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99th MSGS clinic supports women’s health

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Mothers spend nine months caring for and protecting their unborn child, but that unconditional love doesn't end there -- they'll spend the rest of their lives caring for and loving them. In order to have a healthy baby, women often visit a clinic that helps ensure their babies are taken care of.

The 99th Surgical Operations Squadron Women's Health Clinic helps take care of pregnant active duty service members and dependents as well as GYN patients, which is the clinic's non pregnant female patients.

"We have a broad spectrum here," said Maj. Charissa Olson, 99th MSGS Women's Health Clinic flight commander. "Our clinic's responsibilities are to manage and supervise labor and delivery to help ensure happy and healthy deliveries. We also run the dysplasia program, or the abnormal pap clinic, which is for patients who have had an abnormal pap smear within the last three years. If you've had an abnormal pap smear and haven't been cleared, you're not deployable. Our clinic supervises the management of pap smears for all the clinics on the installation that do them."

The clinic also helps with prenatal care and delivery, and postpartum care, which includes managing high-risk patients and coordinating their care with high-risk specialists off base.

"Within the GYN population, we manage pap smears, abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, irregular periods, birth control ranging from a prescription to tying your tubes, hysterectomies, laparoscopies, down in the operating room," said Olson. "We function as surgeons, office physicians, and delivery providers. We have six physicians, three midwives, and two nurse practitioners."

The Women's Health Clinic helps support the warfighter by providing care for their families at home.

"I feel like it's easier for a deployed member to be gone knowing that their wives and daughters are in good hands," said Olson. "Some smaller bases don't have Women's Health Clinics on base and those patients have to be seen in the civilian community, but I think it's nice for people to function in a military environment like they're used to. Additionally, it's nice to not have to worry about what Tricare covers. You just come here and we take care of you. We know the military system."

Tech. Sgt. Robyn Bell, 99th MSGS Women's Health Clinic flight chief, stresses the importance of having a clinic on base.

"I think the clinic is important so that women can know we have services not only for them, but their babies as well," she said.

Seeing 25, 000 beneficiaries and scheduling over 21, 000 appointments a year, the Women's Health Clinic at Nellis Air Force Base is one of the busiest in the Air Combat Command.

The Women's Health Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on federal holidays and down days. The clinic accepts walk-ins from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. For more information on the clinic or it services, call 702-653-2300.