Moody Airmen ‘Ignite’ Innovation During Spark Tank

Staff Report From Valdosta CEO

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Seven Moody Airmen pitched business ideas before a panel of 23d Wing and community leaders during the base’s first installment of the Air Force’s Spark Tank competition, June 15, here.

Rivaling one of the most popular business shows where participants showcase their innovative concepts with the goal of winning financial support from the judges, these Airmen sought to do the same by aiming their ideas toward restoring readiness, cost-effectively modernizing the mission and driving innovation to secure the future.

For Capt. Lakeatta Tonge, 23d Medical Group education and training flight commander, focusing on one of Moody’s priorities, “Caring for Airmen and Families,” was paramount in her pitch through the Resolve Through Sharing initiative.

“Resolve Through Sharing is a bereavement service that will assist the 23d Wing by providing an outlet for women and families who are affected by infertility, recurring pregnancy loss, or the loss of a young infant,” said Tonge. “This initiative will increase the awareness that 1 out of 4 women will experience a miscarriage or infertility concerns in their life span.

“Yet, many of them do not speak about it or get the help they need,” Tonge added. “But, it is known that these women and families are at an increased risk for anxiety, postpartum depression, PTSD, and other mental health disorders during the first six months to a year following the event.”

According to Tonge, her hope is that Moody will improve the process of identifying these women and families and get them the support they need before they deploy, or cause harm to themselves or others.

After ultimately winning first place honors, Tonge said she was proud of Wing leadership’s desire in supporting their Airmen. This dedication was evident as 23d Wing senior leadership is looking into ways to implement many of the projects briefed in addition to the winning proposal.

Projects and ideas ranged from an automated prescription retrieval system designed to expedite Team Moody’s medical experience to an HH-60G Pavehawk rescue simulator designed to increase training operations.

“This was an amazing experience,” said Col. Jennifer Short, 23d Wing commander. “[Senior leadership] challenged our Airmen to give us their innovative ideas and in exchange, we’d look into possibly funding these projects to make things better at Moody.”

As Moody celebrated its risk takers and idea makers who continued to develop solutions to bring the very best to the fight, senior leadership encouraged others to follow their innovative passions to impact the Air Force.