Vast health care system at fingertips for Vance Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Jeffery Jones
  • 71st Medical Support Squadron
I just returned from temporary duty where I spent 10 days with fellow healthcare executives discussing our flight plan for the future.
While surrounded by blue suit doctors, nurses, administrators, biomedical science officers and enlisted medical professionals, it became apparent to me just how vast our health care system is at Vance.
Yes, I said our health care system at little Vance Air Force Base is vast. Quite frankly, I'd go so far as to say it is second to none.
Let me explain. The medical services available to the members of Team Vance reach far beyond the walls of our small clinic at the end of Gott Road. At first glance many of our new members look at our clinic and feel a bit short changed. They've come from bigger bases with bigger military health care facilities and are a little taken back when they first walk into the entrance of the 71st Medical Group. But the simple fact is, the 71st MDG is more than a medical clinic at Vance AFB. The medical group is small, but the depth of experience and resources available to our health care delivery team and ultimately to Team Vance are nothing less than world class.
Our 54,000 square-foot facility is just the tip of the iceberg, a tiny visible part of a much larger underlying integrated health care system. The 71st MDG is your avenue to an Air Force health care system comprised of more than 40,000 medical professionals at 75 military treatment facilities, with an annual budget of $6.9 billion at their disposal to ensure you and your family's health care needs are met.
But it doesn't stop there. These numbers only represent Air Force resources. The military health system as a whole provides medical care for 9.1 million beneficiaries through a $33 billion health care system consisting of a worldwide network of 76 military hospitals, more than 500 military clinics and an extensive network of private sector health care partners.
Your worldwide health care program, called TRICARE, consists of TRICARE Prime, a managed care option; TRICARE Extra, a preferred provider option; TRICARE Standard, a fee-for-service option; and TRICARE For Life, available for Medicare-eligible beneficiaries age 65 and over.
Keep in mind your health care team at the 71st MDG isn't comprised of doctors alone. Although we may not be as robust as Wilford Hall Medical Center in Texas or Wright Patterson Medical Center in Ohio, we have a full complement of doctors, nurses, administrators, biomedical science officers, enlisted medical professionals, civilians and contract partners standing ready to assist you in accessing the program, and ultimately the right health care resources for you and your family.
The bottom line is, the 71st MDG is a proud part of Team Vance. We're just a local call away and we stand ready to serve you as your path to a world class health care system.