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.

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

(KIRO7.com)
(KIRO7.com)

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

>> Related: Argument over dog’s weight turns deadly at Missouri sports bar

With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

>> Related: Shepherd, lab mix found tied to tree with note attached to collar gets adopted

He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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Huber Heights gas leak causes business evacuations

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:11 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:32 AM

Repairs continue after Huber Heights gas leak causes business evacuations

Executive Boulevard lanes in Huber Heights reopened after being closed for several hours following a gas leak Thursday morning.

‘SHS’ school threat believed to have originated in Springfield, police chief says

Crews continued to make repairs to the leaking gas line that evacuated fifteen business along the road around 11 a.m., according to Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth.

Ashworth said a construction crew working in the area struck a 6-inch gas main directly under Executive, which  caused the gas to leak from underground.

Huber Heights gas leak


Executive is one of the city’s most commercial areas and Ashworth said the leak would impact the businesses in the area.

Utility companies, including DP&L and Vectren, worked on scene to isolate their utilities as well.

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Student arrest for making threats at Springfield H.S. charged with a felony

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 8:12 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 9:20 AM

Extra police presence at Springfield High School this morning

UPDATE @ 10:30 p.m: After a Springfield High School student was arrested on Thursday due to viral threats posted on Facebook about a school shooting, Superintendent Dr. Robert Hill released a statement about student safety.

“As I have stated many times and as I will continue to reiterate, student and staff safety is of the utmost importance in our district. Threats, whether written, posted on-line, or verbalized to others, will be thoroughly and immediately investigated. Anyone involved in making threats will face serious disciplinary action and additional consequences to the maximum extent of the law”, said Hill.

Hill also said school will remain in session, but urges students to be diligent in reporting anything that “feels out of place”.

UPDATE @ 3:55 p.m. (Feb. 22):

A Springfield High School student was arrested Thursday after police said she posted a Facebook threat about a school shooting that went viral, causing districts across Clark County and the country to take precautions. 

Authorities declined to name the 16-year-old, a junior, but Clark County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Travis Russell said she was charged with felony inducing panic in juvenile court. 

Police Chief Lee Graf both declined to comment on the motives behind the post. The Facebook post was taken down soon after it was posted, Graf said, but it had already gone viral.

Teachers with guns? Some Ohio districts arm staff, but don’t tell parents or kid

This news outlet was sent the post many times by concerned parents and community members. 

The student was arrested at 10 a.m. Thursday at Springfield High School, Russell said. 

Local authorities taking school threats seriously

The sheriff’s office and Springfield Police Division executed a search warrant at a home on Tibbetts Avenue around the same time, he said, and seized electronics that the student might have used to make the post. 

Anyone who threatens the safety of children in Springfield will face consequences, Graf said.

UPDATE@ 2:05 p.m. (Feb. 22)

The girl arrested for allegedly making threats at Springfield High School is 16 years old, Clark County Sheriff Chief Deputy Travis Russell said during a press conference Thursday afternoon. She is being charged with inducing panic, a  second degree felony, and could face several years in prison if convicted. 

When police got word of the threat they executed a search warrant and searched the school before classes started, officials said. 

“You can’t be dismissive when you get these types of threats,” Russel said.

UPDATE @ 11:45 a.m. (Feb 22) 

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest Thursday in correlation to the ‘S.H.S.’ school threat circulating on social media. 

The FBI and Clark County Deputies were able to obtain information on the location of where the social media post was made. The Springfield Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office then executed a search warrant, seizing a number of electronic devices. Subsequently, the both divisions were able to obtain further information, which resulted in a juvenile being taken into custody. The juvenile in custody is a 17-year-old female student at Springfield High School, according to police.

The teen is facing felony inducing panic charges, authorities.

Authorities report the threat is now considered neutralized, but this case will continue to be investigated by multiple agencies.  

MORE: Teachers with guns? Some Ohio districts arm staff, but don’t tell parents or kids

EARLIER REPORT 

Local law enforcement and school officials are aware and investigating reports on social media of possible threats against a school.

The vague social media post referenced a “SHS” school, which could include any one of many schools in the area that start with the letter “S.”

  • Springfield, Stebbins, Springboro, and others have investigated “SHS” threat
  • Threat deemed not credible by police
  • Police believe post originated in Springfield
  • Extra patrols reported at many schools

MORE: Hundreds of local students walk out, more walkouts planned

RELATED: Vague threats prompt lockdown of Fairborn High School

WALKOUTS: Can students get in trouble for #NeverAgain walkouts?

UPDATE @ 10:14 a.m.:

Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said it appears the “SHS” school threat that spread through social media Wednesday originated in the city of Springfield.

“Through the night we have been following up on leads,” Graf said.  “"We have some suspects that we are looking at...We may be very close to origin of the original post."

Graf said the threat went viral, leading to calls coming in to the department from Mississippi and California regarding the post.

The chief said multiple jurisdictions, including the FBI, have been involved in the investigation.

UPDATE @ 9:20 a.m. 

Bob Hill, Superintendent of Springfield City Schools said class attendance is “light” at Springfield High School, following a generic threat to a “SHS” school. 

RELATED: Extra police at multiple local schools after threats

The threat to the school was determined to be not credible Wednesday night, Hill said. 

RELATED: Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center investigates threat 

“We take threats very seriously,” Hill said Thursday morning. “This affects many schools in Clark County, Springfield, Shawnee High School, Southeastern High School; this has some pretty serious and far-reaching ramifications.” 

“I do know the FBI was involved last night; the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Springfield Police Division also.” 

An FBI spokesman confirmed the agency is investigating the threat, but is working with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Springfield police, who are leading the investigation. 

Hill said another rumor surfaced at the district that a gun was found at the high school Wednesday, but Hill said this report turned out to be false after it was investigated by the school. 

Southeastern Local Schools Superintendent David Shea said leaders in the district are also taking precautions in light of the threats. 

“We have three South Charleston Police officers at our high school and two at Miami View Elementary School today,” Shea said. 

A number of police officers will remain at the school all day, Shea said. 

A number of students stayed home, likely out of fear of the threat, Shea said, and he understood the concerns of parents due to recent school shootings nationwide. 

FIRST REPORT

Lt. Jeff Williams of Springfield police said since Tuesday evening when reports surfaced of an 8-year-old male arrested for an unloaded gun at Simon Kenton Elementary, that many social media posts have surfaced and been shared. 

RELATED: Superintendent: Springfield schools safe, even after gun in backpack

Williams said many “rumors” are being investigated by Springfield police. He said police believe it is “misinformation” circulating around and they do not believe any credible threat exists.

However, Springfield police will have extra patrols at the high school Thursday.

Parents in the Mad River Local Schools — as well as Springboro — were issued one-calls Wednesday evening.

The Mad River call from the superintendent said they are aware of a social media threat against “SHS” and are investigating whether it was directed to Stebbins High School or another school.

“Every school that starts with an “S” has done that,” Williams said of being on alert.

In an email sent to Springboro parents Wednesday night, the district said the school resource officer and administrative team has been in constant contact with the Springboro Police Department. 

Williams said officers spent most of Wednesday tracking down social media posts and speaking with witnesses in Springfield.

Williams said they don’t know who exactly made the post yet but they are in the process of tracking the source of the post.

“We are investigating every possible lead,” Williams said.

He added even the FBI called Springfield to offer assistance — if they need it, but the FBI is not involved at the moment. 

Williams said Springfield police are fielding calls from police agencies in other states with “S” schools. He declined to share which states have made inquiries.

Springfield High School’s website now includes a message on the homepage about this social media threat. School will be in session Thursday.

Springfield City Schools posted this message on its high school website, Feb. 21, 2018.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday evening said they are also investigating these threats.

In Shelby County, the Sidney school district posted to its website that it is aware of the threat. In their post it says law enforcement determined the post was made from outside of Ohio. That district will have increased patrols Thursday.

Toledo police sent a tweet about the threat, saying it’s likely a hoax, but is being taken seriously.

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