Dentrust Optimized Care Solutions.
The PHA is an annual medical screening required for all officers and enlisted personnel regardless of military component. It is designed to improve the reporting and visibility of individual medical readiness and keeps troops ready for the fight.
“The importance of medical readiness is to make sure that we are mission ready,” said Spc. Melanie Kunz, a Tracy, Calif., resident and a combat medic with the Medical Detachment “Every unit and soldier, regardless of their job, has a responsibility to our country to be ready for whatever we are called up to do, be it a deployment or stateside mission.”
The PHA includes a general physical examination, blood tests, a vision test and a dental examination. Soldiers also speak with medical and mental health care providers to address issues that have come up over the past year and, if needed, get a referral for continued care with outside physicians.
The Medical Detachment, along with their sister unit in Southern California handle the bulk of the PHA’s for the California National Guard. The 140-plus soldiers of the Med. Det. administer events all year, along with taking care of many of the other medical requirements of its fellow soldiers including, but not limited to, pre-flight school physicals and deployment medical readiness screenings. The Medical Detachment is also in the process of building a dental section which would allow them to cover all aspects of medical readiness in house.
The work these soldiers are doing is imperative to the National Guard’s mission and without it many medical issues would go over looked affecting their unit’s mission readiness and the soldier’s general physical capability. This is not lost on the soldiers that are attending the PHA.
“The [PHA] fulfills the critical role of ensuring our soldiers are fit, both mentally and physically, for missions in the local community and overseas,” said Chief Warrant Officer John Ferrara, a Santa Cruz, Calif., resident and maintenance officer with the 49th MP BDE, HHC.