Science and Technology News

Monday, January 25, 2016

Air Force recognizes Biomedical Sciences Corps

by Airman Valerie Monroy
JBER Public Affairs

1/25/2016 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The Air Force recognizes the achievements of the men and women who comprise the Biomedical Sciences Corps by designating Jan. 25 to 29 as BSC Appreciation Week. This year is the 51st Anniversary of the Biomedical Sciences Corps.

To date, the BSC's mission is to enhance Air Force combat capability and effectiveness by providing world-class customer service and scientific expertise, resulting in peak force performance, productivity, and quality healthcare to their beneficiary population.

With 2,400 officers supported by 5,800 enlisted members in parallel career fields, BSC members can be found at 81 locations around the world and in multiple settings.

"In my mind, the purpose of the BSC week is to take all 18 specialties that the corps has and give them the  opportunity to pause and reflect on the different missions that each of us have," said Air Force Lt. Col. Chad Johnson, 673d Medical Group clinical social worker and Biomedical Sciences Corps executive.

"It's a chance for people to get together to see what the different specialties actually do and to provide education to the community and the medical group about what kind of capabilities we offer."

The BSC is the most diverse corps in the Air Force Medical Service, comprised of 15 primary specialty codes and 18 career fields, which include physical therapy, optometry, podiatry, physician assistants, audiology, speech pathology, clinical psychology, clinical social work, occupational therapy, aerospace and operational physiology, dietetics, bioenvironmental engineers, public health, medical entomology, pharmacy, biomedical laboratory, healthcare facilities architects and engineers and health and medical physics.

"We've got this really unique corps that is represented by people with varied levels of education that all work together to get the mission done," Johnson said.

JBER is unique because it is one of the few locations where the majority of BSC career fields are represented, explained Johnson.

"For us locally that's a great opportunity," Johnson said.

Air Force-wide, bases are encouraged to plan activities like community service or a mentoring activity, said Air Force Maj. Jennifer Laack, 673d Aerospace Medicine Squadron audiologist.

"I think what's most beneficial is the time to interact with each other to get to know the other folks," Laack said.

Laack explained that going to gatherings for the BSC helps her meet people with different capabilities.

"Making those connections can help you later on down the road and the relationships you build can foster over the years," Laack said. "Networking is very critical in all of our career fields."

Johnson said that many BSC personnel have jobs that require them to see patient after patient every day and to be able to stop that day-to-day mission to reflect on what other people are doing offers great opportunities.

"To be able to interface with people that may work down the hall but you never see because of different schedules or disciplines, I think that's the value for me," Johnson said.

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