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Kuwait and U.S. military medics foster future partnership

U.S. Air Force Col. Courtney Finkbeiner, right, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group commander, talks with Kuwait army Col. Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, North Military Medical Complex director, while taking a tour of the 386th EMDG base clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. The Kuwait army directors of the North Military Medical Complex visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Col. Courtney Finkbeiner, right, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group commander, talks with Kuwait army Col. Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, North Military Medical Complex director, while taking a tour of the 386th EMDG base clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. The Kuwait army directors of the North Military Medical Complex visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Yaneesa Simpson, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group medical technician, explains the 9-line medevac request process to Kuwait army Col. Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, North Military Medical Complex director, during his tour of the 386th EMDG clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. The Kuwait army directors of the North Military Medical Complex visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Kuwait army Col. Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, left, North Military Medical Complex director, alongside Col. Courtney Finkbeiner, 386th EMDG commander, speaks with Danish and Canadian medical staff during a tour of the clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. The Kuwait army directors of the North Military Medical Complex visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Kuwaiti army doctors and Colonels' Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, left, and Raed R. Altajalli, right, have a discussion with Col. Courtney Finkbeiner, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group commander, while viewing the physical therapy rehabilitation room at the base clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. Al-Dousari and Altajalli, director and assistant director of the North Military Medical Complex respectively, visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Kuwaiti army doctors and Colonels' Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, left, and Raed R. Altajalli, right, have a discussion with Col. Courtney Finkbeiner, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group commander, while viewing the physical therapy rehabilitation room at the base clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. Al-Dousari and Altajalli, director and assistant director of the North Military Medical Complex respectively, visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Yaneesa Simpson, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group medical technician, explains the 9-line medevac request process to Kuwait army Col. Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, North Military Medical Complex director, during his tour of the 386th EMDG clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. The Kuwait army directors of the North Military Medical Complex visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Yaneesa Simpson, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group medical technician, explains the 9-line medevac request process to Kuwait army Col. Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, North Military Medical Complex director, during his tour of the 386th EMDG clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. The Kuwait army directors of the North Military Medical Complex visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Kuwaiti army doctors and Colonels' Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, right, and Raed R. Altajalli, left, view a specimen of a scorpion during a stop at the public health section of the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group clinic while visiting Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. Al-Dousari and Altajalli, director and assistant director of the North Military Medical Complex respectively, visited the 386th EMDG clinic to tour the facility, share ideas on improving medical care and discuss strengthening interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Medics with the Kuwaiti army, Italian air force and U.S. Air Force take a photo outside the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group clinic at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Oct. 16, 2019. Left to right: U.S. Air Force Majors' Brooke Sciuto and Mossaab Benhammou, 386th EMDG; Kuwait army Col. Raed R. Altajalli, North Military Medical Complex assistant director; U.S. Air Force Col. Courtney Finkbeiner, 386th EMDG commander; Kuwait army Col. Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari, North Military Medical Complex director; Italian air force Lt. Salvatore Napolitano, Task Force Air-Kuwait Flight Surgeon; and U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Alan Weary, 386th EMDG superintendent. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

ALI AL SALEM AIR BASE, Kuwait -- Kuwaiti army doctors met with 386th Expeditionary Medical Group leadership to explore ways for improving partnerships and cooperation while visiting the base clinic, Oct. 16, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Col. Courtney Finkbeiner, 386th EMDG commander, and EMDG leaders hosted Kuwaiti army Colonels’ Nawaf Jandoul Al-Dousari and Raed R. Atlajalli, director and assistant director of the North Military Medical Complex respectively, to gain knowledge of each other’s medical capabilities and further develop the interoperability between the two nations toward the future.

"The goals of our meetings and getting together are great," Al-Dousari said.

He said the goals include: building the teams into one and breaking walls and barriers, developing and sychronizing polices and procedures for crisis management, improving medical knowledge for the teams through continuing education programs and monthly events and sharing experiences through interdepartmental visiting programs between facilities and team members.

“The vision is to create a relationship that is focused on taking care of the warfighter, regardless of what uniform the warfighter wears,” Finkbeiner said. “In the future, we hope for interoperability between both nations to increase specialty services for our service members, and to enhance the ability to prepare and respond to potential public health emergencies.”

Al-Dousari and Atlajalli were briefed on the operational mission of the 386th EMDG and visited various sections of the clinic to include public health, physical therapy, and the pharmacy. The Kuwaiti medical directors personally met and spoke with Airmen and other coalition medical experts, inviting some Airmen to brief their Kuwaiti military colleagues in weekly seminars they hold in their medical complex.

“We hope to increase Continuing Medical Education through monthly seminars, presentations and courses,” Finkbeiner said. “Medical professionals are able to host seminars and conferences to maintain, develop, and increase our knowledge skills and professional performance.”

“I see future training and education opportunities,” said Maj. Brooke Sciuto, 386th EMDG chief of medical staff. “As medical professionals we are lifelong learners and this would be a unique opportunity to train and learn how the Kuwaitis practice medicine. Potentially we could also have better access to medical resources that are not as readily available to us here at Ali Al Salem.”

Finkbeiner opined that further cooperation could lead to integrated and coordinated care, possible increased access to care and an opportunity to control costs for both countries.

“Behind every uniform is a person with a name that has a mission and story. Medics get a chance to care for the cast members in that story. A partnership with the Kuwaitis opens up podium moments to learn from each other, create a common language, standardize operations, train and build team cohesion for responding to whatever situations that arise.”

Al-Dousari shares the same vision for the future of American and Kuwaiti medical cooperation.

"This will improve the readiness of both teams through multiple site visits being able to stand on points of weaknesses and strength so we can help each other and support each other," Al-Dousari said. "This program will show our leaders also how active we are from both teams and how we truly stand for the oath we took our selves."

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