17th Medical Group prioritizes active duty care

  • Published
  • By 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Col. Lauren Byrd, 17th Medical Group commander, has made the decision to reprioritize medical resources to ensure the greatest access for the active duty population on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, March 24, 2020.

“Beginning Monday, 30 March 2020, in-house care at the 17th MDG will be restricted to active duty and active duty family members only,” explained Byrd. “In-house care is defined as a face-to-face visit with a medical provider and access to our ancillary services to include the pharmacy.”

Beneficiaries that are not Active Duty or Active Duty family members, to include our retiree and TRICARE Plus beneficiaries who need acute care during this time, can contact their primary care manager through the medical group appointment line. 17th MDG provider teams will maximize the use of virtual appointments and telehealth to assess the need of patients and, when a face-to-face visit is needed, will direct the beneficiary to a TRICARE-approved urgent care center in the community.

Retirees, their family members and TRICARE Plus beneficiaries will not be able to access the 17th MDG pharmacy beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, until further notice. Requests for refills through the automated refill line or through TRICARE Online will be transferred to a local TRICARE-approved pharmacy of the beneficiaries’ choosing. The 17th MDG pharmacy will remain open until 8 pm on Thursday, March 26th and again on Friday, March 27th to allow extra pick-up time for patients.

“As the medical group commander,” said Byrd, “there is nothing more important than to provide for the health and safety of our beneficiary population as our nation responds to the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Additionally, Monday, 30 March 2020, will transition to an acute care clinic only.  All routine care will be suspended. Provider teams will maximize the use of virtual appointments and telehealth to assess the need of patients and when a face-to-face visit is needed, will book an appointment for the patient at the 17th MDG.

“All of these changes are being made in response to the current outbreak of COVID-19,” explained Byrd. “We look forward to resuming normal operations as soon as possible and will keep our beneficiaries informed as we make additional changes in the future. Please continue to check for updates on the Goodfellow AFB webpage. Thank you.”