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
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
"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.