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Wilford Hall team heads to Haiti

by Sue Campbell
59th Medical Wing Public Affairs

1/26/2010 - LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- A team of more than 30 Air Force medics including 13 from the 59th Medical Wing here travelled to Haiti early Jan. 24 to provide medical support to earthquake victims.

The 59th MDW team from Lackland Air Force Base was composed of doctors, nurses and medical technicians specializing in pediatric and gynecological care.

At the time of their departure, they were unsure of where they would be billeted, where they would set up medical care or what to expect upon their arrival.

"I feel very honored that we can take the military medical training that we have received and apply it to the needs of the injured citizens of Haiti," said Col. (Dr.) Mary Pelszynski, the 59th Maternal/Child Care Squadron commander. "We are all very excited to help in any way we can."

"We anticipate seeing a significant amount of orthopedic trauma, skin and wound infections, and illness due to poor public health conditions and dehydration," Doctor Pelszynski said. "We originally thought we would be attached to an expeditionary medical squadron, but then we were issued tents and sleeping bags and advised we might be roughing it."

The medics could be deployed as long as six months.

"One of the reasons that I joined the Air Force was to participate in things like this," said 2nd Lt. Laura Nowlin, a 59th Medical Inpatient Squadron birthing center nurse. "I volunteered for this mission. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am very excited to be part of it."

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