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Laboratory team handles COVID testing

Senior Airman Ezekiel Grogan, 66th Medical Squadron Laboratory technician, tests a lab sample at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 3. Grogan is one of five Hanscom technicians responsible for collecting all routine lab work as well as COVID tests taken on the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Senior Airman Ezekiel Grogan, 66th Medical Squadron Laboratory technician, tests a lab sample at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 3. Grogan is one of five Hanscom technicians responsible for collecting all routine lab work as well as COVID tests taken on the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Capt. Jenifer Mouser, 66th Medical Squadron Laboratory officer in charge, center, discusses COVID-19 testing procedures with Airman 1st Class Kaylin Rice, laboratory technician, at the Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., clinic, Dec. 3. The five-Airman team is responsible for collecting and testing all routine lab work as well as COVID tests taken on the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Capt. Jenifer Mouser, 66th Medical Squadron Laboratory officer in charge, center, discusses COVID-19 testing procedures with Airman 1st Class Kaylin Rice, laboratory technician, at the Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., clinic, Dec. 3. The five-Airman team is responsible for collecting and testing all routine lab work as well as COVID tests taken on the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Senior Airman Arienthea Gray and Airman 1st Class Kaylin Rice, 66th Medical Squadron Laboratory technicians, record lab work results at the medical laboratory at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 3. Laboratory technicians are responsible for collecting and testing all routine lab work and COVID tests done on the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Senior Airman Arienthea Gray and Airman 1st Class Kaylin Rice, 66th Medical Squadron Laboratory technicians, record lab work results at the medical laboratory at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Dec. 3. Laboratory technicians are responsible for collecting and testing all routine lab work and COVID tests done on the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Behind layers of personal protective equipment, a team of five Hanscom medical professionals are taking the health of the community into their own hands.

Well-versed in handling all routine lab work, Airmen from the 66th Medical Squadron Biomedical Laboratory are now tackling all aspects of COVID-19 testing on the installation.

“There’s a lot of pressure to find options and meet the needs of the community, but we always find a way,” said Capt. Jenifer Mouser, officer in charge of the laboratory here. “We stay in the forefront of whatever new developments there are.”

The clinic acquired the equipment needed to run COVID tests earlier this year, and moved quickly to get the operation running while keeping the importance of their task in mind.

“As soon as the training was over, we knew it was on us,” said Mouser. “Whether we call a positive or a negative test result, we need to know for a fact we’re correct so we can ensure patients are treated correctly.”

Despite their small numbers and ever-changing schedules, Mouser said her technicians could not be operating better under pressure.

“Our team is remarkably keen at what they do,” said Mouser.

Senior leaders have noted that teams who are typically behind the scenes have been called forward to make a difference.

“If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last nine months, it’s the number of unsung heroes we have to thank for continuing to push us forward while keeping our installation safe,” said Col. Katrina Stephens, installation commander.

The Biomedical Laboratory is currently conducting oral and nasal testing for patients currently enrolled at the Hanscom Medical Clinic who are exhibiting symptoms. Testing is by appointment only.

More information can be found by calling the appointment line at 781-225-6789.