Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas --
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas – Families, leaders, mentors and supervisors of Airmen and Space professionals enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program participated in the 2020 virtual EFMP Summit, Oct. 21, which offered an update on the progress the program has made thus far, as well as a glimpse of improvements on the horizon.
“This is a topic that has the absolute attention of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and the Chief of Space Operations,” said Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly. “We are committed to making sure we tackle this and make the EFMP process what it needs to be for our Airmen and Space professionals and their families.”
Participants were given background into the improvement process by Tami Nelson, transformation leader for Headquarters Air Force Manpower and Personnel Services. Nelson explained the team first held a rapid improvement event, during which they identified top issues such as lack of automation, inconsistency, and unnecessary medical appointments. With that information, they began to implement changes where able.
Nelson also demonstrated new automation tools available to EFMP families; the medical provider trends dashboard and the automated travel screening - both designed to simplify the PCS process, arm families with data to make informed decisions, and provide a greater level of transparency.
One of the improvements expected to make a big impact is the newly-created Exceptional Assignment Programs division here, led by the EAP division chief Tammy Hern.
“Prior to standing up the integrated EFMP cell, the three components of the program, assignments, family support and medical, as well as our support agencies, Tricare, respite care and education assistance, all operated independently leaving military members and their families to navigate several points of contact for assistance,” Hern said.
She explained that families had shared how complex and confusing it was to navigate the system, which led to the integration of all EFMP agencies into one cell. She emphasized the division is still growing, with several support agency liaisons scheduled to join the team in the coming months.
The summit also included information on legal assistance, special education support, family support coordinators, and respite care, which will be the topic of an upcoming rapid improvement event.
The EFMP team reiterated a lot of what drives change is the feedback received from the field and encouraged families to continue communicating the positive and negative aspects of the program.
“We know that we still have a lot of work to do for the over 55,000 EFMP family members across our Air and Space Force,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Craige, commander of the Air Force’s Personnel Center. “This summit was just the beginning as we work together to make EFMP better for all. We’re in this together, and we’ll move forward together.”
The summit broadcast recordings can be found on the Department of the Air Force Exceptional Family Member Program Facebook page, or on YouTube; Part One: https://youtu.be/52R-cwKpdUM and Part Two: https://youtu.be/9CvC1kT7QFs.
For the latest EFMP updates, visit the DAF EFMP Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AirForceEFMP or visit afpc.af.mil.