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Medical technician leads the wave of the future, simplifies healthcare communications

  • Published
  • By Michelle Gigante
  • 919th Special Operations Wing

The 919th Special Operations Medical Squadron recently converted to a new electronic health records system and thanks largely to one noncommissioned officer’s efforts, the plan rolled out seamlessly. 

Tech. Sgt. Jill Dowd, 919th SOMDS lead aerospace medical technician, makes sure all Reserve members are medically cleared to deploy among other duties. She also has a proven track record for finding ways within the medical community to help make life easier for Reservists, the latest example being steps she took to implement the Department of Defense Military Health System GENESIS locally.

“Sergeant Dowd did an outstanding job prepping and training the 919th SOMDS team to be ready for the electronic health record system to go live,” said Lt. Col. Jen Wylie, 919th SOMDS commander. “Jill and her team’s efforts were lauded [by Air Force Reserve Command’s pay-it-forward program member, Master Sgt. Paul Koepp, 477th Fighter Group Force Health manager] as one of the most well-prepared Reserve medical units in the Air Force Reserve Command.”

The pay-it-forward program is an AFRC initiative, where members from units who have already gone live with their local MHS GENESIS assist with the set-up process. The new electronic health record system communicates with both civilian providers and with the Veteran Affairs. It is also the main platform used in the civilian sector called Cerner. 

“This makes it easier for our patients to get the health care they need [from the military] since Reservists see both civilian and military healthcare providers,” said Dowd. “The result is that both the member and the provider get information that’s mutually beneficial, Our providers are pretty familiar with it, so it just puts us that much closer to being like civilian healthcare.”

The MHS GENESIS patient portal replaces the TRICARE online patient portal. It is a secure website for 24/7 access and stores Reserve members health information, including managing appointments and exchanging messages with their care team.

“This new system will help tremendously with employment readiness, getting our members deployed ready,” said Maj. Trinh Ramirez, AFRC Health Services Management Division project coordinator. “Sergeant Dowd did an excellent job in preparing for the implementation of MHS GENESIS. Long gone are the days of paper, looking for paper copies of things, these things are now electronically accessible.”

The new health records system is accessible at