WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, here at the 88th Medical Group ensures wounded, ill or injured post 9/11 service members (combat /non-combat related) and their caregivers receive assistance as they transition into civilian life.
Adrienne Clark, recovery care coordinator for the AFW2 Program, is an advocate for service members and provides specialized needed assistance within the five surrounding states for wounded warriors and their families as they go through a Medical Evaluation Board process and future military transition.
To receive assistance from the AFW2 Program, The Care Management Team plays an integral part of the Recovery Coordination Program by providing support, care management and coordination by early identification/referral enrollment via the AFW2 Program.
Anyone can submit a referral to the AFW2 program to include the recovery care coordinator, medical case manager, first sergeant, commander, or non-medical case manager. Also, Airmen can make a referral request for enrollment consideration either in person or thru the AFW2 Program website. Common avenues for referral includes the Casualty Morning Report and Integrated Disability Evaluation System.
Automatic enrollment applies to those Airmen identified as Serious Injury and Very Serious Injury on a casualty morning report and those who have been diagnosed with “Invisible Wounds” such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury or Military Sexual Trauma (verified by medical authority) and/or has been referred to Medical Evaluation Board.
Also, those who have complex or serious medical issues as determined by a medical authority on a case-by-case basis are eligible wounded warrior services. Examples of complex medical illnesses are cancer, muscular sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Once a referral is received, Clark said her role is to get involved as soon as possible and work with that member/family/caregiver right away to assess and assist with whatever their needs are.
“I can assist with something as simple as transferring education benefits to their children to assisting members with receiving their veteran benefits,” Clark said. “We are the tools, resources, voice and ears for that service member/family.”
Operation Warfighter and the Regional Employment Education Assistant programs are some of the services that the AFW2 office can connect the member with. While service members are going thru their medical evaluation board and not able to fulfill their current AFSC, they can be provided a DoD or an outside agency internship program that will not interfere with their appointments and Medical Evaluation Board.
“This gives the Airman a sense of purpose and hope because when they are not able to do their primary job, participating in an internship can be more meaningful and potentially lead to future job opportunities,” Clark said.
North Central Recovery Care program manager Ronald Johnson said that recovery care coordinators are advocates for service members and have the ability to network with both DoD and outside agencies to obtain whatever assistance and guidance is needed for that member.
“Resource care coordinators know all the things you don’t know that you need to know when going through this process,” said Johnson.
For additional information on the on the Wounded Warrior Program, contact the Recovery Care Coordinator office at (937) 257-9784 or go to www.woundedwarrior.af.mil.