99th Medical Group Hospital Earns 2019 Hospital of the Year Award and Other Accolades Including Four Individual Awards

The phrase what happens at Nellis AFB, only can happen at Nellis AFB certainly holds true for the 99th Medical Group. From treating major mishaps to delivering babies, these medics have proven they are without a doubt the best in the business. The Air Force Surgeon General recently announced the 99 MDG won the 2019 Air Force Hospital of the Year Award.

“Every product line you would find in a civilian hospital, we have it here, and our Airmen just do an incredibly awesome job,” said Col Alfred K. Flowers Jr., 99 MDG Commander. “I could not be prouder of them and I’m just elated for the whole team.”

“Our partnerships and collaborations in Southern Nevada have allowed us to do more than most other medical treatment facilities,” said Flowers. “Our collaborative efforts have been with federal and community partners as well as elected officials and that makes winning this award even more special and our future brighter.”

As the Air Force’s 3rd largest hospital, the 99 MDG is comprised of more than 1,900 military members, civilians and volunteers who work together to provide the best care possible to its 49,000 beneficiaries.

“We support two different bases from 6 different operating locations,” said Chief Master Sgt. Nicole Owens, 99 MDG superintendent. “Although we have such a big team, it’s really awesome to see them pull together and get our patients through the system because nothing here is stove-piped.”

Flowers stated the MDG’s culture has encouraged his widely team of Airmen to bring their ‘A-game’ every day. The culture is embedded in the unit’s motto “Be BRAVE.” The acronym symbolizes be ready, respect, attitude, value and enthusiasm.

“A big thing for me was to galvanize our team with a common purpose,” said Flowers. “Our mantra of being B.R.A.V.E. really impacted the culture and permeated to the level of mission excellence that we achieved. Our team feels like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.”

Over the past year, the 99 MDG leadership inspired their team to constantly find ways to innovate and improve processes. This empowerment birthed several new initiatives such as establishing more efficient continuity of care by aligning squadrons under a single primary care manager and satellite clinics to improve the readiness of Nellis AFB Airmen and communication with their squadron leadership.

“Our Airmen knew they were empowered to make the improvements necessary for them to do their jobs the best they can do it,” said Owens. “We do it Nellis-style. For us, that means if there’s a policy that we have to follow, we’re going to follow it but we’re going to do it the way that works best for our Airmen and our patients.”

Owens proclaims the 99 MDG has a certain ‘swag’ and it’s paid dividends for this unit. They boast the DoD’s first telehealth intensive care unit, the Air Force’s No. 1 Occupational Health Clinic and the highest return to duty rates for maintenance Airmen, all while leading Air Combat Command in individual medical readiness rates.

Of these successes, the one Flowers truly believes gave his team an edge was the journey to establish the hospital as a level-3 trauma center. The trauma center capability enables the hospital to treat its beneficiaries and civilians from the local community, who are in need of immediate lifesaving care.

“When we bring in those civilian cases, that keeps our Airmen proficient so that when they are called to deploy they can take care of America’s sons and daughters, who are in harm’s way,” said Flowers.

Despite the win under their belt, the 99 MDG has zero plans of resting on their laurels. They will continue to grow as the Air Force’s pace-setting hospital and hope to one day become the future for Air Force and DoD medicine.

“We’re going to make it ‘bigger and better than we found it’ by expanding inpatient capability and modernizing the emergency room here. We recently opened our ER to receiving Veterans from local Emergency Medical Service companies,” said Flowers. “These are good components for enhanced capabilities and mission in the future.” As the 99 MDG looks to the future, they will continue improving readiness of Nellis AFB Airmen and providing patient centered care to Airmen, their families, retirees, and Veterans in Southern Nevada.

Additionally, the 99 MDG garnered several individual awards include:

“USAF Biomedical Clinician of the Year – Company Grade Category”
Capt Cristina D. Benitez
18 MDOS/SGOW, Kadena AB, Japan, PACAF

“USAF Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Airman of the Year”
SrA Issac A. Roseborough, Jr
99 SGCS/SGOMC, Nellis AFB, NV, ACC

“USAF Physician of the Year – Field Grade Category”
Maj Stephanie M. Streit
99 MDG/SGCQ, Nellis AFB, NV, ACC

“USAF Achievement in Nursing Force Development Award”
Maj Jeanette K. Sanders
99 MDG/SGNE, Nellis AFB, NV, ACC