Keeping an eye out for patients Published April 10, 2017 By Airman Eric M. Fisher 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Eyes are one of the most useful tools humans have. They allow people to interact with the world in a way nothing else can and without vision many lives would change forever. Luckily there are skilled individuals ready to safeguard eyesight at a moment’s notice. Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Hubbard, a 354th Medical Operations Squadron optometry technician, spoke with a young woman while ordering his morning coffee. During this time, he noticed a few symptoms that could have led to permanent vision loss. “After a few minutes of talking with the barista, she found out I was an optometry technician,” said Hubbard. “This led her to start asking questions about certain issues she was having. Once I’d heard the issues, it sent up a flag in my head indicating something was wrong and we needed to get her seen quickly.” There were some difficulties getting her a clinic, but that didn’t impede Hubbard from demonstrating the Air Force core value of excellence in all we do. “Our optometrist was on TDY, so I went back to my office and called her to get all of the information I could,” said Hubbard. “I coordinated care with a nearby Army installation and we were able to find transportation there without any accidents due to her impaired vision. We were able to get her seen within two hours.” Hubbard’s time and care did a great deal to ensure the patient’s health came first; something he provides to all of his patients. “He always takes personal pride in making sure his patients have 100 percent personal satisfaction with their visits,” said Maj. William Clarkson, a 354th Medical Group specialty services flight chief. Because of his desire to assist patients, Hubbard saw a need to open the optometry clinic to more individuals on-base so they could receive the care they need. “Hubbard embodies trusted care,” Clarkson said. “He has worked hard since he got here to allow more than active duty service members to be seen at the clinic. We were able to expand our services to meet all of Eielson’s needs, not just those on active duty.” Hubbard’s care for his patients has enabled him to assist them, even on his own time, and ensure they know Eielson’s medical professionals are always there to help.