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4th Medical Group earns repeat AF-level win

Staff Sgt. Johnmarth Perez (left), 4th Medical Support Squadron laboratory service NCO in charge, and Staff Sgt. Erin Holmquist (middle), 4th MDSS medical laboratory floor supervisor, are presented the 2017 Air Force Medical Services Customer Service award by Col. Craig Keyes (right), 4th Medical Group commander, Oct. 4, 2017, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. This is the second year the staff sergeants have created videos that have won through this contest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Miranda A. Loera)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

Every year, the Air Force Medical Services hosts a video contest for Medical Groups throughout the Air Force.

The winning video is used for trainings Air Force wide.

“’Trust to care in a culture of safety’ was the theme that allowed the 4th Medical Group to take home the 2017 AFMS Customer Service Award, a back-to-back year win for the 4th MDG.

Staff Sgt. Erin Holmquist, 4th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory floor supervisor, and Staff Sgt. Johnmarth Perez, 4th MDSS laboratory service NCO in charge, teamed up to create the concept for the video that, in turn, would win them the award.

“This year, we wanted our video to be based on zero harm,” Holmquist said. “The video essentially tracked the different errors that could happen throughout the different sections of medical. If an error is made, we wanted to show it is alright to acknowledge it and allow yourself to learn and grow from it, so we can learn cause zero harm to our patients.”

The two staff sergeants created the script, directed, and filmed the video. They teamed up with the dental clinic to get some additional ideas of potential errors to address.

“There are some mistakes that can be made in a dental clinic that may seem small to us but could have big consequences like mixing up x-rays, bringing the wrong paperwork, and even take the wrong notes,” Holmquist said. “But, it’s what you do after the mistake that is important.”

The AFMS customer service award is used to identify areas where a medical group can improve customer service, not just internally but externally.

“Our ultimate goal was to portray it in a way that helps people get out of that fear of reporting, fear of reprisal and even the fear that they may get in trouble because they did something wrong or caught someone making a mistake,” Perez said.

This is the second year in a row the two have led the 4th MDSS team in winning the award. Both NCO’s expressed customer service is extremely important to them and their career field. Recognizing the mistakes can ultimately minimize harm to patients.

“It’s good to affect change in the culture,” Perez said. “Being in the military, you can make a change in the world, and we did it at this smaller level. To be able to create something that, in turn, can help others in the medical field [and even other fields] that it’s okay to make a mistake as long as you acknowledge it and do what you can to fix it, and that’s what our video is portraying.”