Commentary Search

Your healthcare, Personnel Reliability Program

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Katherine Spence
  • 90th Medical Operations Squadron commander
The Personnel Reliability Program is a Defense Department program that began during the Cold War for individuals who have access to nuclear weapons.

It tells us that we will support national security through nuclear deterrence while emphasizing the importance, implications and special considerations of this unique task. As with many of the missions we perform while assigned to Air Force Global Strike Command, each individual carries with them the potential for success or failure; therefore, members selected to perform PRP duties go through several evaluations prior to assignment.

It is clear that only those members with the highest degree of reliability, integrity, trustworthiness, conduct and behavior be allowed to perform PRP duties and will be continuously monitored for adherence to program requirements. One component of this continuous monitoring includes a PRP member's healthcare. A member assigned to a PRP position has certain responsibilities when obtaining health care. They must notify their certifying official of all health care received - medical, dental, counseling - including temporary duty assignment treatment.

They are required to provide copies of documentation for care received from a civilian provider to a competent medical authority for review at the PRP clinic. Current AFGSC guidance requires that all PRP members receive a release of medical information form and be recommended for a suspension until it is returned. This can be accomplished by reporting to the PRP clinic prior to their appointment and requesting a "pink sheet." They will not be recommended for return to PRP duties until this completed form is returned and evaluated by the CMA. If they need to be seen for care after duty hours, they can call (307) 773-3461 and will be given either home care instructions or an authorization for urgent or emergent care.

PRP members are required to notify their PRP monitor prior to receiving care. In emergencies such as the loss of life, limb or eyesight, they can go to the emergency department and notify their PRP monitor as soon as possible. They must follow up with the CMA the first duty day after receiving off-base care. If any prescriptions from downtown care were received, they must bring the prescription into the PRP Clinic for CMA review. They should not fill routine downtown care prescriptions at a downtown pharmacy without first having the CMA review the prescription. If medication was received as a part of urgent or emergency care, the medication may be filled, but the medication must be brought in to the CMA at the follow up appointment for PRP review.

PRP requires any and all potentially disqualifying information to be passed to the CO and all efforts are made to maintain privacy within the bounds of the PRP and HIPAA guidelines. While the CO is authorized to receive detailed PDI, the squadron monitor will only be given brief medical information regarding PRP recommendations.

Although the management of the program is a function of the command; adherence to PRP requirements is an individual responsibility. PRP members are required to inform their CO of any impairment, degradation or distraction to their ability to perform their duties at any given time. Being selected for PRP duties does place some additional burdens upon its members; but the 90th Medical Group stands ready to help minimize those burdens.

The PRP clinic phone number is (307) 773-3580 and walk-in hours are from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 to 11 a.m. Friday. Friday afternoons are for return to duty and return from off-base appointments only. The clinic is closed the third Thursday of the month for training, so please plan ahead.