Military Exercise Provides Medical Care for Kodiak Island Residents
KODIAK ISLAND, Alaska, March 31, 2017 — The Arctic Care 2017 exercise kicked off on March 28 with the opening of clinics and other villages throughout the island started receiving services on March 29, as service members work to provide all citizens on Kodiak Island various medical and veterinary services.  Kodiak Island lies off the coast of southern Alaska. Arctic Care 2017 is an Office of the Secretary of Defense-sponsored, Air Force Reserve Command-led training event coordinated with the Kodiak Area Native Association and civil authorities in Kodiak, Alaska.
The exercise provides training opportunities for active-duty, Guard and Reserve U.S. military members and Canadian Health service members to prepare for worldwide deployment while supporting the medical needs of all of communities on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Training “Training is a very important mission here,” said Navy Reserve Lt.
Cmdr. Donna Meador, officer in charge of the Kodiak clinic. “We are training with other service members to include Army, Air Force, and Navy.” Meador said teamwork is an important aspect of all military operations, and for all military members participating in Arctic Care 2017, this is no different as there was a very short turnaround time to set up all of the clinics for patient care.
“I’m really impressed with the teamwork. Everybody has come together, and it’s like we’ve been working together for years and years. Everybody jumped right in,” Meador said.
Gaining Experience Another important aspect of this exercise is setting up and using the medical equipment that all the services deploy with. “One of the biggest benefits is for our enlisted and officers to be able to put their hands on the equipment that we are going to use when we are deployed,” said Navy Reserve Cmdr.
Darryl Simms, subject matter expert for dental services at Arctic Care 2017. “They have to break it down and set it up. Also, they have to use equipment that they normally don’t use.” Not only are training and teamwork important to the military members participating in the exercise, but also the sense of pride knowing that valuable services are being provided to Kodiak Island’s citizens.
“Being able to work with the joint services and treat patients that are very appreciative is a really good benefit for me,” Simms said. Various medical and veterinary services are being provided at the following Kodiak Island locations: — Kodiak: March 28 throught April 5;
— Ouzinkie: March 28 through April 5, at the Ouzinkie Health Clinic; — Port Lions: — March 28 through April 5, at the Port Lions Health Clinic; — Old Harbor: March 28 through April 5, at the Old Harbor Health Clinic;
— Larsen Bay: April 3 through April 5, at the Larsen Bay Health Clinic; — Karluk: March 28 through March 30, at the Karluk Health Clinic; and — Akhiok: March 30 through April 2, at the Akhiok Health Clinic.
Medical services being offered as part of Arctic Care 2017 include: medical screenings, optometry, dentistry, endodontist, physical therapy, dietician, dental hygiene, pharmacy and veterinary services.