180FW Nurse Gives Back to Her Community

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nicholas Battani
  • 180 Fighter Wing

COVID-19 had a dramatic effect on many. For Senior Master Sgt. Ashley Young, the senior enlisted leader of the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing Medical Group, it infused her with a desire to change careers so she could give more back to her community.

“During COVID I was activated for over six months, traveling all over the state providing tests,” said Young. “It felt good to help people during a scary time and ease their nerves and fears about what was going on, and I wanted to keep doing that for the community.”

After this life-changing experience, Young, a prior operating room nurse, decided to pursue a master’s degree in public health, from the University of Toledo and began working for the Ryan White Program at the University of Toledo.

“I began my master’s degree in public health, and found this position with the Ryan White Program,” said Young. “I was really excited that I could continue to pursue my degree and keep working to help the community.”

The Ryan White Program, at the University of Toledo Medical Center, offers high quality, comprehensive HIV/AIDS care services though a multidisciplinary health care team. The program incorporates Adult Primary Care, Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mental Health Counseling, Nutritional Counseling, Case Management, Consumer Advocacy, Financial Counseling and 340B Pharmacy Services using a “one–stop shop” model. The Ryan White program also provides HIV testing and education in Lucas County and the surrounding counties.

Young’s duties, at the Ryan White Program, include taking patients vitals, ensuring they are taking their medications correctly, and keeping them up to-date-on their immunizations, among other duties.

“In the clinic, I’m here to check-in patients, get them ready to see their providers, and assist the provider with whatever they may need,” said Young.

Young has also recently taken on the role of the senior enlisted leader of the medical group with the 180FW, after prior serving as a dental assistant, and she is hoping that her work in the community with the Ryan White Program will provide a positive influence on the Airmen she supervises.

“I hope the Airmen see how I’ve grown over the years,” said Young. “They should know they can do the same thing and that I can help guide them.”

Young said that she can see that spirit of wanting to help the community within all of the Airmen throughout the entire medical group.

In addition to serving Airmen and maintaining medical readiness for the wing, the 180FW medical group aids communities in Ohio as wells as surrounding communities through Innovative Readiness Training missions.

These IRT missions provide offer vital medical services to underprivileged communities as well as communities affected by severe weather events, while also providing joint training opportunities to increase deployment readiness among service members.

A recent IRT mission to aid a community by the medical group stood out for Young.

“The last place we went, a tornado took everything, and Airmen used their skills to help the community get dental, optometry, and general medical care,” said Young. “It is inspiring to see the many things our Airmen do.”

For Young, inspiration of her Airmen extends not only to helping their community, but also to improving themselves.

“I’ve seen Airmen working to get their degrees, as well as, gaining their citizenship through the Air Force,” said Young. “It is always impressive to see the things our Airmen can accomplish.”

While Young has only been at her position with the Ryan White Program for a month, she has high hopes and expectations for her career going forward.

“I hope to complete my master’s at the University of Toledo and go out in the community to provide them with more education, testing, and interest in the Ryan White Program,” said Young.

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