Barksdale selected to pilot Targeted Care Published July 5, 2023 By 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Barksdale Air Force Base has been chosen as one of six Air Force Global Strike Command bases to pilot the Targeted Care concept. TC standardizes the patient intake and evaluation process, and ensures the patient gets the specific care they need in a timely manner. “In these beginning stages of integration, the TC pilot bases have already seen success with decreased mental health patient care wait times,” said Lt. Col. Charnell Smith, Office of Command Surgeon, chief of the Mental Health Branch. The TC concept comes in response to a steady increase in the use of behavioral health care across the Air Force. This has resulted in limited access to care, and in turn, a reduction in mission effectiveness and readiness. TC is designed with medical readiness in mind, connecting patients to the proper level of care for their needs and ensuring a swift recovery. Now when a patient visits or calls the Mental Health Clinic at the 2nd Medical Group, their immediate health concerns are assessed by a technician collaborating with a provider. Based on this information, staff members work with the patient to connect them to the various services available both on and off base. If the MHC determines that short-term, non-clinical care is needed, the patient will be connected to one of the many resources Barksdale has to offer. These include, but are not limited to, the Military and Family Life Counselors, chaplains, Military OneSource, and Primary Care Behavioral Health. If a more thorough assessment is required, the patient will be evaluated by a provider to determine if MHC care is necessary and at what level. Group treatment is typically the first approach for most patients receiving care in the MHC. “The benefits of individualized treatment and feeling better sooner comes down to two factors,” said Maj. Johanna Echigo, 2nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron mental health flight commander. “The first is that cognitive behavioral therapy is used in both group and individualized treatment so patients are learning the same skills. The second is that they can feel better sooner because of the ease of access.” TC represents a shift in the utilization of behavioral health care resources and is set to be implemented across the Air Force. The change allocates resources while ensuring members get the support they need to improve their mental health and get back to their lives in a timely manner.