U.S. Air Force Col. Joann V. Palmer

Stripes Korea

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Col. Joann Palmer accepted command of the 8th Medical Group from Col. Lisa A. Davison during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 23, 2017.

Col. David “Wolf” Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, oversaw the event and noted the continuing successes of the medical group:

“It’s easy to see the fruits of your group’s labor--broken Airmen cannot fight or support the fight effectively. Sick Airmen directly impact our readiness to fight tonight. You and your group never lost sight of that fact. In fact, you took it a step further, taking the care to the Airmen, initially starting by sending teams to the flightline squadrons. Hawk [Davison] is expanding the idea of getting her caregivers and teams out of the clinic and into the squadrons of the 8th Fighter Wing. This example of strong connection to taking the fight to the enemy is inspiring…and exciting. Your group takes on that attitude, and it makes us a better fighting force.”

While in command, Davison executed a $3.5 million budget and oversaw $29 million in infrastructure, 13 buildings, 57 war reserve materiel assemblages and 8 home station medical response projects while supporting 13 diverse services including a 24-hour ambulance response capability. Palmer will now be accepting command and continuing to expand upon the achievements that Davison passed on.

“A quote from General Mark Welsh, a former Wolf, ‘Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.’” said Davison, “Success for me as your medical group commander has been measured only by whether I have earned that gift and nothing more. I have been incredibly honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve with you over this past year.”

The 8th MDG is responsible for an active duty population of approximately 2,700 personnel, and services include: aerospace medicine, primary care, ambulance services, Behavioral Health Optimization Program, bioenvironmental engineering, general dentistry, clinical laboratory, diagnostic imaging/radiology, immunizations, health promotions, pharmacy, Personnel Reliability Program, mental health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Program, public health, physical therapy, and optometry (via visiting Osan providers).

The 8th MDG also maintains a specialty care network partnering with several civilian and military health care facilities.

Palmer is now serving as the group commander of the 8th Medical Group, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea where she will lead 158 personnel covering two diverse medical and support operations squadrons supporting 2,700 assigned active duty personnel in 19 units.

In attendance was Palmer’s daughter, Larissa, a staff sergeant serving in the 18th Dental Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, who helped celebrate her mother’s achievement.

Palmer was the commander of the 375th Medical Operations Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Her squadron provided medical care to 23,000 enrolled beneficiaries. With 246 assigned personnel and 17 different clinical functions, her squadron deployed medical personnel around the world in support of the overseas contingency operations.

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