Yokota’s pediatric clinic keeps kids healthy
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Many parents do everything in their power to ensure that their children grow as healthy and as happy as possible. Fortunately for parents on Yokota, the 374th Medical Group pediatric clinic works to facilitate that goal. Providing a full range of children's healthcare services to keep kids healthy, the clinic works around the clock to give parents that peace of mind.
Yokota’s pediatrics clinic specializes in keeping the base’s children well, from birth to young adulthood. The clinic's physicians and nurse practitioners conduct regular checkups, school physicals and take appointments for seasonal illnesses like influenza and allergies. With thousands of children that call Yokota Air Base home, seeing and treating each patient throughout the year is no small tasking.
“Our clinic normally sees 50 to 60 patients each day,” said Maj. Matthew G. Kesler, 374th Medical Group pediatrician. “Although it makes for a busy day, we’ve got a great team that is able to take care of our patients’ needs and keeps parents happy.”
In addition to the sheer amount of patients the clinic sees each day, other challenges arise from circumstances including mission focus and being at an overseas location.
“We are uniquely challenged here at Yokota due to the mission of this wing in providing support for a variety of operations in the region, which increases the amount of readiness training that we need to maintain,” said Capt. Michael Guindon, 374th Medical Group pediatrician. “Couple that with the fact that we are the only providers for our patients - they can't simply go to another hospital or clinic, or an alternative emergency room or urgent care center when we are engaged in these operations - and it adds a lot of strain not only for our families, but also our UCC doctors, nurses and staff who fill in the gaps when this happens.”
According to Guindon, although they are presented with challenges each and every day, the pediatric clinic remains triumphant by utilizing their teamwork and collaboration with other Air Force bases as well as local hospitals here in Japan.
“By consulting with U.S. doctors in Hawaii and Okinawa if we have any questions that need to be answered and having great case managers and translators who can help facilitate if any of our patients need to be seen by doctors off base, we ensure that we’re doing the best we can to take care of our patients” Guindon said.
The pediatric clinic made it clear that overcoming these challenges are worth the reward of getting to see their patients smile.
“I love helping to make children feel better,” said Senior Airman Edward Checkcinco, 374th Medical Group medical technician. “We’re a professional group. Parents know they can depend on us.”