97 MDG hosts annual Network Provider Social Event Published April 17, 2019 By Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm 97 AMW/PA ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 97th Medical Group hosted their largest annual event, inviting civilian medical providers from surrounding cities to meet with 97th MDG leadership and medical professionals, April 12, 2019. This event allowed the 97th MDG the opportunity to educate civilian doctors and medical providers from Altus, Lawton and Wichita Falls about the base’s mission of training aircrew members of the KC-135 Stratotanker, C-17 Globemaster III and KC-46 Pegasus. Civilian medical providers were given a tour around base, allowing them to see what the Airmen at Altus AFB accomplish and how they support the mission. Attendees toured a KC-135, the base fire department and the 97th Security Forces Working Dog section. “We wanted to bring our civilian providers whom we work with on-base and give them an idea of what our mission is and to see what they are supporting,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Torri Hurst, 97th Medical Support Squadron TRICARE Operations and Patient Administration (TOPA) flight commander. “By giving them the opportunity to see what we do, they can speak to individuals who they treat on a daily basis.” The 97th MDG often utilizes outside providers to help Airman requiring specific treatment. By hosting this event, clinics from surrounding cities have the opportunity to find out where their patients are coming from and why they require their services. “We keep a lot of the town employed with the amount of patients we send off-base each month,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Amanda Gilbert, 97th MDSS TOPA flight chief. “It’s a symbiotic relationship we have with the civilian specialists. The 97th MDG sends approximately 500 referrals off-base each month and a total of 6,000 a year.” The 97th MDG members said that they strive to keep good relationships with the healthcare providers off-base because so many Airmen are referred to them. The 97th MDG continues to build relationships like these to help keep Airmen at the 97th AMW healthy and fit to fight.