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Kentucky Guardsmen collaborate with health care providers at Djiboutian military hospital

Maj. Brandi Faudree (second from left), a physician assistant with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Medical Group in Louisville, Ky., reads electrocardiograms with cardiologists and emergency department physicians at Omar Hassan A. Al Bashir Hospital in Djibouti City, Djibouti, March 11, 2017. Faudree was one of three members of the Kentucky National Guard military medical engagement team that visited the hospital in support of the Kentucky State Partnership Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo provided by Maj. Brandi Faudree)

Story by Tech. Sgt. Vicky Spesard

123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Medical staff from the Kentucky National Guard travelled to Djibouti City, Djibouti, recently to meet with Djiboutian Armed Forces medical leaders, observe procedures at a local hospital and provide collaborative feedback on best practices.

Comprising the medical engagement team were Air Force Maj. Brandi Faudree and Air Force Maj. Tiffany Hubbard with the Kentucky Air National Guard in Louisville; and Army Cpt. Aaron Newton with the Kentucky Army National Guard Medical Detachment. The three Guardsmen embedded with Djiboutian medical staff at Omar Hassan A. Al Bashir Hospital for four days in early March.

The visit was a follow-up to a similar engagement conducted in late 2016, when two medical officers from the Kentucky Guard visited the then-new hospital, which is operated by the Djiboutian military to support its military members and their families, as well as veterans and other eligible patrons.

“It’s a very modern hospital that, every day, sees its patient volume increase,” Faudree said about the facility, which was built last year and offers an emergency department, primary care and specialty surgery, as well as a 24-hour Intensive Care Unit.

Faudree, who specializes in emergency medicine, worked with an emergency room staff that predominantly treats children with orthopedic injuries and cares for patients affected by diabetes. Diabetes is a growing health issue among the Djiboutian population, according to doctors at the hospital.

“Over the four days, we treated approximately 40 patients, which was really busy considering their resources,” Faudree said about the six-bed emergency department, which sees a host of different injuries and ailments. “I was immediately impressed with the level of care the doctors and nurses provided and their dedication and passion to help their patients.”

Hubbard’s efforts were concentrated in the surgical ward of the hospital, where her expertise as a nurse practitioner was put to use. While that clinical experience was rewarding, the mission provided many more intangible benefits, too.

“I had never worked directly with another military before,” explained Hubbard. “Their enthusiasm and drive taught me how to get back to the basics in health care. It was the best experience I have ever had.”

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