Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett stands by the centrifuge used by the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, shown to her at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Tuesday. Barrett met with Air Force personnel and toured facilities at the base including the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Epidemiology Laboratory, which is responsible for analyzing a majority of the COVID-19 tests in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

PHOTOS: Air Force secretary visits Wright-Patterson

The secretary learned about base work against COVID-19

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett visited Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Tuesday, taking in the School of Aerospace Medicine there as well as the base’s medical research into methods of fighting COVID-19.

Barrett met with Air Force personnel and toured several facilities at the base including the School of Aerospace Medicine Epidemiology Laboratory, which is responsible for analyzing a majority of the COVID-19 tests in the Air Force, according to the base.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett briefed about altitude chambers used by the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, shown to her at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 21, 2020. USAFSAM has maintained training protocols with the centrifuge throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo: Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees

According to photos and information shared by the Air Force Wednesday, Barrett visited the base Medical Center and was briefed about altitude chambers used by the School of Aerospace Medicine. She also learned about new women’s fitment, including flight suits, body armor and basic uniforms at the base.

Air Force doctors have been working with Miami Valley Hospital on a possible drug protocol for COVID-19 patients. Their work on the project allowed Dayton’s Miami Valley Hospital to “potentially lead the country in administration of the Mayo Clinic approved plasma protocol,” the base has said.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett speaks with 88th Medical Group personnel at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 21, 2020.
Photo: Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees

The work has resulted in the first convalescent plasma donation taken at the Community Blood Center in Dayton. That donor’s plasma has already been used to treat COVID-19 patients, the base said earlier this month.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett speaks with 88th Medical Group personnel at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 21, 2020.
Photo: Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees

In less than two weeks, the therapy went from a concept at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center to operational, said Dr. Roberto Colón, system vice president of quality and safety at Premier Health in Dayton, of which Miami Valley Hospital is a part.

A message with questions about the secretary’s visit was sent to Wright-Patterson public affair staff.

Barrett is the 25th secretary of the Air Force, assuming that role last year. She oversees 685,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian airmen and the department’s annual budget of more than $205 billion.

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