DOD: Periodic health assessment to include mental health portion

Published: Saturday, August 12, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

Angela Coleman, 88th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Public Health Flight nurse manager, in her office with the Wright-Patterson Medical Center Aug. 8. Coleman is one of the people contacting members to schedule their mental health assessment. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)
Angela Coleman, 88th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Public Health Flight nurse manager, in her office with the Wright-Patterson Medical Center Aug. 8. Coleman is one of the people contacting members to schedule their mental health assessment. (U.S. Air Force photo/R.J. Oriez)

The periodic health assessment, required for all active-duty members, now includes a mental health assessment, aimed to better ensure members are deployable and to promote individual medical readiness.

Based on the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress made the mental health portion of the assessment a Department of Defense requirement that went into effect July 31, after determining a better view of suicide awareness and mental health conditions was needed. The National Guard and Reserve members will begin this portion in late August.

“Everyone across the DoD, active-duty wise, is accomplishing the mental health assessment for any of their PHAs that started on that date and after,” said Maj. Gretchen Haywood, Aerospace and Operational Medicine Flight commander.

The requirement for the periodic health assessment has not changed, but now members will experience the mental health portion, too. Members will continue to fill out the periodic health assessment questionnaire online. After the evaluation of the questionnaire, public health will contact members to schedule their mental health assessment.

“Only active-duty members who are on flying status, have a face-to-face appointment with the flight surgeon and are the only ones who require a physical,” Haywood said.

Most Airmen will complete their scheduled MHAs via telephone with a medical provider. It’s important that members keep their scheduled appointment as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has more than 4,000 mental health assessments to complete annually. Since most mental health assessments will be conducted by telephone, members should call in from a location where they can have a private conversation about their current mental health status.

Haywood added, the same questionnaire will be used when members deploy or when they returned from deployment. Following both the record review and the MHA completion, that information is then sent to the primary care manager, who then reviews everything and finishes out the PHA.

“All active-duty members should have received a message through MyPers outlining the process,” said Haywood.

As with the periodic health assessment, the mental health assessment is also required to be completed annually and is the responsibility of anyone on active-duty status.

“We are looking to identify any sort of medical concerns that people have that would make them not deployable, so if something is identified that is a non-deployable issue, then we need to resolve that and go from there,” said Haywood.

Depending on the medical need identified or requested by the patient during their PHAQ, Aerospace and Operational Medicine may make a referral to public health or primary care. This proper medical review helps make sure everybody maintains their medical readiness.

“Ultimately we just want to make sure that people are medically ready to deploy,” said Haywood.

Ohio thief caught after leaving wallet at scene of crime

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 3:53 AM

Wallet.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Wallet.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


A thief in Ohio unwittingly turned himself in after leaving his wallet behind after leaving a Dayton store.

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Police said they were dispatched to Dollar General in Dayton around 8 a.m. Saturday, and found a wallet left behind by one of the suspects. Police found several items with the suspect’s name on them, including a photo ID. 

The second suspect was identified as a heavyset man between 30 and 40, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt. The suspect ran away on foot south through the nearby alley, appearing to have several items hidden under his sweatshirt. 

According to reports, police found hangers with five children’s outfits near the wallet, as well as three packs of Ivory soap and a Halloween mask.

5 former presidents appear at hurricane relief concert

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 2:05 AM

From left, former Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama address the audience during the
From left, former Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama address the audience during the "Deep From The Heart: One America Appeal Concert" at Texas A&M University on Saturday.(Gary Miller/Getty Images)

All five living former Presidents appeared together for the first time since 2013 on Saturday, as they appeared at a benefit concert in Texas to raise money for hurricane relief efforts, CNN reported.

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Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama attended “Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal” on the campus of Texas A&M University. President Donald Trump appeared in a taped video message to the concertgoers, CNN reported.

The concert featured rock and country musicians such as Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Sam Moore and Yolanda Adams. Country music singer Lee Greenwood was emcee for the event.

Lady Gaga made an unbilled appearance and tweeted, "Nothing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe. #OneAmericaAppeal"

As of Saturday night, the "One Heart" effort had raised $31 million in tax-deductible, private funds from more than 80,000 donors since Sept. 7, said Jim McGrath, spokesman for George H.W. Bush. Funds collected through concert ticket sales will be distributed through various organizations in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Four of the five former presidents spoke at the concert, appealing for national unity to help those affected by the hurricanes. The elder Bush, sitting in his wheelchair, did not speak but smiled and waved to the crowd.

Carter told the crowd that Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization he has worked with for 36 years, has agreed to build 6,000 homes in devastated areas. The group has raised $20 million of a needed $100 million, he said.

Clinton said that the country “has been volunteering since before the Constitution, when Benjamin Franklin organized the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia.”

“The heart of America, without regard to race or religion or political party, is greater than our problems,” Clinton said.

“What we’ve also seen was the spirit of America at its best,” Obama said. “When ordinary people step up and do extraordinary things.”

“I want to thank all the volunteers, but I am here for another reason. I speak for the folks right here when I say we really admire and love George H.W. Bush,” the younger Bush said.

The last time the five men appeared together was in 2013, when Obama was still in office, at the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas.

Trump thanked the former presidents in his taped message.

“To Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Melania and I want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance," Trump said. "This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another.”

Air Force may recall up to 1,000 retired pilots

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 12:24 AM

The U.S. Air Force may call up to 1,000 retired pilots back to active duty.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
The U.S. Air Force may call up to 1,000 retired pilots back to active duty.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The U.S. Air Force may recall as many as 1,000 retired military pilots to active duty because of an executive order signed Friday by President Donald Trump,  ABC News reported.

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By law, only 25 retired pilots can be recalled through voluntary programs to serve in any one branch of military service, but Trump’s executive order removes that limit, ABC News reported. The order expands the national state of emergency declared in 2001 by President George W. Bush in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as part of an effort “to mitigate the Air Force’s acute shortage of pilots,” said Navy Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman.

Secretary of Air Force Heather Wilson said the service was short by 1,555 pilots -- including 1,211 fighter pilots -- at the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

"We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years," Ross said in a statement Friday. "The pilot supply shortage is a national level challenge that could have adverse effects on all aspects of both the government and commercial aviation sectors for years to come."

Father’s dying wish fulfilled as his 7 daughters stage wedding ceremony

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:09 AM

Wedding dresses.
Miquel Benitez/WireImage
Wedding dresses.(Miquel Benitez/WireImage)

Seven brides for one dying father.

An Ohio man was granted his final wish shortly before he died from brain cancer, as he got to give away his seven daughters in a bridal ceremony.

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William L. “Willie” Shelton died on Oct. 16 at the age of 44. Only one of his daughters is married, but all seven of them decided to create a ceremony so the former U.S. Army sergeant could experience the thrill of seeing all of them in wedding dresses, WJW reported.

“The one constant was always, ‘I want to see my girls grow up, and I want to walk them down the aisle,’” Shelton’s wife, Cheryl Shelton, told WJW.

Willie Shelton’s hospice center, along with a photographer and hair stylist, helped put the daughters’ plan into action within a few days.

"We had this idea we put together in three days,” Cheryl Shelton told WJW. “We got all the wedding gowns for the girls and hospice helped us out a great deal with some of the planning.”


The father was told that he would be giving away his daughter, Emily Flinn, who was renewing her vows with her husband, Tyler Flinn.

“We got married at a courthouse, so there wasn't the formality to it where he could actually give me away,” Emily Flinn said.

“He had no clue that this was going on and everybody got dressed, so I said, ‘She is going to have all the girls be the bridesmaids and everything for her.’ Little did he know that they were all going to be brides,” Cheryl Shelton told WJW.

Three days later, with Willie Shelton wearing his dress uniform in a backyard ceremony, each of his daughters came out of the house, one at a time, all in wedding gowns.

“He looked a little confused, and then it was just great to see everybody,” Flinn told WJW.

“This was very touching for him, and it was a dream that we could fulfill to the best or the closest we could possibly do,” Cheryl Shelton said.

Willie Shelton was helped out of his wheelchair and stood with his daughters during the ceremony, WJW reported.

“I always assumed that my dad would be there to walk me down the aisle, and when the possibility was there that he wasn't going to be able to -- this was everything,” Lindsey Shelton told WJW

Less than two weeks after the ceremony, Willie Shelton passed away -- but his daughters will carry his memory with them.

All seven daughters will receive a locket in which they will have a photo of their father with them in a wedding dress.

The words, "A father's love never ends," will be engraved on the back.