20th MDG physicians provide trusted care

U.S. Air Force physicians assigned to the 20th Medical Group stand together for a group photo at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., March 20, 2018.

U.S. Air Force physicians assigned to the 20th Medical Group stand together for a group photo at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., March 20, 2018. This year’s National Doctors’ Day is March 30 and recognizes the contributions physicians make in their community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- This year’s National Doctors’ Day, a day dedicated to recognizing the work of physicians, is March 30.

At Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, 20th Medical Group physicians work together to provide healthcare for approximately 31,000 eligible beneficiaries, 12,500 of which are currently enrolled at the base clinic.

The group houses multiple sections, each providing trusted care for Team Shaw members and tackling health concerns from infancy to old age. The sections include specialties such as pediatrics, family health, flight medicine and mental health.

For the youngest family members, pediatric physicians provide care tailored to the physical, mental and behavioral development of youth.

“Children just have age and developmentally specific problems not seen in the adult population,” said Capt. (Dr.) Adam Holtz, 20th Medical Operations Squadron pediatrics and immunizations medical director.

For adult beneficiaries including service members, retirees and spouses, the family health clinic steps in to provide continued care.

“Because we see adults in a wide range, we have the broadest spectrum of treatment out of any other doctor on base,” said Capt. (Dr.) Matthew Kolok, 20th MDOS family health physician.

The family health clinic assists Airmen, Soldiers, retirees and adult family members with concerns ranging from routine healthcare to chronic medical conditions.

By providing necessary care for the physical well-being of family members, physicians help Airmen and Soldiers focus on their missions. However, they would not be able to effectively accomplish their respective missions without access to care designed to address job-specific medical concerns.

The flight medicine and mental health sections provide specialized services tailored for service members.

As a 55th Fighter Squadron flight surgeon, Capt. (Dr.) Brian Wolf has a unique role of working with pilots to help them maintain their flying status.

“We have slightly more restrictions, but we work with the flyer to get them back to their job as quickly as we can,” said Wolf. “I am also there to help them with whatever medical issue they themselves or their families may have at any time of the day.”

Yet, overall health includes more than just physical wellness.

Maj. (Dr.) Steven Koehl, 20th MDOS psychiatrist, is one physician that assists military members with mental health concerns.

Koehl said he uses his experience in managing mental health conditions and psychiatric medications to assist patients with concerns, including ensuring there are no medical causes to the patient's concerns.

Koehl works with other providers to give recommendations for treatment and coordinate patients' psychiatric care with the medical care provided.

“In today's fast and ever changing healthcare environment, you need multiple elements to facilitate a healthy and speedy recovery for our patients,” said Wolf. “You multiply these issues when you are in the military with all the extra requirements due to our fast-paced deployments. All of the different sections work together to get those issues resolved and the member ready to do our country's bidding.”

Working together to ensure Team Shaw members have their health care needs met, 20th MDG physicians dedicate their days to helping Airmen and Soldiers focus on their missions.