[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                          May 9, 2008
Mobilization

Fort McCoy medical lab personnel 
support Soldiers medical needs, care

By Tom Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor

      "Making sure Soldiers are physically healthy and ready to perform their missions," is the way Staff Sgt. Jennifer Baker explained the importance of the medical laboratory at the Troop Medical Clinic at Fort McCoy.

Photo: Staff Sgt. Jennifer Baker (left), places a patient's blood sample into a testing machine. Medical Technician Wendy Schultz and Medical Lab NCO Staff Sgt. Antoine Ferrus, also are pictured. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Staff Sgt. Jennifer Baker (left), places a patient's blood sample into a testing machine. Medical Technician Wendy Schultz and Medical Lab NCO Staff Sgt. Antoine Ferrus, also are pictured. (Photo by Tom Michele)

      Baker is the NCOIC at the lab on the west side of the McCoy cantonment area. Much of the medical lab's mission at McCoy includes checking Soldiers going through mobilization and demobilization.

      Medical Technologist Karen Munson said, "We perform many different functions to check the health of a Soldier. We do chemical tests that include drawing (taking) a vial of blood that shows many of the different levels of a person's physical condition."

      "Some of those areas include how well the kidney and liver are functioning, glucose and electrolyte levels, if the blood is in an anemic condition, and if there are any infections in the blood," she said.

      Munson said lab technicians also do pregnancy tests, urinalysis, cardiac risk test, and a test for strep throat.

      "The lab assists the MOB screening by processing specimens from the Soldier Readiness Center not far up the street and where every MOB-DEMOB Soldier goes through," she said.

      "We are forecasting as many Soldiers will go through our process this year as went through last year," Munson said. "This is all important because we are part of the primary medical facility to make sure Soldiers are healthy before they deploy overseas and also when they demobilize from their tour."

      Baker said healthy Soldiers "conserve the fighting strength of the force, and that is our primary focus. That is for the medical health and welfare of the force."

      Along with Baker and Munson at the lab are Staff Sgt. Antoine Ferrus, a medical lab NCO; Wendy Schultz, a medical technologist; and Spc. Hayley Hilderbrand, a medical lab specialist. Medical lab professionals assist physicians and nurses in the diagnosis, treatment and disease monitoring process. Lab techs provide vital information that saves lives, reduces morbidity and helps control the cost of health care.

(Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)

 

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