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319th Medical Group celebrates their new future

(left to right) Chief Master Sgt. Todd Krulcik, 319th Air Base Wing command chief, Col. Scott Reed, 319th ABW acting vice commander, Col. Therese Bohusch, 319th Medical Group commander, Amy McCauley, 319th MDG key spouse and Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Tuman, 319th MDG superintendent, cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the newly renovated Medical Treatment Facility on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, Jan. 27, 2016. The $10 million renovation project included upgraded ventilation systems and a new main patient check-in area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Xavier Navarro/Released)

(left to right) Chief Master Sgt. Todd Krulcik, 319th Air Base Wing command chief, Col. Scott Reed, 319th ABW acting vice commander, Col. Therese Bohusch, 319th Medical Group commander, Amy McCauley, 319th MDG key spouse and Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Tuman, 319th MDG superintendent, cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the newly renovated Medical Treatment Facility on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, Jan. 27, 2016. The $10 million renovation project included upgraded ventilation systems and a new main patient check-in area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Xavier Navarro/Released)

Christopher Arnold, 319th Medical Group facility manager, stands in a mechanical room that had been renovated with brand new energy and heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment Jan. 27, 2016, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. The goal of the 319th MDG is to be more energy efficient and to provide a more comfortable environment for staff and patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Xavier Navarro/Released)

Christopher Arnold, 319th Medical Group facility manager, stands in a mechanical room that had been renovated with brand new energy and heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment Jan. 27, 2016, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. The goal of the 319th MDG is to be more energy efficient and to provide a more comfortable environment for staff and patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Xavier Navarro/Released)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 319th Medical Group kicked off a new era with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Jan. 27, 2016 at the Medical Treatment Facility here.

Over the last 18 months, the 319th MDG has undergone major changes, with an estimated $10 million renovation project.

Col. Therese Bohusch, 319th Medical Group commander, explained that their project merged five sections within the group; Family Health, Pediatrics, Immunizations, Women's Health and Medical Management. All five sections work closely with one another to take care of their patients.

"This is an important milestone on our journey to trusted care," said Bohusch. "The Air Force Medical Service trusted care vision challenged all of us to be innovative, to problem-solve and to head to a goal of zero harm."

Bohusch recognized her teammates who made the renovation possible and specifically thanked Christopher Arnold, 319th MDG facility manager, who made sure the renovations stayed on time and on target.

Col. Scott Reed, 319th Air Base Wing acting vice commander, announced that this is a great opportunity for the 319th Medical Group.

"We can't sit there and get up and do our jobs without you folks providing the care that we need to sit there and do our jobs," Reed said. "This facility here is going to be a great monument and a great testament to allow you folks to come to work and continue to support all of us that are out here doing the mission."

The largest challenge the group faced was maintaining their mission effectiveness and readiness. Three quarters of the clinic building were closed during the renovations which meant certain sections had to be relocated to a different building. It minimized contact with the construction and allowed Air Force members to continue carrying out their mission.

Inside the building, lighting fixture upgrades were made with the goal of reducing energy cost.

"Bottom line, our goal was to spend less money on energy," said Arnold. "Our goal from a mechanical standpoint is to get us Energy Star "bronze rating" which is going to equate to thousands of dollars in energy savings in the end."

The renovations took approximately 11 months to complete.

Arnold predicts the future of the 319th Medical Group is moving toward a more energy efficient clinic and providing a more comfortable environment for staff and patients.  

"It's the new medical way that we take care of our patients," said Arnold. "We are well prepared and we are more than ready. This is a long time in a making."