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News | April 29, 2022

USSPACECOM Command Surgeon hosts Inaugural Joint Medical Forum

By Staff Report U.S. Space Command Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Col. Ingrid Ford, U.S. Space Command command surgeon, hosted the inaugural Joint Space Medicine Forum, at the Leadership Development Center, April 27-28, 2022.
The Joint Space Medicine Forum’s intent is to form relationships, share information and collaborate across the services and government agencies to further establish and develop Space Medicine education and training in the DoD. 
 “Our most important weapons system in space lives and breathes, as a warfighting command we are not just focused on the technical things we must take care of people,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Brook Leonard, USSPACECOM chief of staff. “We must have the forethought to take care of humans.”
The conference brought together service component command surgeons from Navy Space Command, Army Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Space Force and program directors from the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, School of Army Aviation Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch and NASA’s deputy chief medical officer.
“USSPACECOM supports human spaceflight through collaboration with NASA by establishing aerospace medicine training programs,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Ingrid Ford, USSPACECOM command surgeon. “This event is important to create a common understanding of space medicine, establish continuity, share expertise and develop a network of the medical experts in the DOD’s space community.”
Ford’s key initiative is to establish a combatant command requirement for standardized Space Medicine Training. The event allows all of the key stakeholders to come together to better understand the current state and to work collaboratively to develop a joint program.
USSPACECOM collaborates with academic institutions to assist, analyze and develop recommendations and potential solutions to complex challenges in the space domain.
“Being part of the inaugural Space Medicine Forum is really exciting,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jonathan Elliot, Program Director Naval Aerospace Medical Institute Graduate Medical Education. “We are setting the stage for things to come for decades, even possibly centuries, and knowing that we are building the foundation is really inspirational.”