Keeping airmen and support staff at Columbus Air Force Base healthy

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (WCBI) – Colonel James Weinstein is responsible for keeping airmen and support staff on base healthy.

He said there is a crisis in the world of healthcare in rural communities, and small hospitals are closing around the country.

“It is getting harder and harder for people in rural communities to get the healthcare they need,” Weinstein said. “It is one of the joys of my life and one of the things I’m most proud of, being here in Columbus, and knowing that is not what you all face.”

With the Air Force Base, there is no compromise when it comes to healthcare.

President of the Base Community Council Jay Fisher Served in the Air Force for over 25 years.

He said the goal was to give back to the medical professionals on the base and to thank community partners.

“There are medical professionals on the base that take care of base members and their families. That’s dentists, doctors, lab technicians, and all those types of things,” Fisher said. “It takes people from downtown Columbus, from Baptist Hospital, from clinics, to other medical providers downtown to also support when there is a need for medical care that is not provided by the base.”

Deputy Commander Jon Cato said there is a mutual support effort between the base and those living in Columbus.

“I’ve only been here for five months and I can say without question, I’m a living testament. Because I’ve actually been to Baptist Hospital myself, to the ER, and we couldn’t have asked for better support,” Cato said. “It’s just phenomenal.”

Fisher said, as a veteran, he knows what it means to be part of a community where you can feel at home.

“I think whatever we can do in the community to partner with Columbus Air Force Base and make them know that they are appreciated for what they do, and to integrate them into our society and to really be partners with them is what we should strive to do,” Fisher said. “They’re on your kid’s ball teams, they’re in your churches, they’re in your civic groups, they’re in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, so be on the lookout for people who are serving in the community, and be sure to thank them.”

Fisher said if anyone wants to be involved in what’s going on at the Air Force base, they can join the Base Community Council.

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