F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
The 90th Medical Operations Squadron is the heart of healthcare for Mighty Ninety Airmen and their families. From dental to mental health, different sections of the 90th Medical Group come together with the common goal of providing healthcare to the base.
A very important section of the 90th MOS is pediatrics. Capt. Kelly Smerling, 90th MOS pediatric nurse practitioner, is one of two pediatric providers on base. She has more than 800 patients assigned to her, and sees an average of 90 per week.
“Our mission is to provide quality and safe healthcare to our active duty, dependent and veteran populations,” said Capt. Kelly Smerling, 90th MOS pediatric nurse practitioner. “We want to ensure that patients are seen in a quick, efficient manner.”
A typical day for Smerling includes between 18 and 20 patients. It can consist of a newborn well-child check, a school-age well visit or an acute visit.
“Working with military children is a huge privilege,” said Smerling. “I feel integral to the mission because I provide healthcare and preventative medicine to keep children healthy, so their parents can focus on their mission.”
Smerling said that it is a stress reliever for parents to know that, while they are in the missile field or deployed, their children are well taken care of. This peace of mind helps keep Airmen focused on completing the mission safely, securely and effectively.
Master Sgt. Karen Harr, 90th MOS superintendent, said Smerling is the primary health provider for her three children, and they are excited to see her for appointments.
“She really cares for her patients,” said Harr. “I see that from how she cares for my children, and as someone who works with her, she’s very passionate.”
Smerling also expressed that her passion for global health is one of the reasons she joined the Air Force, and she hopes to one day become an international health specialist for the Air Force.
“This would allow me to collaborate with our partner nations to provide humanitarian assistance to underserved populations and improve healthcare in those partner nations,” Smerling said.
The Boston native said she takes pride in her work and enjoys seeing the children grow and families evolve.
“The newborns I had are now walking and talking, which is a great honor, knowing I have been a part of that growth and development,” Smerling said. "They are healthy and thriving because of the care we provide in the 90th MOS.”
Smerling is one of many healthcare providers in the 90th MOS. The clinic performs up to 1,500 labs across its different sections and fills approximately 500 prescriptions daily, ensuring patients get all of the care they need.