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Hartford Hospital Provides Training for CT Air National Guard Medical Personnel

April 21, 2022

In a groundbreaking agreement, Hartford Hospital is providing training to CT Air National Guard medical personnel that will allow them to be deployment-ready. A Training Affiliation Agreement (TAA) was signed by the two entities at the end of last year authorizing the medical training of the Air National Guard’s men and women, and the program began in February. National Guard L to R: Backus Hospital emergency and critical care nurse and Air National Guard chief nurse Jennifer Monohan; Hartford Hospital emergency physician and Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Charles Johndro; Air National Guard technical sergeant Anitress Delgado.[/caption] The CT division of the Air National Guard includes 26 medical personnel who serve as medics and nurses. Jennifer Monahan, an Emergency and Critical Care nurse at Backus Hospital in Norwich, is chief nurse for the Connecticut Air National Guard. “This partnership will allow us to more readily meet and maintain our training requirements of logging 40 hours at a Level 1 Trauma Center,” she said. “In the past, if someone was deploying, we would need to arrange special training for them at a medical base that met the criteria.” With the TAA with Hartford Hospital and the chance to train there, “this is a huge, huge, huge opportunity for us,” she said. Members of the CT Air National Guard all have regular “day” jobs and serve in the Guard on a part-time basis, one weekend a month and two weeks each year. They are often called up to assist with natural disasters, and can be called to serve domestically or overseas. Charles Johndro, DO, is an emergency physician at Hartford Hospital and a lieutenant colonel in the CT Air National Guard. In the Guard he is part of the ground surgical team, a six-person unit that sets up where needed in either a natural disaster, terrorist incident or battle. Johndro was instrumental in working with Hartford Hospital’s legal team and the Air National Guard to hammer out the agreement. He does the training for the Guard members in the Hartford Hospital Emergency Department, one Sunday a month and about 10 other days during the month. Before the agreement, “Our medics and nurses did not previously have the opportunity to train these skills close to home,” Johndro said. “The Hartford Hospital ED environment can be very similar to what you might encounter when you are deployed - a high volume of patients in acute situations. The opportunity to train in that environment is invaluable.” On the Sunday training, Johndro is off hospital duty, so he dresses in his fatigues. “We work on skills with the mannequins, we can see the patients in the ED but I’m not involved in their direct care so I can teach the case. I can break it all down for them, from the (patient) arrival on.” When Johndro is on shift, the Guard member “can see everything that I see, and get a more in-depth view because I am actually working with emergency patients. These folks wouldn’t typically have access to the opportunities this partnership provides.” Johndro said he thinks the MOU between the hospital and the Guard is groundbreaking for the whole country. “I think Connecticut is way ahead of the curve on this,” he said. “There’s a lot of challenges nationwide getting the required training. We are fortunate because Jennifer and I are involved in both sides of it.” “After we establish a safety record with this I would love to grow this program. It is such a great opportunity for all our Connecticut personnel.”