Medical readiness is an individual responsibility

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- The 452d Air Mobility Wing completed the switch from the Reserve Component Periodic Health Assessment (RCPHA) to Preventive Health Assessment and Individual Medical Readiness (PIMR) in August of 2008. 

PIMR is a DoD-wide program that provides commanders at all levels up to the Secretary of Defense real time status of individual medical readiness (IMR) for all service members in both Active and Reserve Components. The six categories of IMR that are tracked and reported on are: current immunizations; deployment limiting conditions; dental classification; readiness labs (HIV, blood type, DNA, etc); current physical assessment and medical equipment (glasses, gas mask inserts, respiratory protection, hearing protection, etc). 

Individual Medical Readiness is every bit as important as your other training and equipment requirements. 

So what does IMR mean to you? 

It means you have the opportunity and responsibility to ensure your medical readiness, by having a preventative health assessment (PHA) done every year. As reservists, our primary individual mission is to be fit, ready to fight and able to win conflicts. 

Accomplishing the wing's mission involves everyone, so personal physical health is crucial to ensuring that we have the required number of people medically ready to deploy at a moment's notice. Failure to complete (and stay current on) your Individual Medical Readiness requirements can lead to placement in a "No pay, No points" status. 

How the process works: 

Approximately three months before your birthday, your Unit Health Monitor (UHM) will send you an e-mail or letter with instructions on how to complete your PHA on-line through the Air Force Portal. Once you have completed that, your UHM will schedule you for your exam. Depending on how long it's been since your last physical, and the type of duties you perform, you may have to stop at all of the physical examination stations (dental, optometry, Lab, hearing, etc) or only one or two stations. At a minimum you will have a dental exam by a military dentist every third year. 

You can help smooth the physical exam process by doing several things: 

· Visit your civilian dentist and have your DD-2813 Reserve Forces Dental Exam with you - your dental exam will be due 12 months from the one you complete, so if you can have your annual civilian dental exam in your birth month, you can do both your physical and dental exams on the same day. 

· If you have any paperwork from your civilian doctor, bring it with you. 

· If you wear glasses (even reading glasses), bring a current pair with you. 

· If you are going to a school and will be gone long enough for your current physical to expire, you will need to complete one before you leave. Don't wait until the last minute to try to get your physical done. Remind your UHM that you are going so they can schedule an appointment for you. Preparing your chart for your exam can take up to a week, so plan ahead. 

· Do not use RCPHA any more - use the HRA through the AF portal. To finish your questionnaire, you must hit the submit button. 

· Do not try to complete your PHA on-line more than three months before your birthday, the answers won't count. Instead, remind your UHM you have a birthday coming up and wait for them to 'flip the switch' and give you the ok. 

Remember, Individual Medical Readiness is just as critical as any other readiness requirement. Many times problems cannot be fixed "just in time", so do your part and be Medically Ready!